Your garden doesn’t have to stop just because the long days and warm weather do. While you are more limited in options than in the summer, you can have a delicious, productive garden all winter long. Southern US zones, such as 7-8, experience much milder climates than the rest of the country. You may need to plan ahead with solutions in the case of a sudden freeze, but it’s definitely worth it to keep the fresh veggies going all winter long. 

Average Texas Winter Temperatures

This chart shows averages aggregated from across the whole state.

Texas climate chart of temperature and precipitation.
Source: U.S Climate Data

If you live in the southern part of Texas, you shouldn’t experience many freezes in a year. The average low winter temperatures are in the upper 30s to mid 40s. This doesn’t mean the temperatures can’t get below 30; it can happen. It’s just not typical, luckily. I grew up in Houston, and I remember walking from my car to school on cold winter mornings, lamenting how terrible everything was when the temperature was in the 30s. (I was in for quite a shock when I later moved to the north.)

If you live in the northern or eastern parts of Texas, you’ve got to be a little more conscious of when freezes occur. The average low temperatures for north/east Texas tend to be in the 30s. Again, this is just an average, so outliers do happen. I now live in north Texas, and mild freezes can hit when you don’t expect them.. But just because temperatures dip below the 30s doesn’t mean you can’t keep a healthy vegetable garden. You may just need to cover your beds and snuggle your pots up to the house during the cold spells. If you want to get really serious about your plants, you can use a variety of plant covers to keep them at a steady temperature all winter long.

What Should You Grow in Winter?

For a winter garden in Texas, you’ll want to choose relatively cold-hardy plants. These include leafy greens and vegetables that grow primarily underground, among a few others. Veggies that grow as roots, bulbs, and tubers produce the bulk of their edible parts below the soil. These make good winter crops because they are less susceptible to freezes, as the soil protects them from the elements. 

Roots, Bulbs, & Tubers

These include:

  • Parsnips
  • Turnips
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Beets
  • Ginger
  • Celeriac
  • Kohlrabi
  • Rutabagas
  • Leeks
  • Garlic

Leafy Greens

There are several leafy greens that can also survive a Texas winter. These include:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Butterhead lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Arugula
  • Chard
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Bok choy
  • Green onions

Brassica Vegetables

The Brassica family of vegetables is also pretty cold-hardy and will be fine during a frost. These include:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower

If you live in the southern part of the United States, there’s never a time when you can’t have a garden! Even in the chilliest months, you can successfully grow the edible plants listed above. Good luck, and happy gardening!

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