Charles Dowding - tips for growing winter vegetables

Five top tips – growing winter vegetables

Organic veg grower and no-dig pioneer Charles Dowding shares his top tips for growing winter vegetables.

The phrase winter vegetables can be misleading, beginners may imagine plants thriving in the dark, cool months. Actually, new growth is slow and needs a strong root system, which is developed from sowing much earlier in the year. For example, the best time for sowing onions and parsnips ready for a winter harvest is March, so don’t leave it too late to prepare for winter crops.


Sow at the right time

Corn salad
Corn salad

Make sure that you sow each vegetable at the right time. For example, if you sow corn salad in early August, the harvest will come before winter and the plants develop mildew on the leaves, because conditions are often too dry for them. They are healthiest when the surface soil is moist all the time, as in winter, because their rooting system is very shallow.

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