Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Allotment Growing - Autumn and Winter Crops

Allotment Growing - Autumn and Winter Crops
Allotment Growing - Autumn and Winter Crops

One of my new projects for this season is my Winter Garden.

What I hope to do is extend my growing - and cropping - season through Autumn and into Winter.

So I came up with a Winter Growing plan and chose the following crops:

  • Leeks
  • Red Cabbage.
  • Swede.
  • Brussels Sprouts.
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli.
  • Winter Butternut Squash.
  • Autumn King Carrots.
  • Giant Winter Spinach.

Planning for the late season needs to start early - as you need to get seeds sown and seedlings established well before the weather starts to close in.

Allotment Growing - Autumn and Winter Crops - Leeks

First of these crops to be sown was Leeks - sown way back in March. These generally germinate well but take a long time to get going - so they need to go in early. I sow these in deep pots - then transplant into a growing bed when the plants reach "Spring Onion" size - usually around June.

In June I started sowing the other crops -
some in pots to transplant as seedlings, some direct into the ground.

Allotment Growing - Autumn and Winter Crops - Red Cabbage

I grew my Red Cabbage as seedlings in pots then planted them out in June. They are growing on well - not yet hearting up - but they will and I hope to harvest these from October onward.

Next to them I've sown two rows of Swede - the variety is Lomond - which can be grown on and harvested through to February.

Allotment Growing - Autumn and Winter Crops - Brussels Sprouts

At the same time as the Red Cabbage I grew then transplanted some Brussels Sprouts, also growing nicely.

Allotment Growing - Autumn and Winter Crops - Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Last of the Brassicas - Purple Sprouting Broccoli - which should grow on through Winter and start delivering a harvest for picking in February. Growing nicely so far.

Allotment Growing - Autumn and Winter Crops - Butternut Squash

I've grown lots of Squash this year - many will be ready to harvest in early Autumn - but I'm hoping that the Winter Butternut will keep me going with crops a bit later.

I've set aside four of my allotment beds for these late crops - two had Broad Beans and Potatoes growing before - harvested in June. So I'm getting a double crop from the space. I added compost and chicken manure pellets to both beds to restore some fertility.

As my other beds are cleared I'll sow them with Green Manures, as I did last year.

So - hoping for the best for some good eating from October right through to February.
But - as ever - time - and the weather - will tell.

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