Planning For Year-Round Growing and Eating

No matter where you live in the UK, there is a possibility of growing food year round in your garden. There are crops that can survive with just a little protection anywhere in the UK. It may sound strange to be thinking about winter crops at the beginning of the summer, but a little planning now, in June and July, could enable you to harvest some crops right through the winter months. You have to be organised because with some crops, you will have to sow and start growing now in order to get a viable winter yield.


Broccoli SeedlingsJune is the month to direct sow brassicas such as Brussels sprouts, winter sprouting broccoli, kale and winter cabbages in your vegetable patch. Alternatively, if they are already in use, you may wish to sow them on your windowsills or in a greenhouse or polytunnel to transplant later, once earlier summer crops have been removed from certain beds. For example, you could decide to plant brassicas for winter cropping in a bed vacated by garlic, first early potatoes, broad beans or earliest peas, all of which may be harvested or past their best by mid July. It is crucial that you give crops enough time to mature before the first frosts threaten.


LeeksAnother crop to sow or plant out now for a winter harvest is leeks. Leeks can be transplanted in June when grown on the windowsills but can also be direct sown now in vegetable beds in most of the UK. Chicory is another crop that can be sown now to give you a good food source right through the winter months, if you are able to give them a little protection from the worst of the winter weather.


CarrotsYou may be getting excited about the warmth-loving summer crops this month and doing jobs like tying in your tomato and cucumber plants to their supports and watching the first flowers come out, perhaps, on courgettes and tomatoes, amongst other things. Still, do remember to spare the time to think about the rest of the growing year. This will include not just direct sowing or sowing for transplantation of certain winter crops but also successional sowing of crops you may already have planted, such as carrots or mange tout peas or French beans, for instance. Successional sowing can increase the length of your harvest time considerably, especially if you have a polytunnel, cloches or some other form of cover for later crops.


This June in your vegetable garden, do not forget to plan ahead and think not just about the summer months to come but what will inevitably come after them. Make the most of your garden throughout the whole year.


Quick Facts