Prepare for colder weather

You never quite know whether it will be mild or frosty at this time of year. It’s best to be prepared if you are growing winter veg. The simplest thing to do is get hold of some horticultural fleece. This can be laid down lightly on top of your veg plants (don’t worry, they’ll still be able to grow) and secured at the edges with heavy stones or pegs. What this does is protect the crops from frosts, hail and snow whilst allowing daylight to pass through. It also acts as a little layer of insulation, giving your plants a tiny bit of added warmth which will help them grow. Rain will soak through easily, so they’ll still get all the water they need (and more probably!) It’s also a very effective barrier against pests, particularly pigeons!

If you are growing in pots and containers, then it is a really good idea to move them into a sheltered spot that is less likely to get hard frosts. If you have a greenhouse or polytunnel, or a sunny porch then these are ideal (but you’ll need to remember to water!) otherwise, along the sheltered side of a shed or wall will do the trick.

The last bit of preparation to think about is harvesting root veggies and heeling them in. The reason for doing this is that when the ground gets too cold then it simply becomes impossible to pull them up! It’s easier to pull them up while the ground is soft, and loosely “plant” them in a grow bag or loosened earth that won’t get frosty. You just need to plant them at a 45 degree angle, making sure the root is covered in soil.