It’s already time for winter vegetables to be growing in the garden, and I sowed the winter lettuces at the weekend. Winter Crop and Winter Density – one a cos type and one a looser, more butterhead type. I did them last year and put cloches over the ones out in the soil and they did really well, not looking like much but coping with all the snow and sub-zero temperatures (although ours werent as low as some) and then producing really good lettuces. The ones I sowed in a trough under cover looked great as seedlings and through the snow but as soon as the better weather came they just rotted away, which was sad.
I sowed some radicchio (chicory) at the beginning of August and planted out about fifteen plants at the weekend too. They went out just before we had some heavy rainstorms but they coped well and are looking healthy. I also sowed some endive (frisee) in the soil a few weeks earlier and those are coming up nicely, but the extra fennel only showed one seedling and the corn salad has disappeared entirely. I’ll give them a little longer but they look like the space may be just right for the winter lettuce to be planted out in.
In my ‘winter ‘ bed the celeriac is growng well and I occasionally thin them out slightly as the guinea pigs love the leaves. There is swiss chard growing next to them and the two should go right up to Christmas and the celeriac longer than that if I protect the roots from hard frost. I also have a few beetroot and some rocket in that bed, but they’ll proably be finished in the autumn. The broccoli bed is full of dragon (Tuscan) kale and winter/spring broccoli and I’m thinning those too, again to the delight of the guinea pigs who are particularly fond of black kale, but I also have a great sort of kale pesto recipe so I use the thinnings too!