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So your winter garden isn’t ready?  No worries. Did you know that there are lots of vegetables that can be launched in autumn for the winter months?

When you grow, it’s always best to do it without pesticides.  That means that growing organic is the healthiest way to begin, and the kindest approach for the planet. When we farm organic, we protect wildlife.  We’ve found that intensive methods are the primary reason for the decline of wildlife species. 


Cabbage

cabbage

Once you’ve committed to an organic approach to growing vegetables, cabbage is the perfect fall/ winter crop and here are some of the other best vegetables to grow this winter.

There are dozens of sorts of cabbage – they come in a variety of colors and also density and were introduced to Europe almost 3000 years ago, however domesticated forms began to be bred around the 17th century in Germany and the lowland countries. 

Cabbage is a fantastic winter vegetable to grow and can of course be eaten as a side with some butter, while also makes for a great slaw among other things. Well worth growing over the colder part of the year. 


Garlic

garlic

One of the easiest vegetables to grow is garlic.  Plus, there are lots of varieties to choose from. Garlic’s growing season is long.  Therefore, if you grow garlic, it won’t be ready to harvest until the upcoming summer.  However, fresh garlic is so good, it’s worth the wait.

Fans of baked garlic would enjoy the experience of planting the ‘Chesnok Red.’ This variety has a creamy texture, and it’s lovely for garlic bread.  Be sure to buy your bulbs from a garden center as opposed to the supermarket.  Bulbs from a supermarket may carry disease, and therefore, are not suitable for the British climate. 

When you plant, plant individual cloves making sure the tips are 2.5 cm, or 1 inch, below the surface of the soil.  This will give them room to grow. Once the leaves have turned yellow, you can harvest the bulbs. When harvesting, be sure to carefully left them using a fork.  Then lay the bulbs in a dry, airy place. The bulbs can be stored in a dry area at approximately 5 to 10 Celsius (41 to 50 Fahrenheit) until you’re ready to use them.

Onions

onions

Growing onions from baby onions, called sets,  is easy. It’s easy because these plants will look after themselves over the winter months.  Onions also have a long growing season, and like garlic, will be ready next summer.

A yellow-skinned onion variety is “Fist Early.’ A vibrant red onion variety is ‘Electric.’  Plant these with mint to avoid onion flies. 

Be sure to plant your sets 2 cm (1 in) deep.  When you do this, only the tip of each set should poke out of the ground.  This also gives them enough room to grow. 

When the foliage turns yellow and topples over, your onions are ready to harvest.   Be sure to lift the foliage before they die down completely. Then, place them on a rack outdoors in full sunshine, or you can place them in a ventilated greenhouse to ripen.  This should take about two weeks.  


Broad Beans

beans

Another vegetable that is great to grow in winter are broad beans.  These will be ready in time for spring. Good autumn varieties to try are ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ and ‘Super Aquadulce.’ These varieties establish quickly. 

Once your plants have grown sufficiently, pick some tops to cook before the plant’s pods are forms. This process helps to delay pod production and stagger your crop.  Try the tops wilted with a bit of vegan butter. 

To sow the seeds, start with open ground and plant in individual rows at approximately 45 cm (18 in) apart.  Or you can try double rows that are at least 23cm or 9 inches apart, leaving 60cm (2 feet) in between each double row.  If you are working with raised beds where you don’t need space to walk between rows for picking, you can space all rows 23cm (9 in) apart. 

Once the pods have started to swell inside visibly, you should harvest them.  However, don’t do it all at once. Do it in stages beginning with the lowest pod. 

Peas

peas

When it comes to peas, plant them in autumn, and they’ll be ready for spring. Try ‘Kelvedon Wonder’ or ‘Meteor.’  These two varieties are incredibly hardy. Plant them soon, and you’ll enjoy harvesting them three to four weeks before other gardeners who plant theirs in the spring. 

To proceed, make a trench that has a flat bottom.  Then evenly space the seeds. Cover them with soil and lightly firm. You will find that as the plants scramble up, you’ll need to support them.  Do that through the use of trellis, netting, or bamboo canes. 

Once the plants flower, they’ll need sufficient water.  The pods can’t swell appropriately without adequate water.  The pods are ready to harvest when they are well filled. As a gardener, you must pick them regularly to do it properly.  Otherwise, the plants will stop producing pods and flowers. 


Asparagus

asparagus

We all know asparagus has long been considered an ultimate gourmet vegetable.  We love to grow it, but growing it requires concerted patience. How much patience?  It takes two years before the taste and texture can be enjoyed. Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that will need a permanent place in your garden.  Therefore, you must make the soil entirely free of weeds. 

The asparagus plant enjoys good drainage.  Therefore, plant it in trenches approximately 20cm (10in) deep by 30cm (12in) wide. Also, be sure to fill the bottom of each trench with garden compost or well-rotted manure.  This will help feed the plant for years to come. Then, form a ridge along the length of the trench with mounded up excavated soil on top of the manure.

You can find most varieties as bare-root crowns.  These are put on top of the ridge. Their roots will drape over the edges. The asparagus plant needs lots of space for the coming years.  Therefore, be sure to place them 45cm (18in) apart. Then, be sure to cover the crowns with lots of soil. Before you water, be sure to firm them into position.

Although you may want to harvest the spears during the first season, resist the temptation.  You need to let the plants develop foliage. When you do that, you help the plant become a stronger and healthier plant. 

In the second year, during April and May, a limited crop of spears can be harvested once they reach 15 cm (6in) tall. The spears should be cut individually at approximately 2cm below ground level. By the third year, the crop can be harvested. Sure, it will feel like a long time to wait, but it’s worth it.  You can have tasty asparagus for up to 20 years. 

The majority of winter vegetable plants are not only hardy, but they cope well in cold weather. However, if you fear a hard frost will destroy your plants, consider placing garden fleece over them to give them extra protection. Come spring and early summer, you’ll be enjoying the fruits of your labor.