Last week, my blog posts seem to follow a theme of sowing things. When I wasn’t waffling on about ignoring seed packet sowing times, I was waxing lyrical about planting pak choi.
After visiting the plot at the weekend, I began thinking about the other veg I can sow during high summer, especially in those empty, unused rows that nag at me, crying out to be filled.
I planted two more rows of beetroot on Saturday afternoon, to plug some space. Although I love beets, there are only so many of the purple balls one man and his wife can eat, but I like to grow extra to pickle. It’s nice for the plot produce to make an appearance in salads over winter, and with jars of pickled beets at over £1.50 in the shops, it saves me a few quid too.
July has also seen a row and a container of Autumn King seeds going in. I reckon I’ll sow another row of these big carrots before the middle of August, and cover them all in fleece. I did this last year, and not only did they carry on slowly growing, but they kept really well right through into March time. Much better than pulling up and storing in the sand.
Also going straight into the ground will be my ever-reliable perpetual spinach. This chard variety is the winter unsung hero of my allotment, I reckon. It’s good to eat, easy to grow, hardy, reliable, and versatile and you’ll never find it complaining. If this was an Awards Night, perpetual spinach would be picking up the Clubman trophy.
Another veg I stumbled across in recent years is radicchio, an Italian lettuce sort-of-thing. I’ve found it a stubborn so and so, which lasts well into winter, especially if used as a cut and come again crop.
I forgot to dig up last summer’s sowing, and it even came back this spring. The leaves were too tough to be palatable, but it sure showed its true grit to reappear again.
Other salads I’ve enjoyed in winter are some of the oriental varieties, particularly mizuna. This peppery leaf is a real fighter, and it’s only the snow that kills it. However, this winter I’ve got an AcryliCloche® up my sleeve, and hopefully by sitting it over the top of my mizuna I’ll get it to survive even longer.
It seems funny thinking about winter while I’m wandering around in shorts and it’s still light after 9 pm, but the football season’s starting very soon and I’m now sowing spring greens for next year. I’ve started some off in pots tonight and will transfer over to the plot when they get a few inches high.
In many ways, I’m looking forward to winter, so it’s satisfying to start planning for it. I’m going to try overwintering some Early Nantes carrots again and will put out my onion sets in October too.
Not that I’m wishing the sun away, of course. I’ve got tomatoes that need ripening…