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Basil will last till the end of April
Basil will last till the end of April

You can still plant succession crops of basil, rocket, and spinach for an autumn harvest and it is the start of sowing time for some of the winter crops in between. Before we get into that have you seen the new colours of Garlic we have here at Eckards? Pink, Purple and giant garlic can all be planted now and be ready to harvest at the end of winter.

Start preparing your beds and boxes to sow cool season veggies like peas, cabbage, cauliflower and onions to plant as the month turns. Prepare with plenty of compost, bone meal and a generous feeding of BioGanic all purpose

Ready to grow Mint, Basil and Rocket planted now will continue to supply yum right through till the first frost. As the summer rains finish off your first crop add some new ones in to keep the harvest going until the winter root crops go in.

Leafy crops such as Cabbage, spinach and parsley also grow right through winter. So those can definitely go in now and last for months.

Lettuce can be grown as perpetual lettuce where the leaves are harvested instead of cutting off the whole plant. Swiss chard can be harvested quite soon after planting and, like Kale, can be used over an extended period. They will grow in full sun to semi-shade. Look out for the new coloured veined varieties for something different.

A crop of Basil will grow very fast through autumn and are a great one to consider as a quick crop now.

 

Winter lettuce establish in Autumn
Winter lettuce establish
in Autumn
As a ground cover between other succulents
Kale season is here!
Bring on the smoothies

 

Planting tips

As you pull out your summer crops that are ending always prepare the soil to replace the nutrients used up with the last harvest. Veggies love loads of organic matter and home-grown organic veggies even taste better than organic store bought

When planting your veggie garden, dig over the beds, removing weeds and stones and breaking down any lumps. Incorporate generous amounts of compost and BioGanic, rake, and then water thoroughly before planting. The addition of the organic fertiliser helps them grow stronger cell walls which will lead to less insect susceptibility and more importantly more taste.

The increase in interest in edible landscaping has coincided with the introduction of colourful new varieties of vegetables but a mixture of traditional always works well. If you grow what your family eat then its half the battle won. Don't grow cabbages if only one member of the family eats them.

 

Some Winter Veggie Ideas

Leeks
These onion like vegetables are delicious in soups, roasts and thinly sliced in salads. Leeks can remain in seedbeds for two months and should then be planted in good soil and fertilised well. Fortunately, they have an exceptionally long harvesting season as they can be eaten whilst they are still small or when they are mature. Make sure that you sow a generous amount of seed.

Swiss chard
Swiss chard can be harvested quite soon after planting and, like leeks, can be used over an extended period. They will grow in full sun to semi-shade. Look out for the new coloured veined varieties for something different.

Carrots
The crop sown now should be ready for harvest after 100 days and will remain edible for many months. Make sure you space your carrots carefully - the best is to have about 100-120 plants per square metre. These will grow to the best size and then remain in this condition until required.

Cabbages
Cabbage grown for winter are sturdy and compact with very few insects attacking them. The best cabbages are grown in full sun and the best part about them is they need little water and no attention till harvest time.

Beet
March is the best moth to sow beet. This sowing month will provide abundant, good quality leaves, an added bonus for those who enjoy eating beet leaves instead of spinach. If you choose the variety 'Crimson Globe', the leaves will be even more vigorous and the root quality good. The correct spacing for beets is 60-80 plants per square metre. Read more on how to grow the best Beetroot.

Turnips
This is a fast-growing crop and, if you are considering sowing leeks and turnips at the same time, the turnips will be finished when the leeks are ready. You can sow turnips from late March through to April. Turnip tops are also excellent for soups and qualify as another soup ingredient if you pick them fresh from the garden

 

Sow carrots and root crops till the end of March
Sow carrots and root crops
till the end of March
Sow some yum!
Sow some yum!
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