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