It’s a pleasure to be more active in autumn. With cooler nights and days and dewy mornings, it’s enough to make one want to get things done, and let’s face it, there’s plenty to do! But while the weather cools, people’s confidence can sometimes also cool as they don’t know what winter hardy veggies they should be planting, so here are some of Oderings’ fail-safe veggies to grow in autumn for a winter harvest.
Doesn’t really need any introduction except to say anyone can grow broccoli, and who doesn’t love to eat it regularly? This fast grower gets to around 60-70cm tall and thrives in moderate to cold climates.
I love beetroot, whether it is raw and grated in salads, pickled, roasted, boiled, or baked into chips. Although traditional beetroot gets quite big, you can also get baby beets, or have a look at the seed range of rainbow beetroot; the colours are seriously cool.
Long gone are the days of mum’s over-boiled cauli. If you’ve never tried a whole head of cauliflower baked, you’re missing out, as the nutty flavour and subtle texture are simply divine. As with all brassica (cauli, cabbage and broccoli among others), an application of lime at planting time will ensure you have solid heads to harvest, often double the size of a normal brassica grown without lime.
Cabbage is packed full of so many important vitamins and while there are many different varieties, we like ‘County Green’, which is a traditional cabbage that can be grown all year round; ‘Savoy’ for a milder flavour in coleslaws; and Red Rooster, which tastes like a traditional cabbage, but let’s face it, looks way cooler.
Many believe that lettuce is frost tender, but in over 90% of the selections this just isn’t the case. The soft-leaf buttercrunch types are often most sensitive to frost, whereas the frilly and hearting varieties will handle frost easily. With all leafy veggies, reduce watering in winter as the water is stored in the leaves, and too much water means more risk of frost damage.
Kale is the king of all the healthy greens. Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet and is loaded with powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, while also helping to lower cholesterol. Include kale in your diet by incorporating it into salads and stir-fries, or as a healthy snack of kale chips or in a smoothie.
Rainbow Carrots – Carrots are the most basic and easy-to-grow vegetables in the garden. In general, carrots offer 20% of your daily vitamin K needs and also have potassium, which helps to reduce blood pressure. Rainbow carrots offer more than just colour and beauty, with different flavours and more health benefits than traditional orange carrots. Tantalise your taste buds, stimulate your immune system, and try some rainbow carrots.
I love baby or perpetual spinach. With so many ways to eat this nutritionally rich, leafy veggie, spinach is one of the superfoods; health boosting and so easy to add to any diet, whether fresh, cooked, or in smoothies.
Well loved because you can cut a few outer leaves, and the plant will quickly regenerate, producing more nutritious leaves for cooking and eating fresh. This crop loves cool weather as heat generally slows down its growth. Make sure you cut off any flower stems as they appear, because once the plants flower, they won’t grow any new leaves.