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Village Food & Drink

Plan ahead to enjoy home-grown fruit & veg all year!

Posted on June 17 2009 at 2:52:33 0 comments

Summer is the time when gardeners can relax a little and take time to enjoy the fruits of their labours from the spring.

What could be better than relaxing outdoors as you drink in the sights, sounds and smells of an English garden?

However, even though most of the hard work is done, now is not the time to rest on your laurels if you want to continue to enjoy and harvest your own fruit and vegetables well into the winter and through to next spring.

Many of us have been having a go at “growing our own” this year and the weather has helped us all, novice and experienced growers alike, to achieve some really good results. But did you realise that you can continue to enjoy that just-picked taste right through the winter?

If you grew you own potatoes in containers you will shortly have some empty pots as you should be about ready to enjoy those delicious home-grown new potatoes. You can enjoy that taste again sooner than you think, if you pop down to your local garden centre and buy some new season’s seed potatoes ready for planting now and harvesting at Christmas. A perfect accompaniment to Christmas lunch!

You can have a go at growing your own sprouts, carrots and parsnips too, as well as winter cabbage, cauliflower and leeks. Look out for the baby plants in your local garden centre and get planting.

Don’t forget that salad crops like baby spinach and rocket are very quick-growing and give you a fresh taste of summer even in the darkest days of winter, given a little protection – and some varieties of lettuce, like Winter Density, can be grown right through the winter.

Some winter crops, like potatoes, will need protection from frost so they are best grown in containers which you can easily protect with fleece or move into a greenhouse or conservatory.

Others, like winter cabbages and leeks, are perfectly hardy and would be ideal to fill that raised bed or space in the veg patch where you have harvested summer crops. Most winter vegetables are slower to mature than summer crops, though, so don’t leave it too late to get planting or they won’t have time to mature before the winter weather arrives.

You could also spend a little time planning out your fruit garden while you relax. Autumn is a great time for planting fruit, so have a look at the fabulous range of soft fruit and fruit trees available.

From blueberries to peach trees, there’s a whole host of delicious types and varieties. Many can be grown successfully in containers, so visit your local garden centre for advice on what to plant where – and get planning ready to start planting in September.

Neil & Nicci Gow of Fresh@Burcot Garden Centre


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