Monday, 10 September 2012

Vol 9: Growing Winter Vegetables

Winter Vegetables

1.       For those of you who think fresh and organic home-grown vegetables are only for those short summer months, you are wrong! Here is a guide to help you maintain your vegetable garden throughout the harsh winter weather and get the most out of it!

2.       Frost is one of the main killers of plants during the winter, having raised beds will help to protect your plants from ground frost, also try covering them with a clear plastic sheet overnight to defend against harsh winter nights and possible snowfall but do not forget to uncover them to allow the flow of oxygen.

3.       Where you put your vegetable garden is the key to keeping the plant success rate up! Somewhere out of the icy northern wind and south facing for sunlight is optimal, if you are unable to do so then ensure that you are able to cover your plants during the coldest months.

4.       Do your research to choose what plants will be best suited, things like broccoli, peas and parsnips are usually successful winter crops. Make sure that you chose plants that are more resilient to cold weather to ensure a more fulfilling produce.

5.       A green house is ideal for plants that will struggle to survive tough winter weather, heating your green house is an even better way to ensure success your crop succeeds.

6.       Crops have different maturity dates, try and time your planting with the weather. For example if the first frost usually arrives towards the end of November crops that require longer to develop should be planted in August to avoid the produce being killed off.

7.       Throughout the winter you can also grow things like herbs inside, having a small herb garden on your window sill is a great way to get fresh herbs that add depth to any dish, keeping plants in the sunlight along with regular watering is the key.

8.       One of the newest trends that is easy and perfect for city goers with limited outdoor space are vegetable pots. By growing vegetables in individual pots means that pots can then be brought inside during the toughest weather. They are also easier to maintain in terms of watering, feeding and weeding and take up minimal space.

Growing winter vegetables can be challenging however it is a great way to get out and about in winter and support yourself when money can be tight around the Christmas period! It also ensures that you and your family are able to eat healthily when it matters the most, to stop the likelihood of coughs and sneezes and are perfect for that Christmas roast!

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