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What to sow from autumn through into winter

Although the main sowing times are springtime and then late summer, there are quite a few things
that you can sow in the autumn and winter-time, particularly salad leaves and greens


If you have a polytunnel or greenhouse, you will be able to grow more things. If not, you might want to consider investing in some fleece, or even better a mini plastic tunnel (cost about £20) to keep the cold winds off your tender seedlings.

ORIENTAL GREENS - milder greens for salads, or tasty mustard greens
There are a whole range of remarkably cold hardy oriental greens.

Many are good both in salads and cooked - try Pak Choi, Mizuna, 'Pe Tsai' Chinese Cabbage, Mibuna, and Mispoona, all of which can be sown from June through into the winter. We keep sowing small batches every few weeks right through until March, starting a new tray each time we plant out the previous ones into our polytunnel.

If you don't have a greenhouse or tunnel, Mizuna (for salads) and Komatsuna (cooked) are the hardiest of the mild tasting leaves.

Mustard greens are even more hardy than the milder greens - which means that they will keep on growing new leaves even in the worst of weather. Raw they are spicy - so although its nice to put small quantities raw in salads, they're mostly used cooked. When you cook them the heat disappears, leaving a rich, full flavour, with just a little spicy zing. They are especially useful because they grow so well in cooler weather.

KALE
Kale is delicious sown in autumn in a polytunnel for tender baby leaves. We particularly recommend Nero de Toscana for this use, although all the kales will do well.

LETTUCE
Winter lettuce are particularly cold-hardy, selected for low light conditions. Ideal if you have a polytunnel and want winter salads - or outdoors under a cloche or mini-tunnel. Try Winter Marvel and Reine de Glace which can be sown right through into November, starting again with new sowings in January if you can sow under cover. We also start sowing leaf lettuce varieties like Australian Yellowleaf from late February for early crops.


Land Cress (Barbarea verna) is great in salads but can also be eaten cooked as 'creasy greens' or as a pretty much identical substitute for watercress in soup. It is sown in autumn & grown over winter, its a great addition to winter salads!
Also try 'Bianca Riccia da Taglio' Salad Endive, which is hardier than lettuce, and has pretty pale green leaves with a good non-bitter flavour, it can be sown spring, summer or autumn.

BROCCOLI RAAB OR 'RAPINI'
Broccoli Raab is related to turnip - but is grown like broccoli & produces delicious sprouts like a slightly spicy flavoured sprouting broccoli.
Thinnings are also excellent in salads or stirfries. Sow late summer and early autumn for harvest just 40 days later, then start sowing again from early Feb with some protection.


CARROTS
Only for those with a polytunnel, but if you do, and are in a warmer part of the country try a very early sowing for super-early carrots. We sow 'Giant Red' Dark Orange Carrot in late January.

PEAS
Sow round seeded varieties in September and October for an extra-early crop in spring, or from January onwards. Try Hatif d'Annonay as a dwarf variety, or Amelioree d'Auvergne if you prefer a climbing pea.

BROAD BEANS
can be sown in September/October in milder areas to overwinter, as well as in springtime.

GARLIC
We don't supply garlic to sow, but you should still be planting it now - November is ideal, although you can plant any time up until early spring.

 



The Real Seed Catalogue is produced by The Real Seed Collection Ltd , a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.
~ Company No 5924934 ~ VAT No 841181938 ~ DEFRA registered Seed Provider No 7289 ~

Our Unique Guarantee:
We think these are the best seeds you can sow.
We will immediately refund or replace if you are in any way less than delighted with them, even including the flavour of the resulting crop!

Due to daft seed laws, some rare veg seeds can only be supplied to members of our Seed Club. But membership costs just one penny per annum. When we process your order, you will be charged
a penny for a year's Seed Club Membership. For more details see our terms and conditions.

Gardeners Should Save their Own Seed:
Because none of these seeds are hybrids,
you can save your own seed for future use: there's no need to buy new each year.

Saving your own is easy. You will get great seed, and great vegetables adapted to your local conditions.
Do have a go - read the seedsaving instructions we provide with every order, and also on this site.

~ We have sent out over 65,000 sets of home seed-saving instructions!~

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