For those that would like to keep growing, there are just a few weeks to get plants in the ground. You can either grow a few things to keep you going until the nights draw in and the first frosts arrive, or you can plant up for winter growing to see you through until early spring next year. This article takes you through both options.
We’ve only got a week or so left for last minute summer planting now. Things will grow quicker than at the start of the season because the soil is warm and we still have long daylight hours – you can happily get a few beetroots and carrots in the ground to harvest in late autumn. It’s a great time for planting cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, kale and turnips – plant these extras now for a second cropping in winter. If your lettuces have bolted, get a few more planted now and you’ll be able to pick them within two or three weeks. Chard is good to plant now too for autumn harvesting, and there is another opportunity to plant this in Sept/Oct. Celeriac can go in the ground now to harvest in late winter/early spring.
Most of what you plant now can be harvested by the first frosts or left in the ground and pulled up in winter. If you’re not keen on being out in the veg patch once the clocks go back, but would like to get one or two extras planted to keep you going until then, now is the time to do it. If this sounds like you, choose leafy crops like salads and lettuces, some chard and curly kale along with beetroot and carrots.
This is a window of opportunity for those wishing to grow veggies through winter (incidentally, you could start with one of our Year Round Veg Patches in September, which makes year round growing incredibly easy.) There are lots of interesting salad leaves you can grow, including mustard leaves, corn salad, landcress and winter lettuces. You can plant sprouting broccoli, kale, spinach, chard and cabbage greens in September and October as well. Root veg is limited at this time of year, but turnips and swede normally do well, especially in a milder part of the country. Pak Choi and Tatsoi are great to plant, providing something a little different to enjoy harvesting in late autumn/early winter, and Spring Onions can go in the ground for harvesting in the earliest days of spring.
We normally start shipping these veg plants in early to mid September and keep going until late October. Add plenty of organic matter when planting to give them a nutrient boost, and think about using some kind of protection once the weather turns cold to help keep the soil warmer – horticultural fleece or clear polythene, for example.