15 Frost Tolerant Vegetable Plants

The best frost hardy vegetables to grow in your garden

Cold winter temperatures and mild frosts are ideal growing conditions for many cool season vegetables.

If you’d like to grow some cold hardy vegetables in your garden during the winter months, you’re sure to find some great options on this list.

Some of these vegetables can even withstand thick frosts and freezing temperatures.

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cabbage in the frost


1. Broccoli

Broccoli is part of the Brassica family of vegetables, which are frost tolerant and cold hardy.

They grow best in cool weather and can survive temperatures down to 26° to 31° F (-3° to -5° C). [1]

In these freezing temperatures the leaves may suffer from frost burn, but the broccoli head will be still edible.

Broccoli can be planted 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost of the season so it has plenty of time to grow before the weather warms up.

After harvesting the main broccoli head, you can leave the foliage in place and the plant may produce several small offshoots.

Growing cruciferous vegetables

2. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are also part of the Brassica vegetable family and they can tolerate thick frosts.

The sprouts grow on tall stems and the edible buds look like mini cabbages.

The best quality Brussels sprouts are produced when there is plenty of sun during the day and light frosts at night.

Brussels Sprouts

3. Cabbage

Cabbages grow best in areas with cool winter temperatures between 45° to 75°F (7°C to 24°C) and they’ll withstand mild frosts.

The frost will sweeten the cabbage, so a few light frosts are beneficial for the plants.

In cool climates you can grow two crops of cabbages during the year.

Plant one crop in early spring to harvest in summer, and then plant a second crop at the end of summer to harvest in winter.


4. Cauliflower

Cauliflowers are sensitive to temperature fluctuations and grow best when the temperature is below 75° F (24° C). [2]

They need at least six hours of sunlight each day and cool temperatures, especially when the heads are forming.

Cauliflower plants will withstand light frosts, but not thick, heavy frosts.


5. Kale

Kale plants grow best in cool weather and they’re frost tolerant.

It takes about two months for kale to mature and it’s best to plant kale so that it’s ready to harvest when the weather is still cool.

Cold temperatures help kale to convert starches into sugars, so you get a much sweeter tasting crop.

RELATED: How To Grow Kale Indoors

kale in the frost

6. Spinach

Spinach is a cold hardy leafy vegetable that will tolerate light frosts.

The seeds can be planted directly in the garden six weeks before the last frost of the season.

Spinach will be ready to harvest in six to eight weeks when the plants have at least six leaves. [3]


7. Carrots

Carrots are another popular frost hardy vegetable that can be grown year round.

Leafy carrot tops are cold hardy down to 18 °F (-8 °C) but carrot roots can tolerate even colder winter temperatures.

Carrot seeds do well when planted directly in the garden in late summer and harvested during the winter months.


8. Peas

Peas are easy to grow, frost hardy vegetables that look great growing on a trellis.

Pea seeds can be planted in the garden four to six weeks before the last frost of the season and they’ll be ready to harvest in about two months’ time.

Peas growing in the garden

9. Onions

Onions can withstand cold temperatures, mild frosts and even snow.

The seedlings are most susceptible to cold temperatures, while older plants are hardier.

A thick layer of mulch will help to protect the plants during cold weather.


10. Leeks

Leeks are cold hardy vegetables that become sweeter and tastier after a frost.

They’re part of the same family as onions, shallots and chives and they’re an easy vegetable to grow.

Leeks can be planted in the garden in fall and harvested right throughout winter.


11. Garlic

Garlic takes seven to eight months to mature and needs at least six weeks of cold temperatures for optimal growth.

The best time to plant garlic bulbs is in fall and the bulbs will be ready to harvest in late spring or summer.

Garlic bulbs

12. Turnips

Turnips are cold hardy and frost tolerant root vegetables that benefit from mild frosts.

The frost helps turnips to develop natural sugars which tones down their spicy flavor.

Turnips can be harvested two months after planting when they’re 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7 cm) in diameter.


13. Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is another vegetable that will withstand mild frosts.

Although it looks like a root vegetable, the bulb is actually the swollen stem of the plant.

Kohlrabi can be purple or green and the taste is similar to a mild turnip.


14. Radish

Radishes are fast growing vegetables that can survive thick frosts.

In very cold weather the leaves can suffer from frost burn but the roots will still be ok to harvest. [4]

Radish seeds can be planted every couple of weeks during cool weather for a successive crop.


15. Rhubarb

Rhubarb grows best in cool weather and will tolerate mild frosts.

If the temperature falls below 24 °F (-4 °C) the leaves may be killed but the roots will survive and grow again in the spring. [5]

It’s a good idea to cover rhubarb plants with a bucket or something similar if very cold night time temperatures are predicted.


So there are 15 frost tolerant vegetable plants that you can grow in your garden over the cold winter months.

Some other frost resistant vegetables that you can also grow over winter are beets, arugula (rocket) and collard greens.


Have you had success growing cold hardy, frost tolerant vegetables in your garden? Let me know in the comments below.

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Frost Tolerant Vegetable Plants

Frost hardy vegetables to plant in your garden

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener and designer with over 10 years experience. I have a passion for small space gardening and I love designing and creating beautiful outdoor spaces that maximize the potential of small urban gardens. Read more

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Scott DeNicola

    I was not aware of how many vegetables were frost hardy! Ones in the ground I can understand but knowing that Brussel sprouts thrive on a little frost is mind-blowing. And some of these temperatures were pretty cold. Great to know and will definitely change my planting patterns moving forward.

  2. Lene

    Every time I read one of your posts, I get the urge to garden. I live in a one-bedroom apartment with no balcony, but I can dream. Also, many of the plants you mentioned are among my favourite list of veggies, so now I’m also hungry. 🙂

  3. Daphne Takahashi

    Wow there really are some great options of vegetables that will withstand winter! I was watching a survival kind of program in Discovery and saw the guy explaining how rhubarb is winter proof but I didn’t know Brussels sprouts were so strong, I thought they wouldn’t make it because they are rather small.

  4. Ivana Mearns

    oh, thanks, that’s all great to know. I am surprised to see leek on the list, I thought that leek would be quite sensitive to frost but maybe not.

  5. Britt

    Great suggestions! We hadn’t taken the time to do much of a garden for a couple years, but got back into it this year. In the end, we ate spinach with nearly every meal (spinach in salads, on wraps, etc) and we still have bags of carrots frozen to make soups and stews throughout the winter months. We specifically chose hardy vegetables like these living in Canada because you never truly know what the temperatures are going to do lol

  6. Jessica Collazo

    This is good to know. I didn’t know that those vegetables can resist such low temperatures.

  7. Alexandra

    I never knew you could grow those vegetables in the winter! At least probably the winter in Florida. We do get frost but it’s nothing like the full-blown snow of the north. Most of my favorite veggies are on that list. Except for radishes and rhubarb. I really never know what to do with radishes except salad and, even then, it doesn’t add much taste to a salad to me. And rhubarb? Ever since I was a kid and my friend grew this in her yard and we ate so much we got sick, I can’t even look at it without feeling sick! Thanks for the information!

  8. Erica (The Prepping Wife)

    I learn the greatest things from your blog, and this has to be one of my favorite posts! I am very tempted to take up gardening after reading this and give it a try. I love carrots and many other veggies on this list. I had no clue that they could handle harsher weather and frost. I guess I presumed all veggies grew in sunny warm climates. Lol. You’ve certainly taught me a lot about year around gardening.

  9. Lyosha

    You know so much about the plants! and as cold totally hits us now it’s even better! I absolutely like the list, I will make sure to plant some next year

  10. Thuy

    I’m not an advanced enough gardener to plant frost-resistant veggies here in CT, but it’s good to know that these vegetables are resilient plants.

  11. Lyanna Soria

    Great info to know about, didn’t even know some of those were frost tolerant. Those are great plants to grow especially if you are living in a cold place.

  12. Luna S

    This is a great information to know! I will pass this info onto my step-dad who loves to garden as a hobby.

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