With concerns around possible food shortages in supermarkets this winter, now is a great time to start growing your own vegetables.
Winter can still be a very productive time in the garden, and when it comes to selecting which vegetables to grow there’s quite a bit of choice. From carrots to kale, onions to garlic and more, there’s a variety you can choose from. Depending on the vegetable, it may have a longer growing season and will be ready to harvest early the following year. Some grow faster though, so you can sow them this autumn to enjoy before the end of the year.
Get planting now and soon you’ll be enjoying fresh, seasonal, home-grown veg year-round.
Best vegetables to plant now ready for winter
- Turnips – A great choice for their ease of growing. They can be sown and planted in early autumn ready to be picked in winter.
- Carrots – Carrots are quite hardy, and can tolerate colder temperatures, even frost to a point. Sow in early autumn and choose a fast-growing variety. Keep them protected, the soil moist, and you’ll have a lovely harvest of fresh carrots to enjoy over winter.
- Rocket – Easy to grow and perfect for adding some peppery flavour to salads. Best sown in autumn to give it enough time to grow and be enjoyed over winter. Younger leaves should be ready to harvest about four weeks after planting.
- Spring Onions – Hardy varieties will grow well over the autumn months. They are a quick cropper, growing in about eight weeks. They are also small enough to be planted as a filler crop amongst other veg.
- Spinach – Spinach will do well through winter, just cut what you need and it grows again. Ensure you remove the flowers to stop it going to seed which would affect leaf production.
- Radishes – There’s fast and then there’s radishes. They have an extremely quick growing time, only four weeks from planting! Plant in the ground and use a polytunnel if you have one to give them a consistent temperature and protection, then watch them grow!
Best vegetables to plant now ready for next year
- Peas – Peas are generally quite hardy, but round pea varieties are better suited to overwintering. Sow them in autumn and they will grow over winter for you to enjoy an early cropping of peas next spring. If height is at a premium, perhaps if you are using a polytunnel, opt for round dwarf pea varieties as non-dwarf varieties can grow quite tall.
- Asparagus – Some love it, some hate it, but it does well over winter. It takes quite a while to establish, at least two years, but you will be rewarded with a crop that can produce substantially for up to twenty five years!
- Onions – Onions and their relative shallots are very easy to grow over winter, so much so that they practically look after themselves. They have a long growing season, so will be ready for harvesting next summer.
- Garlic – Simply plant some cloves in the ground in autumn and you should end up with a full bulb from each the following year. Garlic actually requires a lower temperature to allow the clove to grow and multiply to form bulbs, so this really is the perfect time to grow them.
Packs of vegetable seeds start from just £0.99 at Squire’s Garden Centres.