It could be thought that because the sun doesn’t shine quite so much in the winter months, the vegetable plot is mothballed and shut down until the warmer spring spells in the following year. Oh no, if this were the case, there would be no home-grown sprouts available on the Christmas dinner table!
In actual fact there is plenty to do between now and next year, both in and out of the garden. What better reason do you need than that to put on the warm woollies, get out to the plot, pull up some wholesome root vegetables, wash, chop and dice and get creative with a warming chunky soup in mind! There are still lots of interesting varieties out there to try during this season, so what are you waiting for? Get your wellies at the ready…
Although it’s getting cooler, this month will still see a degree of warmth retained in the soil. We continue to crop vegetables that are maturing and store them appropriately. Some root vegetables such as parsnips can be stored for longer in the ground in a shallow trench or in a damp sand filled box called a ‘clamp’ until needed. Some are perfectly happy sat in the ground outside until you are ready to use them. Pests should be kept an eye on over the winter period as they can decimate crops such as pigeons do to brassicas (the cabbage family). They will mercilessly ravage broccoli, kale and cabbages!
Now is also a good time to consider checking out what the hedgerows have to offer. A bit of wild foraging is fun and also, importantly, free. Look out for rosehips to make syrup with and sloes to make that most warming of winter tipples, sloe gin.