Provide the right conditions and there are still a number of vegetable seeds you can sow in the middle of winter.
To boost your chances of success, consider investing in a heated propagator. If sowing in a greenhouse, ensure it’s well-insulated and consider using a heater to stop the temperature from dropping too low. Take a look at our guide to the most useful greenhouse accessories for help choosing these.
The added benefit of winter sowing is that you’ll get a much better succession of harvests later on, compared to the fewer you’d get from spring sowings.
Discover six vegetable seeds to sow in December, below.
Try sowing broad beans in December for a tasty crop as early as May. Sown outdoors seeds should germinate within a couple of weeks and will then overwinter until temperatures pick up in the spring. In cold areas protect with cloches or grow under fleece, which should also help provide protection from mice, birds and squirrels.
Some varieties of onions, such as ‘Setton’, can be sown under glass in January and February, to provide harvests from late summer. However, you can sow in December to give them a head start, resulting in bigger bulbs.
Garlic seeds are tricky to source, but you can plant garlic sets outdoor in mild areas in well drained soil. Traditionally this is done on the shortest day of the year, usually 21st December.
Certain lettuce cultivars, such as ‘Winter Gem’, have been specially bred for their ability to grow at low temperatures and provide a harvest. Sow in an unheated greenhouse or a cold frame.
Lamb’s lettuce, also called corn salad, has been grown and eaten for centuries in the winter months. Simply sow the seeds in an unheated greenhouse, and enjoy the freshly picked leaves soon after.
Mustard greens can be sown in the greenhouse, or on the windowsill throughout winter. The young salad leaves can be used to pep up dishes like soups, salads and stir fries.
Microgreens are the seedlings of leafy herbs and plants that we’d usually allow to grow to full size before harvesting. They can be sown and grown year round and all have the flavour of the fully grown plant. Take a look at 10 microgreens to grow and how to grow microgreens.