Let’s talk winter veg: Brassicas, beans and beets

The brassica family like rich soil with well rotten manure or previous season’s compost. I plant brassicas in April and May which gives them a good start before slugs and snails come out of summer hibernation. If these critters do become a problem, I usually break the lower leaves off and put them around the base of the plant. Doing so has proven to me that the snails and slugs will eat what is in front of them rather than climb the plant. This method has successfully saved my plants whilst the slugs and snails have also been allowed their fill! Ten in the evening is a good time to go out and catch the blighters!

Peas and Broad beans are good winter/spring staples and in warmer climates will produce by July/August if sown in April.

I sow two lots of carrots and beetroot – one in April and the other in May. After May the growing season slows down for the months of June and early July as we approach the shortest day of the year. I have found that most things planted in June will just sit in the garden doing nothing until the end of July when we have more daylight hours.

I also sow coriander, rocket, arugula and winter salads at this time of year – this gives me a good harvest through winter until early summer before the heat hits and these plants go to seed.

Happy Gardening, gnomes!

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