Growing In The Garden This Winter…
Growing In The Garden This Winter…
Winter can be a difficult time to grow in the garden, as many plants lie dormant. However, there are various winter greens that you can still grow. These are perfect to ‘scratch the itch’ of any gardener who misses the busy harvesting months of summer. The wintery, leafy greens will survive in any weather and will be perfect to add substance to your garden… or even your dinner plate! Some may be perfect for soups, salads or Sunday roasts.
The first green that you could grow is kale. It is amongst one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet and is loaded with powerful antioxidants as well as Vitamin C. Kale is also an excellent way of lowering cholesterol. It is extremely popular to grow in gardens across the country for these reasons, as well as the fact it is suitable to grow over winter. It is not troubled by many garden pests; however it still might be useful to place netting over it, just in case. The seeds should be prepared in seed beds and adequately spaced out.
Chard would also be a lovely addition to any outdoor area. The chard leaves radiate an exotic variety of colours, making your garden look stylish and beautiful over the winter months. When the leaves are younger, they are ideal for salads; however they can be cooked once they reach their full size. You can start a new crop of chard every two week, meaning that you can grow and eat fresh chard all year round. Similar to kale, chard is full of nutrition, packed with disease fighting antioxidants and loaded with fibre!
Spinach is a very popular winter green that can be used in a variety of different meals. It is a versatile crop that provides harvests all year round, even in the winter. It is very easy to grow and very low maintenance, so it is perfect for beginners or for anyone who would like to grow outdoors but can be rather busy. Spinach is one of the highest sources of vitamin K out of any vegetable in the world, which is very important for maintaining good bone health. Spinach is a brilliant addition to so many meals, including: pasta dishes, pizza, soup, salads or curries. Delicious!
Another vegetable that is suitable to grow over winter is onions. Onions are an important part of the cooking process, so to say you have grown your own onions will be very useful. Onions have a long growing season and will not be ready until the summer, so it is important to begin the growing process over winter. There are varying types of onions to grow, including the ‘First Early’ and ‘Red Baron’ onions.
If you sow the correct winter type, cabbages are ideal to grow in your garden. With the correct care and growth, you will be rewarded with large, tasty heads that will be perfect to accompany many different meals. You should space your seedlings around 30-45cm part, this will enable perfect growth of your cabbages. For cabbages in particular, it is important to place these under netting to protect them being attacked or eaten by birds, butterflies or various types of insects.
Potentially a controversial and unpopular choice, brussels sprouts are perfect to grow in your garden over winter. Start sowing them in early February under some sort of protection, such as cloches. These cloches will keep the soil warm and create the perfect growing environment. Plant out their final growing space from between April-June. Similar to the other winter greens, brussels sprouts are high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, meaning there are various health benefits. Although commonly used around Christmas time, sprouts can also be used with bacon, pasta or salads.