Best Veg to Grow During the Colder Months
Those new to gardening may be forgiven for thinking that growing vegetables is reserved for the warmer months only. Whilst spring and summer are certainly considered the seasons of abundance, there’s also a wealth of veg to grow in the colder months.
Not all crops will survive the tough temperatures of late autumn and winter, but there are plenty of hardy, robust vegetables that thrive in these conditions. We’ll let you know some you could try and how to get them looking their best when it’s time to harvest.
A staple winter vegetable, cabbage can be enjoyed raw, cooked or preserved, and is full of a rich, earthy flavour. To give each plant enough room to grow, buy some modular trays and sow one seed per tray in moist, fertile soil before placing it under a sunny windowsill. When your cabbage plants have five or six leaves, you can transplant them to their final growing position, where they’ll take approximately four to six months to grow.
Remember to keep them well-watered throughout and protect them from cabbage white butterflies by covering them in a thin netting. This hardy and easy-to-grow plant is a great vegetable for colder months, and an ideal one to try if you’re a beginner.
Carrots are a delicious roast dinner essential you can grow in the colder months. Find a sunny spot to (sparingly) sow your carrot seeds directly into the ground, give them a thorough watering and they should germinate in a couple of weeks. Well-drained but moisture-retentive soil will yield the best results.
Carrots are great cold month veg to grow as they don’t require much care at all – they will stand in the ground until you harvest them, so can be picked all year round. The main danger to your plants is carrot root fly which can destroy your crop if you’re not careful. To avoid this, cover yours with a light fleece and secure it at the sides.
Onions and shallots
Forming the base of many of our favourite home-cooked meals, onions and shallots are extremely versatile and are great winter veggies to grow as they mostly look after themselves – all you need to do is plant them! They can grow from seeds, but the easiest (and fastest) way to grow them is to plant immature bulbs called sets.
To plant, gently push them into loose, composted soil about 2cm down, so that only the tip is showing at the surface. Water regularly, weed and remove flowers. Just bear in mind that they do have a longer growing period and autumn-planted sets won’t be ready to eat until next summer.
Perpetual spinach is an earthy immune-boosting food that produces a high yield, meaning that you can keep cutting and it’ll keep growing back! Plant yours in August or September to harvest from December to January.
Start by thinly sowing your seeds directly where you want them to grow (fertile soil is best) and water liberally during dry periods. A few weeks later and your plants will begin to appear. Your seedlings may need some protection from the harsh winter climate or from birds, so invest in a cloche or fleece. Remember to cut off flower heads to encourage the plant to grow leaves, not flowers.
We hope you enjoyed reading about the best vegetables to grow this season. If you have the desire to grow your own fruit and veg but lack the space to do it, why not stretch your green fingers at an allotment instead? Discover our top tips on how to get started here.