Slow growing winter veg?

We’ve received a few queries recently from customers who are finding that their winter veg is growing slower than expected. These are the 3 questions/pieces of advice that we can offer if you’re experiencing the same thing.

  1. Are your plants getting as much sunlight as possible? It’s easy to forget that these will be that much lower in the winter, and to plant things in a spot that gets loads of sun in the summer months, but that remains in the shade during the winter. This is particularly prominent if there are tall trees/fences/buildings surrounding your garden. If this is the case, then you may find it beneficial to carefully dig up plants and move them to an area that gets more sun. Obviously if they are in pots you can simply move the pots, which is much easier!
  2. Is there enough drainage? At this time of year it is easy for soil to become waterlogged, and if it does it can really stunt the growth of plants. If growing in pots, try raising the pots up off the ground by placing them on a pallet or some bricks. This will allow the water to drain out of the bottom more easily. If they are in the ground, are you able to make some extra drainage somehow, by digging a drain so that the beds don’t get waterlogged in the first place?
  3. Are they sheltered from wind and frost pockets? Most winter veg are fairly tolerant to frosts, but they will still grow better in warmer conditions. And all veggies are a little fragile in high winds, so trying to keep them sheltered from the wintry gales will really help them to thrive. If you can’t move the plants, perhaps you can bring the shelter to them – a cloche or mini fleece/poly tunnel will really help.

If none of the above applies to your plot, then it may simply be that the plants haven’t managed to get a sufficiently strong root system down yet, or even that your expectations of how quickly things should be growing are slightly off. There are a few related blog posts below that may help a little further…

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