Vegetables to grow in the garden over the winter

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Vegetables to grow in the garden over the winter

For keen gardeners, the onset of winter and downing those tools and storing away the mower until spring can leave you feeling a little unsettled – what to do with those hours usually spent pottering in the garden?

Well, there are plenty of lovely vegetables that can be planted in beds so you have lots of delicious homegrown produce to tend to and enjoy over the winter. However, right now is the time so make sure you get to the garden centre immediately for those seeds if you haven’t already.

Vegetables that do well over the winter include:

  • Peas
  • Sugarsnap peas
  • Broad beans
  • Asparagus
  • Onions
  • Spring onions
  • Shallots
  • Spring cabbage
  • Lambs lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Garlic

It is advisable to plant your seeds in a greenhouse or cold frame to then plant out in the garden a few weeks later. However, if you don’t have a greenhouse or cold frame, you can plant outside and simply cover with fleece to protect the seedlings.

And don’t forget that although pests are less of a threat in the colder months, your young plants are still very vulnerable and can easily be ruined by snails and slugs.

Garlic – a great way to introduce yourself to growing vegetables

Never tried growing your own garlic before? Growing garlic is so easy and is best planted in late autumn or early winter.

There are a number of different varieties:

  • Solent White AGM
  • Purple Wight
  • Arno AGM
  • Spanish Roja

Solent White adapt well to the British climate and store well, so are recommended for first time garlic growers.

Planting your garlic

It is tempting to plant supermarket-bought garlic cloves but they may not be suited to the UK climate and may be carrying disease; therefore it is advisable to buy them from a garden centre or via mail order.

Simply break up the bulb and plant the individual cloves about a foot apart from each other and at least one inch deep in heavy soil or 2.5 inches deep in light soil. They tend to grow well in sunny, fertile locations so remember to add fertiliser before planting.

Garlic does not need additional watering so are very low maintenance, but they can get smothered by weeds. Therefore it is important that you remove any weeds on a regular basis before they become established.

Harvesting your garlic

Once leaves have turned yellow, your garlic is ready to be harvested – all you have to do it gently lift the fat, juicy bulbs out of the soil with a fork and leave them in a warm, dry environment until they are dry. They can then be stored in the same way as shop bought garlic until you’re ready to use them!

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