The photo above shows a mature kale plant that was planted out as a little seedling in May 2020. Now that the broccoli-like flower head is forming it’s reached full maturity so we’ve harvested the whole thing, which would normally mean that there’s not more kale to eat from the veg patch. But by planting twice a year, you can enjoy your own homegrown kale all year round…
Pictured left is some kale that was planted out in late September (red russian bottom left, cavolo nero top right). It has grow reasonably slowly over the autumn and winter months, but it has now reached a point where we can happily harvest a few leaves from each plant. Just as the May plants come to an end, the September plants start cropping. It’s perfect timing, and this is why we always try and encourage people to have a go at growing year round veggies.
Even if you don’t have much time or energy to tend to the veg patch during the cold, wet winters, growing a few things that you can harvest in early spring, like kale, spring cabbages and spring onions, is such a good idea – you don’t even need to look after them much over the winter as there are fewer weeds and pests to contend with, and they get plenty of rainwater!
Here’s a quick two-planting plan for you to follow this year:
Some veggies can only be grown during the spring/summer months – beans, peas, sweetcorn, tomatoes, chillies, squash, and courgettes to name a few – but other plants can be grown both during spring/summer and again in autumn/winter. These are listed below, with planting and cropping times.
Some of the cropping times will depend a little on the weather – if it is particularly hot during the summer some plants may bolt, or if it is particularly cold in the winter, some will be slower to grow. So just use it as a rough guide and see how you get on. Alternatively, choose one of our Year Round Veg Patches which make it all very straightforward for you!!
- Cabbage – Plant in April/May for a harvest in autumn, and in July for a winter harvest. Then plant winter green cabbage and spring green cabbage in September/October for a late winter harvest for the winter greens or spring for the spring greens.
- Cauliflower – Plant in April/May for a harvest in early autumn, and again in June/July for a harvest in late autumn.
- Sprouting Broccoli – Plant in April/May for a late summer harvest, and again in Sept/Oct for a spring harvest.
- Mizuna – Plant in April/May/June for a summer and autumn crop, and again in September/October for a winter and early spring crop.
- Wild Rocket – Plant in April/May/June for a summer and autumn crop, and again in September/October for a winter and early spring crop.
- Kale – Plant in April/May for a supply of leaves from late summer through to late winter, and again in September/October for a harvest late winter through to summer.
- Mustard Leaves – e.g. Frills Mustard, Giant Red Mustard – Plant in April/May/June for a summer and autumn crop, and again in September/October for a winter and early spring crop.
- Spring Onions – Plant in April/May for an early summer crop, then plant more in June/July for an autumn crop, and finally plant more in September/October for an early spring crop.
- Spinach & Chard – Plant in April/May for a supply of leaves from mid summer through to late winter, and again in September/October for a harvest late winter through to summer.