Don't let your vegetable patch go unused over winter, with a little bit of hard work you'll find there are plenty of things you can grow throughout these coldest of months.
But don’t worry if you haven't already looked at planting over the summer in preparation for winter - there are lots of tasty vegetables that can be still sown this autumn.
There are a number of advantages to growing vegetables in the winter time:
• They can be a great source of vitamins and minerals during winter.
• Growing your own vegetables in herb can save money when supermarkets inevitably raise their prices for harder to source fresh produce during the winter months.
• It uses ground that would otherwise be sitting there empty.
We asked gardening specialists Thompson and Morgan to pick out five of the best vegetables for growing over winter:
Things you can grow outdoors:
Growing out doors will require a little extra effort but it can also be the most rewarding. Most of the vegetables we have chosen will cope well with the winter weather but make require a fleece for some protection should frost threaten.
Onions are probably the easiest vegetable to grow over winter. Hardy and robust, they will mostly take care of themselves.
The only downside is that they most likely won't be ready for harvesting until next summer. 'First Early' is a reliable variety to use, while the 'Electric' is a lovely red onion.
2. Spring Onions
Hardier varieties of Spring onions can be grown over winter. Quick growing, those sown in autumn should be ready to harvest towards the end of winter and early spring. They make an excellent addition to any salad. 'White Lisbon' is an excellent example of a hardy winter variety.
3. Perpetual spinach
If you are looking for a plant that keeps on giving then perpetual spinach is an excellent crop that will produce huge amounts of tasty leaves that can be cut and returned to time and time again. Planting in Autumn will see you be able to harvest right through winter and into next summer. Be sure to remove the flowers to prevent it running to seed.
Things to be grown in the Greenhouse:
Growing outside can be a great way to use your vacant plot, however many plants need more protection during the cold, winter months.
4. Winter Salads
Not just for summer, with a little care and attention rows of Lambs Lettuce, Land Cress and Mustard can offer a great variety of flavours during the winter month. Best of all these ‘cut and come again’ style plants will continue to offer bountiful supplies if they are well looked after.
5. Pak Choi
Looking for something a little interesting to keep you going throughout the winter months then this oriental vegetable is perfect for you.
This plant can serve as dual purpose allowing you to harvest it young as individual salad leaves during winter, or the heads can be left to mature and the stems added to your stir fry recipes.
Pak Choi is particularly wonderful because of how nutritious it is, crammed full of healthy vitamins, calcium and folic acid.
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