The Winter Blues

vegetable growing

Growing vegetables over winter?

You know, where growing vegetables is concerned, the stretch from late autumn to the shortest day seems to go on for ever. I have to confess most of my time has not been spent with my garden lovingly nursing the growing vegetables, but in the kitchen making all sorts of gorgeous stuff from last years produce and putting it in jars. Before Christmas you would have had more chance growing water lilies than growing vegetables in the garden with the rain we had and now look what greeted me this morning. Not exactly vegetable growing weather!

Still, last week we did have the first sunny days after the festive period and that same primeval force that was pushing up my snowdrops also started coursing through my veins. I ventured outside just like an excited young boy on Christmas morning to see what had been going on in the vegetable growing department over the last couple of months and I have to say I was not disappointed.

vegetable growing

Asparagus, ideal for growing vegetables over winter

The asparagus crowns are just starting to show. I did venture out at the beginning of December to cut back the old growth and top the soil off on their container, as the shoots had started to poke through. Now as you can see they are showing through nicely. This is their second year so they will be left this year with no cropping again to give the root system a good chance to mature. Next year though, whoopy, it will be full on cropping and loads of lovely succulent shoots.

vegetable container

Cabbages – perfect when growing vegetables over winter

Cabbages look good. It seems the full scale cat protection I had to erect last autumn has not only stood the weather but also kept the mangy critters at bay. By the look of these, if the weather gods are kind to us they will be ready for harvest in time to use the soil for some sort of summer crop – haven’t decided what yet.

growing vegetables

Look at that purple sprouting broccoli, got to be my favourite over winter crop. The flavour of home grown is absolutely divine and although mine are in a raised bed they are a great brassica to grow in a vegetable container

growing vegetables

And wow, garlic in abundance along with loads of poppy seedlings – a sure sign of freshly distrubed earth. For those that don’t know here comes some trivia. That is how the poppy became the amestise symbol. They grew in profusion in the distrubed earth of the battlefields or World War I.

growing vegetables

So, excitement over and a little smugness that everthing appears to have done as well if not better than expect, its time to open up the seed box, rummage around and plan for the year to come – armchair gardening, I love it. Nothing better than being snuggled up to the fire seed catalogue in one hand and a piece of toast in the other topped with my homemade lemon curd from my Gran’s old lemon curd recipe – can’t beat it!

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