Mixed results in autumn – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

I’ve planted quite a lot of autumn veg this year, more than normal because like so many others I’m keen to be as self-sufficient as possible at the moment.

Back in mid to late September (I can’t remember exactly when!) I planted up loads… pak choi, curly kale, turnips, beetroot, spinach, chard, mustard leaves, cavolo nero, and all sorts of salad leaves – wild rocket, mizuna and land cress (my all time favourite!!)

I’ve had mixed results so far, with some things growing really fast, and other things hardly growing at all. The curly kale plugs that I put in at the same time as the pak choi have hardly grown at all. I hope at some point they will get a wriggle on. And the beetroot that I planted hasn’t done much – there are some very small beets but not even 2cm diameter. On the other hand, the sweet bell turnip that were planted at the same time are almost harvestable at about the size of a golf ball already.

The only thing I can think to explain the difference in rates of growth is the amount of direct sunlight that the plants are getting. I think the lack of morning sun (as the sun has lowered in the sky now some parts of the veg patch are shaded in the morning) must be the culprit, but I’m surprised as it is only about 1-2 hours less sunlight that they get. But evidently it is enough to make a difference!