What’s next in the veg patch?

family favourites year round veg patch

Now that summer planting time is more or less over, it’s time to enjoy watching your crops grow and harvest lots of veggies for some tasty home grown, home cooked feasts. But don’t forget that autumn is on the horizon and there’s just a small window for planting up some veg to grow during the colder months…

When can I plant autumn/winter veg?

Autumn veg planting is best done from late August to mid-late October before the cold, wintry weather starts to set in. We’re sowing seeds for autumn growing in the polytunnels now and they should be ready to send as plug plants towards the end of next month.

What can I grow during autumn and winter?

There’s an interesting range of veg plants to grow over the autumn and winter months, from oriental leaves (pak choi actually grows better in autumn than in spring) and punchy mustards to more common kales and greens. You can even grow calabrese broccoli over the colder months, as well as turnips. They all become harvestable at different times; some will be ready to harvest this side of Christmas, others can be used as a cut & come again leaf right through from late autumn to spring next year, and a few will just sit in the soil growing slowly and steadily but not seeming to do a huge amount until the very first days of early spring. But in all cases they need to be planted before the first frosts and will benefit from a last burst of warm weather before winter arrives.

Is it difficult to grow autumn and winter veg?

If you haven’t grown anything over the autumn and winter before, then we think you’ll be surprised at just how productive your veg patch can be, and with minimal work. You won’t have to battle so hard against pests and diseases and of course there won’t be so much watering involved. It’s a great idea to arm yourself with horticultural fleece for anything that you’re growing outdoors (you can just drape it over rows of veg to keep them warm, protected and frost-free), and if you do have a greenhouse or one of our sunbubbles then it is well worth planting up your salad leaves and lettuces under cover for a longer crop.

I’m growing summer veg, will I need lots of extra space?

Most things in your veg patch that you planted during spring and summer will reach maturity in August and September. They can be cleared away quickly which helps to make space for autumn planting. That said, you may find that some things in your veg patch take a little longer and that you don’t have much space until October. That’s not a problem – you can always pop your plug plants temporarily in a grow bag for a few weeks before planting them on.