Guide To Growing Winter Vegetables
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While 24 hour supermarkets and home delivery services can make grocery shopping more convenient than ever, there are still many reasons to grow your own... The post Guide To Growing Winter Vegetables appeared first on My Green Home Blog .
While 24 hour supermarkets and home delivery services can make grocery shopping more convenient than ever, there are still many reasons to grow your own vegetables. In fact, a renewed popularity in allotments means prospective growers are happy to wait years to get to the front of council waiting list to enjoy their own plot. And it’s easy to see why.
Perhaps most obvious is that growing your own vegetables can help improve your family’s health. Not just because there will be more fresh veg to hand, its vitamin content will be at its highest level too. Better still, kids served home-grown vegetables are twice as likely to get their five a day than those who are never given home-grown produce.
Growing your own vegetables in an allotment can also help you save money on your food bills, reduce your environmental impact and provide you with plenty of outdoor exercise. Best of all, home-grown veg fill you with a sense pride that will make even the wonkiest carrot or tiniest potato taste extra special.
As we head towards winter, and increasingly shorter, colder days, it is understandable that many would prefer to be a fair-weather gardener. You may even think that the winter months aren’t appropriate for growing vegetables anyway. But there are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t neglect your vegetable plot during the colder months – and plenty of veg that are hardy enough to cope if you are!
Garlic is an easy crop to grow and there are many varieties that are quite happy over winter. If planted well, it can survive at temperatures well below freezing. To increase the chance of a successful crop, ensuring the plot does not get waterlogged and covering them with a horticultural fleece when it gets really cold can help.
Although growing asparagus has a reputation for requiring a well-maintained bed and the patience to wait a couple of years before they can be harvested, there are many varieties that can be planted during the autumn. Plus, with the right care, they will continue cropping for over 20 years.
There are several varieties of peas with good winter hardiness. Meteor peas have a reputation as a survivor in colder weather and can be sown in the autumn and overwintered for a spring harvest. Remember to protect them from strong winds, though.
Onions, shallots and spring onions
Hardy onions, spring onions and shallots have a long growing season. They can be planted in autumn to grow over winter and harvested in the spring and summer. While overwintering onions aren’t keen on waterlogged soil, they can put up with most that the British weather can throw at them.
As the name suggests, Winter Gem is one such lettuce variety that is tough enough for overwinter production. Although it is unlikely to survive if grown outdoors, it can easily cope in an unheated greenhouse or cold frame and can be sown right up until January. Varieties such as Meraviglia d’Inverno San Martino will grow under a fleece or perforated polythene sheet.
Broad beans, including varieties such as Aquadulce Claudia, are great for autumn sowing for early harvesting the following spring. Supporting them well with cane or sticks will help them endure windy weather, while a cloche will give them the best chance for survival.
While we may not be able to guarantee a bountiful harvest, taking out specialist allotment insurance can help cover the specific needs of allotment associations and plot holders should something unfortunate happen. Shield Total Insurance allotment insurance is able to provide liability cover for injuries, property and equipment damage and peace of mind for allotment clubs or societies.