We still have a few weeks, and the window for autumn planting usually closes around 20th October, give or take a few days and depending on the weather. If you’re unsure where to start with autumn planting, then here are our top 5 suggestions.
Planted out in autumn, you can expect cavolo nero kale to see you through well into summer next year. It is very hardy and withstands frost and snow well. The plants will be quite small over winter, but you’ll still be able to harvest leaves quite regularly, making it a good source of winter greens. By early spring, you’ll see some good growth and get a good supply of leaves at a time when there is little else to harvest.
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
This is a good one to plant and forget about until spring… as long as you cover it with some mesh netting, to protect from pigeons and any last butterflies, and protect from slugs, then there is very little else it will need until it begins cropping in early spring. You can then enjoy harvesting regularly, and often this falls over the ‘hungry gap’ when most winter crops are over and summer crops have not yet begun.
This is such a useful vegetable to plant in autumn, for a steady supply of tasty greens over winter and on into spring. You should be able to start picking leaves quite quickly, often from as early as November (if you plant in late Sept/early Oct) and the plants are surprisingly hardy, tolerating harsh frosts well. They will normally carry on growing into spring, before flowering, so you get a long time to enjoy eating the leaves.
Marvel of Four Seasons Winter Lettuce
This winter lettuce will cope with any conditions that the UK throws at it! It’s a very pretty, tasty red lettuce that should be harvestable before Christmas if mild, especially if grown under a cloche or fleece. You can harvest outer leaves through the season, or wait until the plant reaches maturity and forms a heart in late winter. It is definitely our pick of the winter lettuces!
We offer Winter Green Cabbages that you can harvest in winter and Spring Green Cabbages that you can harvest in early spring – both are great options for planting in autumn, and you can plant out both, or just choose one depending on when you would like to be able to harvest. We find that they are a good source of crunchier cabbage leaves, great for adding some green to a Sunday Roast during the colder months.