If you want and abundant winter vegetable garden, February and March are the months to start preparing your vegetables and get some of your winter edibles into the soil. It is now the time to take cuttings and sow winter vegetables.

If possible, prepare your winter garden in a sheltered spot. Cold winter winds could easily destroy your crops. By erecting some sort of windbreak, you can prevent this. 

Preparing your beds

Clean up spent and diseased plants. Remove weeds. Fill the bed with good topsoil enriched with compost and manure. Here are some vegetables you need to get into the soil now. 

Vegetables to sow and plant

Many people prefer growing vegetables by buying seedlings, but they can just as easily be grown from seed. 


It is a good time to get your potatoes for winter into the ground. Potatoes need full sun. Potatoes are grown from seed potatoes. Plant firm tubers with the sprout facing upwards into the soil at a depth of approximately 10cm. Space at least 30cm apart and about 50cm between rows.

As shoots push through the soil, draw the soil up around each plant so that by the time it has matured there is a substantial mound of soil around the stem. 

Cauliflower, Cabbage, Kale, and Spinach

Seeds can be planted in seed trays and planted out about 30 days after sowing, or they can be planted directly into the bed. Plant cauliflower seeds about 12mm and cabbage and kale seeds about 5mm deep. Plant about 50cm apart. Cabbage should be ready for harvest between 60 to 120 days after planting, depending on the size of the cultivar. Cauliflower takes nearly 80 days and kale/spinach about 60 days. 


Carrots do best in light, sandy, loam soil. Carrots seeds are tiny, so they need to be sown shallowly. Water before sowing and push the soil down. It is difficult to space seeds during the sowing process and it is essential to thin out the plants when they germinate to prevent misshapen carrots. The final plants should be about 5cm apart. Because they are sown shallowly, it is essential to keep the soil moist during germination. Carrots should be ready for harvest 70 to 80 days after planting. 

Brussels sprouts

It is best to sow seed in seed trays. Keep the grow medium moist. Plant out in a sunny spot after about 4 weeks. Space the plants 50cm apart. The sprouts are usually ready for harvesting about 90 days after transplanting out. 


Beetroot is best grown from seeds in the vegetable bed as they don’t transplant well. They enjoy loose, well-prepared soil with lots of organic matter. Soak the seeds overnight and plant 3cm deep and 20cm apart. Beetroot will grow in part shade or full sun.

They should be ready to harvest after 7 to 8 weeks. To harvest, gather the base of the stems and twist the root out of the soil. With beets they tend to get stuck in the soil and it can get tricky to get them out. Loosen the soil before pulling beets out and use your legs. 


It is also now the time to plant garlic. Garlic takes typically 8 to 9 months to mature. Garlic grows best in full sun and well-draining soil. Break up a healthy garlic head into individual cloves and plant each clove deeply with the tip of the clove pointing upwards. Make sure the tip is covered with soil. Firm soil down gently. Plant 15 cm apart and cover with a layer of mulch. Shoots should start pushing through the soil within 4-8 weeks of planting.

Other vegetables you can plant, or sow now are peas, beans, onions, spinach, lettuce, and Swiss chard.

And don’t forget your fruit trees! Feed deciduous fruit trees and mulch around their roots.

Contact Greenside Nursery for advice and plants to establish your winter vegetable garden. Our team of garden experts will help you grow your winter crop successfully.