Like my garden I tend to thrive through the Spring and Summer months, and as the days grow dark and cold through Autumn and Winter I long for the sunshine again, however I have found that planting and harvesting Vegetables, Salads and Herbs through the Autumn and Winter can lift the spirits and remind me that no matter how dark and cold it gets, Spring always comes. These are the best Autumn/Winter Vegetables and Herbs I have found to plant to see you through the seasons and keep the magic alive in your garden….
Chard/Spinach; Grow like salad leaves, plant 30cm apart, harvest the outer leaves all through Winter, then lightly steam or use in salads. If you can get Rainbow Chard – it looks fantastic with its red stalks and dark green leaves. I plant with regular chard for the contrast.
Spring Greens – If you plant now in the Autumn this will be ready to harvest late Winter/early Spring. Find a sheltered sunny spot with firm soil and plant 20cm apart.
Kale – Not only looks amazing but is really good for you – containing more Iron than Beef! Plant 20cm apart.
Cavolo Nero – Sweeter than Kale and not to be harvested until after the first frost – as they will taste better – plant 20cm apart.
Broad Beans – Sow a little line of Broad Bean seeds now and you could be harvesting Broad Beans by as early as May – use a cloche though when they emerge as they will not like the frost. Plant 20cm apart and 5cm down.
Spring Onion – Plant now for little salad onions or leave until spring for giant golf ball onions – plant 5cm apart if you want the golf balls.
I can’t leave out my beloved herbs – so if you want a winter herb garden…….
Rosemary – (Perennial) is an evergreen and likes well-drained soil if in a container. Cut leaves from the second year when it is established, if it’s in a contained pop it somewhere sheltered.
Sage – (Perennial) Light, dry soil and keeps is leaves, harvest from the edges though if you want to keep it bushy.
Thyme – (Perennial) Light, well-drained soil, Trim after flowering to stop it becoming wiry.
Chives – (Perennial) They will pretty much grow anywhere in anything! When you harvest always leave around 5cm to ensure regrowth. Keep well watered.
All of the above 4 make a lovely winter container herb garden they will stay attractive and practical all year around. Ideal by the back door. Happy winter planting……for an extra tip wait until the New and Waxing Moon from the 23rd October until 6th November.