I went to a super interesting course yesterday at Capital Growth about growing winter veges. We always have to work a season ahead, so we need to plant now for harvesting throughout winter, starting in the first week of November, this is when growth stops because temperatures are too low.
So we’ve sown our seeds, and hope to kick start our poor allotment again. It’s been suffering from a PH imbalance in the soil and all the rain has resulted in a lot of snails, which loved our seedlings a bit too much.
For harvest in early spring
These veges we can get started now, then they pause over winter and are ready for harvest early spring:
- Peas (Ordiman),
- Leaf lettuce,
- Broad beans (don’t worry about black fly),
- Soft fruit (transplant at the beginning of winter)
For harvest throughout winter
The following plants we grow now for harvesting throughout winter. They can just be harvested from under the snow:
- Pak choi: Ruby – autumn harvest, White – winter harvest
- Cavalo Nero (kale) – harvest from bottom, they keep growing up.
- Swiss chard (silverbeet) – cut leaves from the bottom, won’t regrow but nice and fresh in winter.
- Curly leaf parsley
- Lettuce: need cloches. Can germinate at 1.8°. Sow every 2 weeks, keep sowing and harvesting.
- Winter density,
- Rouge grenobloise
- Any leaf beet.
They should just be raised in the same way as Spring veges: in seed trays, transfer to pots and allow to mature to a fair size before moving them to the allotment.
But you don’t want to leave any bare soil over winter, so you can sow green manure in the gaps. It can even go around plants – just fill up any gaps. Some good green manures are:
- Kent wild white clover,
- Crimson clover,
- Phacelia tanacetifolia.
In spring, just dig in to the top layer to feed the soil. Allow it to rot for a week before putting in spring seedlings.