Our latest blog focuses on how the more green fingered readers amongst us can prepare our gardens for the colder seasons ahead by getting your gardens ready for autumn planting. Read more here.
As the autumn heads nearer perhaps it’s time to think of some crops to have on the garden through the winter for harvesting in spring, or if the exceptional weather holds, even earlier.
There are a few things you can have in ready to go that will grow through the colder months, and it’s actually fairly impressive what you can get away with, especially if you live in the south of the UK.
Thompson and Morgan are a notable seller of vegetable seeds for this time of year – eve having their own ‘autumn planting’ section of their site – a good place to start but by no means the only place – The Real Seed Catalogue are also a great alternative who deal in mostly ‘heirloom’ varieties – plants will go to seed and the seeds will be viable for next year’s crop.
A staple just about everywhere, onions are a slow growing yet climate resistant allium famous for being useful in virtually any dish. Autumn onion seeds should go directly into the ground soon after the summer, even in August in order to develop some mass before the colder weather sets in. Plan accordingly as these will still be big and growing when you start thinking about planting your spring plants next year. Make sure to keep them weeded and clear of shading, or they won’t bulb so well.
These bulbs are another deep soil overwintering crop that won’t be ready until next summer if you plant in August – but a really rewarding one of you choose an interesting crop. Currently everyone is raving about large ‘Elephant garlic’, but there are plenty of others to choose from. A very simple grow too – just keep weeded and plant one segment at a time in a nice row and leave it alone until harvest time, months away in midsummer.
Fairly easy to do, again, and quite rewarding – a harvest of broad beans done in the winter will let you eat early in the spring for a good while. They’re fairly easy to sow and can be left to their own devices without too much trouble as they develop a fairly strong stem. Germinate indoors in individual pots then plant in a row before the Warm weather ends, and they should be fairly big by the time it gets cold.
A very similar premise to the broad beans – germinate peas indoors and have a row out before the weather gets cold. There are many varieties to choose from and plenty of the have this method in mind. Peas often don’t do so great during the colder season but as the weather starts to change they’ll kick into overdrive and start producing those delicious pods. Peas can also be sown direct into the soil if you want a less organised rambling row.
This stuff is interesting! A leafy green that comes up small then goes crazy in the summer, this spinach won’t let you down. Easy to plant and, as long as you remove the flowers, should keep you supplied with leaves throughout the winter well into next summer. Once it begins to flower you can choose to remove and compost it or not, or just cut it back and let it start again. Germinate seedlings indoors and plant out soon!