Okay, so we let the spring and the summer get away with us. We were too busy, we were away on holiday, we just didn’t get organised in time.

Whatever your current excuse for your lack of veggie growing over the summer months, put it behind you and look to the future!

We’re looking today at how to get your veg patch productive in preparation for the Autumn – and even the winter too.


Site prep
You may already have a veg patch in your garden, but if not, make sure to choose an area that is open to sunlight and not too exposed to the worst of the wind.

Next, add plenty of well-rotted organic matter and after digging it over thoroughly, leave it to settle for a few days before you start planting. Let the worms get in there!

Short on Space?
If you’re short on space, it is possible to grow a few hardy vegetables in containers. Start with one of our brilliant planters and go from there. Alternatively, why not invest in a portable raised, or tiered planter from our fantastic range?

What to grow
For an autumn and winter harvest, you want to make sure what you grow is hardy. Generally speaking, it’s the traditional British winter veg that you want to go for, plants like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and leeks all do well over the average British winter and there’s nothing nicer than tucking into your own purple sprouting broccoli on Christmas day.

You can also opt for potatoes. If you get them in the ground now, you might just get a winter harvest. It might also be worth starting off some cut and come again oriental salad leaves but do be prepared to cover with a cloche or cold frame through the coldest days.

How to grow
Growing a winter crop takes a little patience. As with the spring, different veggies have different needs and there is a delicate balancing act between direct sowing, indoor sowing and hardening off, and all the hullabaloo that getting seedlings started entails.

Always make sure to check your seed instructions carefully but as a general rule of thumb, waiting until you are sure you have tough, sturdy mini plants before you plant out – make sure you can see two or four pairs of true leaves.


Problems
The biggest problems faced by winter veg are undoubtedly caused by the increased rainfall of the Autumn season. Our good friend the humble garden slug, loves nothing better than a leafy brassica. Have a look back through for our post about protecting your garden from the worst a slug can offer and make sure your veggies survive – at least until you want to eat them.

Growing vegetables right through the autumn and the winter can be challenging. Gardening in the winter months is tougher chiefly because of the cold, but also because the ground is harder and the motivation to get out there instead of sitting indoors with a nice cup of tea can be hard to find.

Why not prepare the ground of your winter veg patch this weekend?