Thursday 6 October 2011

Winter Crops

I didn't have much growing at the allotment last winter so I wanted to rectify that this year. My brassicas are doing particularly well at the moment, the cabbages are just starting to heart up and the sprouts are just starting to form on the Brussels plants. I've also got purple sprouting broccoli, calabrese, cavolo nero and curly kale. There's lots of top growth on my parsnips so I hope there's lots of growth underground too, they're mine and my daughter's favourites. My leeks are still rather small but there's plenty of time for them to grow, and there's lots of them so we won't be without. I've also done an experiment and sown a couple of containers of carrots. As you can see, they're still very small. I'll move them in to the greenhouse when the weather gets a little colder, though I don't think I'll be harvesting them over winter, I'm hoping that they'll give me an early crop next year. I've sown potatoes in containers over the last few winters but I never got round to it this year, so that's one thing that will be missing on our Christmas dinner this year.

I'm hoping for some gardening weather this weekend as I need to do lots of tidying up in the garden as well as moving the rabbit hutches down from the grass on to the patio. The hutches are moved on to the grass in spring so that the rabbits can be let out in to their runs when the weather is fine, but the grass gets so waterlogged in winter that it's such a hassle to look after them there, so we move the hutches on to the patio for the winter months. The rabbits seem to enjoy this arrangement as they get lots of attention each time one of us either comes or goes through the back door.

After last week's heatwave, the weather has taken a turn for the worse. I've just taken Archie for a walk and I've nearly been blown off my feet, it's so windy. We've had rain overnight, but that's cleared up now and the sun is trying to make a breakthrough. It's still very cold though.


  1. Did the late heatwave change the rate of growth with any of your winter crops?

  2. The wind is crazy here at the moment, we can't walk our usual trail without being pelted by conkers!
    Loki loves it though, she goes bouncing after them.

  3. Your carrots have a high chance of putting a lot of growth before very cool weather set in. Those seedlings look very healthy. I forgot to harvest our over-wintered carrots quick enough that some has already starts to flower.

  4. It's certainly been blowing a gale here! The carrots we have sown in bags are weird. One bag has made far more growth than the others. Same seeds, sown same time in same brand compost!

  5. Me and the plot have a rest over the coming months, but it'll be interesting to see how you get on! Flighty xx

  6. I wish we had enough room for cabbages and brussels. It's blowing like mad here aswell and it was hailing earlier on. It's been an 'in' day.
    Love from Mum

  7. I'm with you on the parsnips. I love them. Most people don't, and I can't understand why.
    Harvested my first Celeriac of the year today - so potato and celeriac mash is on the menu for tomorrow.

  8. Hello Jo,
    Brilliant idea with the carrots, I'm definately going to try that.
    My Mun loathed parsnips because when she was growing up during the war they were used for everything so we never had them. But I like them especially Delia's parmesan baked parsnips.

  9. Hi Jo, thank you for visiting my blog and your lovely comment.
    Your allotment looks wonderfully productive.
    I used to grow a lot of veg, now just a few beans, lettuce, cabbages and tomatoes. I really must make more of an effort.
    Carol xx

  10. Sounds like you are going to have some good winter crops growing....I'm not going to have any apart from garlic and broad beans in this year But I am hoping to rectify that next year and have plenty of greens growing over the winter least that's the plan!!

  11. You have loads of good winter crops that should keep you going for a few months.

  12. It's hard to say if the mini heatwave made a difference to the growth rate as it only lasted a short time, I doodle garden. It certainly helped to ripen my tomatoes and peppers though.

    Archie hates going out in the wind, Kay. Perhaps it would help if he had conkers to chase. The wind's died down now, but we've had a miserable weekend.

    What a shame about your carrots, Malay-Kadazan girl. It's hard to keep on top of harvesting everything at times. I'm hoping that my carrots put on a bit more growth before they're moved in to the greenhouse, it won't be long though now.

    I wonder why that is, Sue. There's sometimes no fathoming why, but it's funny how one bag is growing so differently to the other when all the conditions are exactly the same.

    I don't blame you, Flighty, time to put your feet up when the weather turns cold. I won't be doing anything over winter except harvesting.

    It's been an 'in' weekend here, Mum. It's hard to imagine we were in shorts last weekend. Brassicas do take up a lot of room, you certainly need a bit of space to grow them.

    My hubby and son won't touch parsnips, Mark, they say they're too sweet. I don't force them, more for me. Well done on the celeriac, I've heard many people say it's hard to grow. It's something I've never tried.

    Good luck with the carrots if you do give it a go, Bluebell. Delia's parmesan baked parsnips sounds delicious, I shall have to look it up.

    Thanks for visiting, Carol. I've had my allotment for three years now and couldn't imagine not having it. I'm really enjoying growing my own veg.

    I hardly had anything growing at the allotment last year, Tanya. I made a conscious effort this year so I hope to be harvesting throughout winter.

    I think I could have done with larger quantities, Damo, but we're doing better than we did last year.


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