Well a lovely mild October has turned into a horrible wet November and my plans for getting in some veg to over-winter have been scuppered for now! Last year I planted shallots (Grisselle) and onion (Radar) sets, garlic (purple Wight) and broad beans (Sutton) all in November. All grew really well, within a few weeks the beans were a few inches high and the sets had lovely green shoots on them that saw them right through the winter including a pretty heavy snowfall in February (for Salisbury area that is – we don’t often see snow around here!). We were eating broad beans in April and the onions, shallots and garlic were lifted at the end of June (some of the garlic and shallots are still in store). This time round I’m tempted to leave it until March, if it dries out over the next 2 or 3 weeks I may have a go. When I plant my sets I raise the soil up into a long mound and put the sets in about 4″ apart – the theory with the raised soil is more warmth and better drainage. I then cover the area with low net to keep the birds off, removing when the shoots are a few inches high. Well worth getting what you can in now as you reap the benefits next spring and have an additional area for sowing around July time when you lifted the onions. I’ll post some photos if I manage to get them in in the next few weeks.
Veg currently in the ground on the plot are leeks, carrots, spring & savoy cabbage, purple sprouting broccoli, kale, chard, swede, brussel sprouts, parsnips and butternut squash. All can be harvested now bar the purple sprouting which will be ready in late winter/spring (really looking forward to that as last year’s crop was devasted by caterpillars and pigeons – not this time round, the crop has been netted and plants range from 3-6′ high already. We ate the first of the brussels the other day and they were superb, well worth the wait!