How to grow successfully in colder zones

If you’re in a particularly chilly part of the UK but would like to grow your own during autumn and winter, then there are a few things you can do to give your plants the warmth that they need.

  1. Grow under cover. By giving your plants warmth and shelter and protecting them from the elements you’ll give them a much better chance of growing. You’ll find that on drier, milder days they manage to do a little extra growing than they would if they were outside. If you have a greenhouse or polytunnel, then that’s ideal. If not, it may be worth investing in something – our Sunbubbles are a great option.
  2. Use horticultural fleece. This is a quick and easy solution to keeping frost off your plants and will also keep them a little bit warmer. All you need to do is lay a sheet of fleece loosely over rows of plants, ensuring you secure it well at corners and sides to stop it from blowing around on windy days. The plants will still have access to the light and rainfall but they will benefit from the shelter.
  3. Grow in pots. This works well as you can put the pots in the most sheltered spots of your garden, keeping the plants safe from strong winds and frost pockets.
  4. Plant out as early as possible. This will mean that your plants benefit from the extra daylight and warmth of early autumn, getting in a bit of early growth before temperatures drop.
  5. Mulch. Adding a good layer of mulch after you’ve planted will protect the soil from cold frosts and will help to keep the temperature at the roots a little warmer.
  6. Be patient. Many overwintering veg crops will pause whilst the weather is cold but will get growing again in the warmth of early spring, so even if they don’t seem to be doing much it’s worth hanging in there!