The majority of gardeners love growing vegetables since producing something that’s great to eat can give you a huge sense of achievement. Most gardeners will be more than aware that there are some varieties of vegetables which will happily grow over the winter months, yet few know what they are and how you can grow them successfully. Here, we will explore some of the most common winter vegetables and the best techniques for growing them.
Everyone has an opinion on Brussels Sprouts at Christmas. Even if they do not get eaten, year after year they always find a way onto the table. Growing your own in time for Christmas is easy. The average seeding to harvest period is 100 days. Therefore, you should start planting them in early September.
Make sure you plant them in rows roughly one metre apart with about a foot between. Water them periodically up until a fortnight before you are going to harvest them. You can also apply mulch, which will help with the quality of your topsoil. If you are hoping for a good crop, then you will want winter to be cold as a mild one will make them mushy.
The best time to plant garlic is in late November. If you plant them at this time, then they will be ready to harvest in May. Planting garlic when it is forecasted to be wet is not advised. If this is the case, make a ridge roughly 10 cm high and plenty the garlic there. Furthermore, those in the know will tell you that shop seeds are not very good quality. Paying a bit extra for garlic seeds from a merchant is more than worthwhile.
Planting broad beans before November is not advised as the conditions will probably not be cold enough. You should ensure you have good topsoil and plant them in the middle of November. If you do it correct, then you will have a harvest in February or March. Before you plant your seeds, make sure you talk to a local expert. This person will tell you what type of broad beans are best to plant.
Even though it is not natural to grow rhubarb through the winter months you can ‘force’ it to grow at this time. Putting pots or a large bucket over your crop to stop the freeze, and watering your crop regularly is all that is required. Do not be alarmed if your rhubarb comes out with a pink stem, this is how it should look when it has been harvested through the winter months.
Some of the ‘harder’ lettuces will have a good chance of surviving a mild winter. However, planting lettuces can be a risk. If you do decide to give it a try, be prepared to fail. Sowing the lettuces in August will allow you to harvest them in spring.
As you can see from the above, there are plenty of winter vegetables that can be sown from late September to early February. Sowing these vegetables will also ensure that your topsoil is more fruitful in the summer.
This article was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of Garden Topsoil Direct. One of Crispin’s greatest passions is gardening, and this winter isn’t going to stop him from doing what he loves.
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