Winter Vegetable Wonderland
Most people think that winter isn’t the best time to grow fruits and vegetables – and although that is mostly true, it shouldn’t put you off your garden completely. There are plenty of winter vegetables that you can grow even during the coldest months.
The main advantage to growing vegetables in winter is that you can harvest them sooner than vegetables grown in spring – especially if you get yourself organized by late summer or early autumn. But don’t worry if you were too busy to think about winter vegetables then (I know I was!), you have lots of options with winter vegetables that can be still sown in autumn.
Onions are easy to grow in the late autumn or early winter – they basically look after themselves during the frosty winter months. You can put them in the ground and look forward to sweet and tasty onions next summer. Spring onions are another planting option– they are fairly easy to care for, quick growing, and will be ready to harvest by spring. The White Lisbon spring onion is especially suited for winter plating as it is a hardy winter variety.
But do be careful with onions and spring onions during the spring planting season – you don’t want to accidentally injure them in their planting beds, or worse dig them out of the ground by accident! Putting up small markers in the ground after they are planted is a great idea to help make sure that doesn’t happen.
You can also get a head start on spring plantings with an early crop of peas. Autumn sowings of peas such as the Kelyedon Wonder or Meteor variety will ensure that you are harvesting peas about a month earlier than other varieties. You can also plant the Austrian variety, whose tender shoots are also an excellent addition to salads. Most winter peas are quite hardy, and will be able to survive the nippy winter air with a little bit of love and attention.
Perpetual spinach makes an excellent winter crop that will produce tasty salad leaves even during the cold winter months. Early autumn sowings will keep you supplied with tender young leaves throughout winter and. With regular harvesting it will continue to crop well into the summer months. Just make sure you pick out any flowers you find, otherwise the plants will mature faster and reach their life expectancy sooner than expected.