What Vegetables to Grow in December in the UK

The weather outside may well be frightful, but the garden veg can still be delightful with these vegetables to grow in the UK in December.

19 January 2024

With the festive cheer of Christmas just around the corner, the short days and cold weather make it tempting to eschew the garden in favour of the great indoors. Sure, there are still jobs to do, but these tend towards safeguarding plants from the biting frost and ensuring our feathered friends are well-fed with bird feeders. It certainly doesn’t seem like the time for planting things. Except, it is. For instance, this is the time that fruit trees are planted. And, there are even vegetables to grow in the UK in December.

Some are ideally suited for overwintering, laying the groundwork for future yields, while others promise a quicker return on your gardening investments. Keen to discover more? Well, it just so happens that we’ve gathered them together in one amazing list.

Broad Beans

Broad beans (Credit: by Elena Botta via Getty Images)

Broad in name and broad in potential, these beans are delightful when eaten young and fresh in salads, or transformed through cooking into comforting components of stews or flavourful mashed sides. What’s more, they’re prime vegetables to plant in December in the UK, even comfortable in the ground as long as the soil isn’t too cold or wet. Even when that’s not an option, they’re flexible, able to be sowed in a cold frame or indoors, providing an early spring harvest. Overall, they’re a solid pick for gardeners looking to keep their plots lively and diverse when the temperatures drop.


Close up of green mustard leaves. (Credit: toeytoey2530 via Getty Images)

Mustard leaves, with their spicy raw bite that mellows upon cooking, are akin to a culinary chameleon. These leaves are well-suited for year-round indoor sowing, which certainly earmarks them as one of the top veggies to plant in December. They flourish in the cool confines of an unheated greenhouse or in the shelter of containers and seedbeds. Their swift journey from seed to salad bowl positions mustard as an efficient option for those seeking fast-growing greens to harvest amidst the frosty days. They do exhibit a preference for consistently moist, well-drained soil.

Winter Lettuce

Winter lettuce (Credit: joannatkaczuk via Getty Images)

There’s nothing quite like lettuce to breathe life into winter salads or add a refreshing crunch to burgers and sandwiches. So why give it up during winter? That’s why it’s great to know that winter lettuce like Arctic King has it covered, a specific variant of this useful veg to grow in December.


Carrots (Photo: Roy Morsch via Getty Images)

Any gardener worth their salt knows carrot sowing season has long since passed. But not all carrots are sown the same. In fact, there are special varieties like Bangor that are cold-hardy enough to withstand winter’s chill, particularly within a greenhouse.

Bean Sprouts

A mound of bean sprouts. (Credit: Isabelle Rozenbaum via Getty Images)

A stir fry staple, bean sprouts are another veg to plant in December or any time of year indoors. Remarkably, they require neither pot nor soil, thriving simply on a moist paper towel ensconced within a darkened brown bag. This method exemplifies the simplicity with which one can cultivate fresh produce indoors when the outdoor elements are less than accommodating.


Freshly harvested onions. (Credit: andresr via Getty Images)

In soups and stews, fried dishes and baked, few veg can claim to have a foundational status as an ingredient to the extent of the mighty onion. They’re also resilient enough to be veggies to plant in December, require very little upkeep and are suitable for most soil types, aside from heavy clay.


Freshly harvested organic garlic drying on the grass. (Credit: blinow61 via Getty Images)

Finally, let’s not forget garlic. Used to infuse oils, create robust bases for sauces and soups, and delicious when roasted, this culinary cornerstone actually benefits from a bit of cold. This means that, as far as veg to grow in December, it’s a shoe in.

Tips for December Gardening

Plants utilising protection in a small greenhouse in the winter months. (Credit: Johner Images via Getty Images)

Choosing the right veg to plant in December is crucial, but success also hinges on other factors. Employing tools such as greenhouses, cold frames, cloches, and fleece can significantly enhance the protection of your vegetables from severe weather and pests. Additionally, maintaining a regimen of regular weeding and watering remains essential. By adhering to these tips, your winter garden will do more than just endure—it can flourish.

Vegetables to Plant in December

Heritage carrots (Credit: Helen Cathcart via Getty Images)

So, you “herb” it here first: there are indeed vegetables to grow in December. In fact, growing veg in the festive season is not only possible but also rewarding. From the robust beans to the resilient bulbs, from the crisp leaves to the effortless sprouts, there’s a wealth of gardening activities to engage in. Indeed, the tranquillity of the winter garden belies the active preparation for a forthcoming season rich in abundance and vitality.


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