You might think that the grow your own season is over after you’ve picked the final crop of tomatoes, but there’s a lot more you can grow even in the depths of winter.

Grow your own – even in winter!

Onions and shallots

They’re so easy to grow that they’ll almost look after themselves through the winter. Plant in November and harvest next summer to flavour soups and casseroles

Spring onions

On the other hand, these quick growing winter hardy onions are perfect for the less patient gardener! They’ll be ready in spring to chop into salads and stir fries

Broad beans

These hardy plants can weather cold but protect with a cloche if it falls below -10 degrees. You’ll be tucking into a nutritious early crop by springtime

Brussels sprouts and kale

Both are hardy and made of stern stuff, withstanding frosts up to -15 degrees. You can harvest right through the winter just make sure they’re in firm ground to withstand the wind

Peas

Sow a hardy variety in November, then you’ll be feasting on peas a whole month earlier than ones sown in the spring

Coming in from the cold

  • If you don’t have a garden, there are lots of growing options indoors with plants tucked away in a sunny corner or windowsill.
  • Winter salad leaves like rocket or chard to cut and eat all through winter
  • Spice up your cooking with fresh herbs like oregano, chives, thyme, parsley, mint and rosemary 
  • Spinach leaves are ready to eat all winter. Be careful to use a free-draining pot
  • Choose a smaller variety of carrot and a deep pot for a sweet early harvest

Make your own cloche

A cloche protects your plants from cold temperatures as well as pests and disease.

Make your own by cutting the bottom off a clear 2 litre bottle just above the ‘feet’. Remove the lid on warmer days for ventilation or keep it sealed for warmth when the temperature drops. you can see one like this in the top left image above.