An autumnal classic, cauliflower is one of the best vegetables to grow over autumn and winter. Due to its hardiness, particularly in varieties such as Gypsy or Atalaya. You could even try something out of the box like Graffiti cauliflower and brighten up your brassica colour palate.
Cauliflower thrives best in temperatures between 18 and 26 degrees Celsius, planted in moist but well-draining soil. Autumn sowings of cauliflower are perfect for an early spring harvest. Plant seeds out once the weather is guaranteed to remain cool.
Work a rich fertiliser into the soil at least 2 weeks before planting out cauliflower plants. They’re typically ready for transplanting when a minimum of four leaves have emerged, which is roughly 6 weeks post sowing. Although cauliflowers are a hardy crop, it’s always worth acclimatising young plants to the cold weather conditions by hardening them off before transplanting.
When the weather gets a little tougher on the garden, there’s nothing better than an easy-going crop like Chives which can grow in (almost) any conditions. That being said, they do actually grow best in home-made compost.
Chives will grow happily in containers or the herb garden, taking up minimal space in the process. Chives can also be grown in containers. Grow them indoors (on a windowsill) or outdoors. Seedlings will appear in a little as 2 weeks.
The best thing about Chives is that they’re low maintenance. Just make sure their soil stays consistently moist and they’ll give you a healthy harvest in no time!
Everybody knows autumn is the best time to plant bulbs. And that includes the none-flowering though flavoursome kind, known as garlic. Garlic bulbs are also often planted in spring. However, autumn sown bulbs typically produce larger bulbs and crops, having had a longer growth period. We always recommend gardeners to have their garlic bulbs planted before the Christmas season kicks in. And for top bulbs, treat plants with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser for the best growth.
Tip: Growing 2-3 varieties of garlic to experiment with different flavours, sizes and aromas!
Japanese Greens (Green Boy)
Oriental vegetables are renowned for their ability to withstand chilly weather. So, it goes without question that every autumn/winter garden should include some kind of Japanese greens on their veg patch.
Green boy are a popular variety of Japanese leafy greens which resemble Pak Choi in appearance and spinach in taste. They take longer to mature in cold weather. 60 days in winter, compared to 35 days in summer. Nonetheless, it’s widely grown in Japan because of its hardy nature and ability to grow year-round. For a winter harvest, grow these greens in a greenhouse.
Another winter resistant vegetable is Kale. If you’re looking for a crop that will survive a snow blizzard, this is your guy. Kale is probably the toughest brassica of the bunch and is known to survive even the worst of winters and a host of plant diseases other brassicas are typically prone to.
Despite this, Kale still needs TLC to grow into a healthy plant. Seedlings should be planted into well-draining but moisture rich soil (mulch to achieve this) in an area where they will get partial or full sunshine.
Spinach is a crop which produces all year round, which means it’s always an option to grow in the autumn/winter garden when other greens are scarce. A little nitrogen-rich fertiliser, moist soil and full sunshine is all you need to grow yourself a plentiful supply. Typically, it’s best to sow seeds directly into their cropping site because spinach seedlings are challenging to transplanting.
While Pak Choi might appear to be part of the leafy greens’ family but of Japanese origin, it is, in fact, part of the brassica plant family.
And much like its brassica family members, Pak Choi loves cool autumn/winter temperatures ranging between 7 and 23 degrees Celsius. Pak Choi grows best in partially shaded areas. This helps to prevent bolting from excessive exposure to heat and sunlight.
Remember what we said about brightening up your brassica patch? Pak Choi come in deep purple and red varieties too!
Tip: In the autumn/winter garden, Pak Choi grows exceptionally next to its winter hardy companion, Kale.