Surviving the ‘Hungry Gap’ – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

My veg patch has definitely been thinning out over the past few weeks. My sprouting broccoli is over, the Red Russian Kale has bolted (I probably should have been watering it these last couple of weeks as it has been very dry, but it’s easy to forget at this time of year!) and all my spring greens and spring onions have now been harvested. My land cress also went over a couple of weeks ago, but was doing really well up until then.

Still, there are a few things that continue to keep me going that I would really recommend planting next autumn if you can…

First up, spinach and chard – I have two batches, one planted last May, and one planted in September. The May plants are beginning to bolt now, so I’ve been harvesting them more or less whole, one at a time. The September plants are, in the meantime, reaching a really good size and I expect them to keep producing a good number of leaves for a couple more months.

Frills Mustard and Giant Red Mustard are also keeping me in good supply of leafy greens – the Frills Mustard is so reliable. I just cut it down to about 10cm every couple of weeks and enjoy the leaves, and they grow back within a few days. From the Giant Red Mustard I harvest the larger leaves leaving the central small leaves to grow. Again, they grow within a few days so I’m enjoying a fairly consistent supply.

Endives are also providing me with a good crop of salad leaves. I’m actually really surprised as the plants got quite frost-damaged in January, and I thought they were done. I ripped off all the damaged leaves, which left just a few baby leaves at the centre of the plants and amazingly they have bounced back (see the photo above) and are doing really well.

Other than that, my veg patch is now more or less bare, and I am excited to get planting soon. Seed potatoes will be going in the ground this weekend….!