Top 8 Vegetables To Grow Over Winter

winter

Winter vegetable growing allows you to extend the season and many vegetables that can be grown in winter will produce earlier crops than spring plantings.

If you were really organised in late spring/ early summer then you will have already grown some winter vegetable plants such as Winter Cabbage, Kale and Brussels Sprouts. These will be well under way by autumn and you will already have started planting your winter vegetables outdoors.

Vegetables to grow outdoors in winter

Most winter vegetable plants are fully hardy and will cope well with cold winter weather, but if hard frosts threaten then you can always throw some fleece across them to provide some extra protection. Most can be planted or sown directly outdoors to ensure that your winter vegetable garden is fully stocked.

1. Spring Onions

Winter hardy varieties of Spring onion make a tasty accompaniment to winter salads. They are a fairly quick growing crop and early autumn sowings should be ready to harvest by early spring. Spring Onion ‘White Lisbon’ is a popular and reliable winter hardy variety.

2. Broad Beans

Autumn sown broad beans can be harvested in spring up to a month earlier than spring sown plants. Broad Bean ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ is one of the best for autumn sowings, being particularly quick to establish. Once the plants are well grown you can even use the plant tips – they are delicious wilted with a little butter.

3. Asparagus

If you have plenty of space then why not plant a permanent asparagus bed this autumn. Choose an autumn planting variety such as Asparagus ‘Pacific 2000’or the colourful variety ‘Pacific Purple’. Although asparagus beds take several years to establish, each asparagus crown can produce up to 25 spears per year and will continue cropping for 25 years. You will need to be patient with this crop as it will be 2 years before you can harvest them properly – but the promise of tender, home grown asparagus spears is well worth the wait.

4. Peas

Enjoy an early crop of peas next spring. Autumn sowings of rounded varieties such as Pea ‘Kelvedon Wonder’ and Pea ‘Meteor’ are particularly hardy and will give you a head start next season. You will be the envy of the allotment when you start harvesting peas 3 or 4 weeks earlier than other growers!

5. Onions and Shallots

Autumn planting onion sets are easy to grow and will virtually look after themselves over winter. Onions have a long growing season and won’t be ready for harvesting until next summer, so you will need to plan carefully as they will still be in the ground when you start planting other crops in spring. Onion ‘First Early’ is a popular and reliable variety or for a brightly coloured red onion try Onion ‘Electric’. In recent years Shallots have become more popular with the trendy gardener. Autumn planting ‘Echalote Grise’ is a particularly choice variety for its intense and concentrated flavour.

6. Onions and Shallots

Autumn planting onion sets are easy to grow and will virtually look after themselves over winter. Onions have a long growing season and won’t be ready for harvesting until next summer, so you will need to plan carefully as they will still be in the ground when you start planting other crops in spring. Onion ‘First Early’ is a popular and reliable variety or for a brightly coloured red onion try Onion ‘Electric’. In recent years Shallots have become more popular with the trendy gardener. Autumn planting ‘Echalote Grise’ is a particularly choice variety for its intense and concentrated flavour.

7. Perpetual Spinach

Perpetual spinach makes an excellent ‘cut and come again’ crop that will produce huge yields of tasty leaves. Early autumn sowings will keep you supplied with tender young leaves throughout winter and with regular harvesting it will continue to crop well into summer! Be sure to remove the flowers to prevent it running to seed.

8. Winter Salads

Salads are not just for summer! Sow tasty ‘cut and come again’ mixes such as ‘The Good Life Mix’ under cover for harvesting throughout the winter months. Plant rows of Lambs Lettuce, Land Cress and Mustard alongside to add a spicy, peppery flavour to your winter salads. For tasty, crisp heads of Lettuce you can also try Lettuce ‘Winter Gem’.

Source: www.thompson-morgan.com

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