This is just a quick one to remind everyone that Summer is not the only time of year to grow vegetables for yourself and family, many leafy crops can be sown now or soon for over-wintering or supplying fresh greens during the cold months!

beets

Leafy Crops for Winter Vegetable supply

Some plants are intended to over-winter so that in spring after they have been spending the last few months establishing an extensive root network, they take to the new warm weather and pump out loads of delicious crop for us well before the Spring sown annuals are even out of their nursing trays! However, there are plants that will also supply food during the course of Autumn and Winter …

  • Garlic:

There are quite a few things you can plan for now, the best time to sow Garlic is in November as this ensures larger bulbs. There are specialist companies that provide Garlic via online mailorder but you could also just try a small patch of store bought cloves to see how they do! All 50-60 of the Garlic I grew this year were from Fruit and Veg shop bought bulbs, they did okay in my opinion. Plants which can follow Garlic include Tomatoes and even Pumpkins in the place of the harvested bulbs, I do however advise my readers and followers to research more options if possible …

  • Broad Beans:

Broad Beans ‘Flava flava’ can be sown September / October to over-winter for an early harvest in Spring, this mostly means that they should not be heavily affected by Black Aphid as Spring sown plants usually are. You can plan another Summer crop to grow in the place of the Broad Bean plants which you will remove after harvesting the bean pods, this is known in Vegetable Gardening as ‘Catch Cropping’ – effectively using a space for more than one crop over one year / season period.

  • True Spinach:

True Spinach, as opposed to other similar plants such as Perpetual Spinach (Another one to sow before Autumn for possible winter harvest) or Leaf Beet can be sown early to mid August for possible Autumn harvests (depending on your climate), anything sown later will mostly provide good yield in early Spring.
Similarly, Swiss Chard or Rainbow Chards should supply leaf and stalks in Autumn and perhaps Winter as well.

  • Round Seeded Pea varieties:

Round Seeded Peas (there are two types of dry seed, Round and Wrinkle Seeded) Round seeded varieties are hardier and the dry seed does not have any signs of a wrinkled skin. These can be sown September / October for an early harvest in Spring or in January onwards if you missed the Sept / Oct sowing period.

  • Winter Lettuces:

There are a decent number of Lettuce varieties which are quite hardy not only in unheated polytunnels and greenhouses but also outdoors, the best place to look for seed of this sort would be a heritage / heirloom seed supplier as they are likely to stock a few varieties, buying a cloche or mini polythene tunnel won’t be a bad idea as it keeps the cold winter winds from harming your plants. Check Salad Endive out for a year round easy to grow crop, another favourite with some gardeners is Lamb’s Lettuce AKA Corn Salad, this is a great plant to grow in a self-seed bed (A bed where you allow the plants to self seed as to reduce your own workload and allow nature to decide the ”sowing date”.

  • Oriental Greens:

Many oriental leafy vegetables are good for growing and supplying a decent yield in winter, varieties such as: Mizuna, Pakchoi,Tatsoi, Mispoona, Chinese Cabbage and Mibuna are all good.

  • The Hot / Peppery Greens:

Mustard Greens are very hardy, Rocket salad (Arugula) are a great plant to grow late Summer onwards as  the cooler weather will decrease the chances of the plants bolting.
Another good All Year, easy to grow green is Land Cress, placed in this category as it is a little spicy.

  • Windowsill Plants in Pots:

I always say people MUST experiment!! A few years back I grew a couple Tomato ‘Minibel’ (Small Cherry like, Pot Bush Tomatoes) in Terracotta pots indoors on my sunniest windowsill. I got perhaps 20-40 small mini-cherry tomatoes off of each plant during the season in your typical English Winter!

This year I will be growing a Cucamelon (As well as two Minibels again) in a slightly larger Terracotta pot on the same windowsill although with a mini bamboo trellis frame to support this Cucumber relative (Climber) keep an eye or follow this blog to see the results.

I know this list can still be expanded … however, I got lazy 🙂

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Comments
  1. Helen says:

    I’ve found chillies do well in winter on a windowsill – maybe simply because they are less likely to attract greenfly.

    Anyway, your post reminds me that I need to get on with sowing some pak choi. It doesn’t do too well in my garden, not least because cabbage white always seem to find a way of getting to it, but I’m going to try it in a pot this year to see if that helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeffpermie says:

      Hey thanks, are they Autumn sown Chillies or Spring / Summer that you moved indoors?

      It’s been ages since I grew Pak Choi, I never knew they were victims of the Cabbage Whites, wondering now if they fall into Brassica family? Mine were always good until the morning of discovering that some slugs made a guerilla attack on them!

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      • Helen says:

        Yes, pak choi is in the brassica family…. I started these particularly chillies in the spring (they’ve stayed indoors) but sometimes I start them later. For some reason they don’t seem to mind the dark – or maybe it’s just the look of the drawer!

        Liked by 1 person

      • jeffpermie says:

        I’ve seen some videos online where people have over-wintered chillies in their polytunnels (I’m assuming heated polytunnels), If I remember correctly he mentioned that particular variety was a biennial.

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  2. skyeent says:

    There are quite a few seeds that do better sown in autumn because they need winter cold to germinate. I keep forgetting to sow my siberian purslane seed, so I must look out what else needs sowing now. Thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeffpermie says:

      Hey thanks for the comment ( I hardly get much interaction here ), also thanks for the new plant info. I’ll keep that one in mind, I’ve also heard about Mashua and didn’t ever realise it is tuber producing! (had a quick squiz of your blog posts) they look seriosuly like Oxalis, if you have ever grown them, which one for you gives a better yield? Personally I’m only still growing Oxalis purely to keep seed tuber production going and because there is always one that escapes harvest time with the inevitable volunteer/s popping up …

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      • skyeent says:

        I’ve not grown oxalis yet. I only started with the Mashua last year in the poytunnel and was very impressed with the yeild of that – some people don’t like the taste, even cooked, but we found it fine. I think I was put off oca/oxalis by the amount of messing about in the early part of the year that seemed to be required i.e. potting on etc – for my gardening style that doesn’t always work! Ulluco is the other tuber that looks interesting, partly because all parts of the plant are apparently edible. I may well try them both in due course, it’s easy to get over excited and try and do too much.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jeffpermie says:

        Yup for definite! If you decide to try them then get in touch with Mandy at Incredible Vegetables, they have an online shop. I will be posting an interview with her soon, some good varieties including perennials are discussed …

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      • skyeent says:

        I’ve had some seed off Mandy this year- very good germination of Hablitzia Tamnoides and Skirret. Pennard Plants also have some interesting stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jeffpermie says:

        Thanks I took a look at their site, pity they don’t give photo’s of the plants so we can decide where they should be grown. Nice options thouh

        Like

  3. skyeent says:

    I guess you would either know what you were looking for, or look up anything unfamiliar elsewhere to find out about it. The internet is wonderful like that 🙂 I have found their website a bit slow sometimes, maybe they have a poor connection, so that is their way of making it better – reducing data?

    Liked by 1 person

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