It’s time to start thinking about how mtp will look in the winter months. Bad planning now will result in empty beds (and tums) in winter. My first year on mtp I didn’t sow any veg for winter – I just didn’t think about it. And when it came around to September / October when the last of the sweetcorn and pumpkins were harvested I was left with nothing but bare earth. Since then I’ve been building up my winter repertoire. Last year I successfully grew Broccoli, Leeks, Perpetual Spinach and winter lettuce. This year I’m going for broke and hoping to grow lots more. My Broccoli plants are already a foot high as I sowed them months ago. My Leeks are still in seed trays but ready to go in any week now. I sowed some winter hardy Carrots, Kale and some Spinach last week, while today I got on with sowing the rest (Endive, Radicchio, Corn Salad, Swede, Cauliflower). Unfortunately I totally missed the boat on Parsnip. The row that I sowed just didn’t germinate and now it’s too late. So my (hopeful) winter veg list looks like this:
I’d be interested to know what everyone else is growing this winter and if you have any suggestions for some good croppers?
I visited a garden show last week and an Organic Garden Centre was selling enormous Japanese onions that apparently grow in the mountains so are ideal for overwintering. I intend to get seed from them.
As an aside they recommend Sarpo potatoes as virtually blight resistant with excellent flavour so I’ll put a few of those in next year. I was planning to sow a green manure in September mustard or clover but haven’t decided what mix to use ” The Organic Way” just dropped in today – I expect they will have suggestions.
Sounds interesting. I put some early onion sets in last year in December (Radar). We’ve been eating them now for about a month so while they’re not strictly a winter crop they are much earlier than the rest of my onion crop.
Thanks for the prompt! I want to plan for the polytunnel at least. Its high & open up here but I must give it some thought.
I have broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, onions and sprouts sorted but I need to think about leeks.
Thanks for reminding me about my Winter crops as I haven’t really thought beyond the Summer for a while.
It’s not too late for parsnips. Just sprout ’em on a piece of kitchen roll in an old ice cream tub under the sink, transfer them then to compost when they sprout and prick them out into a bed when they are an inch or so high. As long as they don’t dry out in the first week they’ll be fine. You can normally get away with this trick ’til after Wimbledon.
Weirdly, we are on synchronised sowing routines. I just sowed almost exactly what you sowed at exactly the same times.
*cue Twilight Zone music*
My winter stalwarts are Countess parsnips (outrageous germination success this year Ã¢â‚¬â€œ God knows how/why), Musselburgh leeks, Autumn King carrots, January King cabbage and Walcheren Winter cauliflower. None has yet let me down. Tried salsify and scorzonera last year. Grew brilliantly but tasted of, well, nothing. So never again.
Thanks for the reminder mtp,last year was my first year of winter veg. I had brussels, cauliflowers, leeks, parsnips and some lettuce but didn’t like the lettuce as it was too bitter for me.
There was me thinking I could have my room back, now I’ll have to make some more room for some seed trays!
Further thought is red cabbage . I have a tray ready to plant out. Very good in sweet and sour recipes.
I’m still thinking about the autumn season. I missed out on a round of aubergines last year.
Chard (Bright Lights) looks incredible, stands the winter, and this year gave us gave a few good feeds following the purple sprouting broccoli, and before running up to seed. Sue R
Brilliant – I love all the advice and knowledge this is here. Thanks! I will definitely try the parsnips on wet paper idea, and I had completely forgotten about Chard (Bright Lights) – will be buying some seeds asap!
I am a big fan of Swiss Chard ‘Bright Lights’ or ‘Rainbow Lights’ they are as hardy as you like and stunningly attractive.
This is my first year growing veg, I have dug up all my potatoes now and have one empty bed,I am looking to plant something for winter. Have I missed the boat or is there anything I can plant in aug for the winter months?
You need to be thinking about planting Japanese onion sets in October (easier) or seeds in Mid-August (not so reliable in my experience); sowing overwintering peas (Feltham First)and broad beans (always “Aquadulce”) mid/late October and early November and planting garlic (which needs a spell of cold to do really well) in October/November.
I’m going to try all that you have suggested but I’m also going to add rubarb and potatoes to the list. I’ll let you know how I get on thank’s for your list, I needed it as it is my first winter trying to grow any thing.
I have just stumbled across some unusual ‘lettice’ looking veg called Escarole – looks like a splayed out green lettice. No idea what it’s like – certainly available from ‘Seeds of Italy’. Anyone tried this?
Just started planting seeds this month. Bought tiny plastic greenhouse. germination was slow….much quicker and better results planing seeds straight into the ground. Looking on the site for ideas!
Garlic, Plant around november. I am going all Heritage seed this year, better crops.