what's on your plot in February

What’s on Your Plot in February? The Winter Veg That’s Worth It’s Weight in Gold

I love growing summer veg. Compared to winter fare, they’re so glamorous. Tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers, and all the other heat-loving plants are just tremendous.

However, every February when the plot is almost bare and there’s hardly anything to pick, I realise all over again just how important the hardy winter veg are. Any veg that is harvestable now is worth its weight in gold.

At the moment, I’m mainly harvesting leeks, spring greens, kale, cavolo nero, and chard, with some unexpected bonus beetroots thrown in. All of these veg are easy to grow and will last all through the Winter.

I always make sure I sow as many leeks as I can as they will sit in the ground without complaint. Some people like to dig them up and store them in a trench, but I’ve always found this unnecessary. They’re such wonderfully versatile veg, and one of my favourite crops to grow.

I make sure I put a late leek sowing in too. These leeks remain smaller than your main crop through the Winter, but the warmer weather and longer days give the plants a growth spurt. I found this trick out by accident, but harvesting leeks into June sure does help out with the hungry gap.

Spring Greens
Spring greens (aka winter cabbage) rock my world during this period too. They’re almost indestructible, and I’ve even experienced plants lasting into the following winter. Sowings between April and August will provide delicious, sweet leaves all through the colder months.

Curly Kale
And where would I be without curly kale? Non-Winter has ever killed this brilliant leafy green in all my years of growing. So long as I can keep the whitefly off my kale in the summer, I get a solid supply of kale from 4 plants.
Being a cut and come again crop, the plant will even shoot replacement leaves with your harvest. You can’t ask for more than that.

Cavolo Nero
Recently, I’ve discovered curly kale’s delicious cousin, cavolo nero. Again, keep the whitefly away and you’ll be rewarded with tasty leaves however bad the weather. I love cavolo nero, as I find the taste sweeter than that of curly kale.

Perpetual Spinach
Perpetual spinach is another veg happy to endure sub-zero temperatures, wind, and snow. A type of chard, the verdant green leaves will also keep coming the more you pick them. Chard is a real winter staple for me, and one I’ll fold into curries, spread on pizzas, or just serve as a healthy side dish.

The familiar phrase says that when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and none more so than these brave, plucky winter veg. They see off the inclement weather and come up smiling, and on my plot, there’s nothing I appreciate more than that.

7 thoughts on “What’s on Your Plot in February? The Winter Veg That’s Worth It’s Weight in Gold”

  1. No “Hungry Gap” for you then, Jono? Did you have a good year for Leeks? Lots of gardeners have reported a poor year, with Leeks bolting very early.

    1. Hi Mark,

      Yes, I was lucky and have had a really good crop again this year. Tried a new variety called Hannibal which have been brilliant. Really nice and fat.

  2. This is the first year I have successfully grown a spread of crops to feed us all year round. I was a bit disappointed when after all my work over last spring there wasn’t the usual glut of fresh produce in summer, but through autumn and winter there’s been all of the above (I love leeks too) + some hardy lettuce (made it through a mildish Geordie winter), winter radish and komatsuma. Also have the first of the winter onions which were planted close together and Im now thinning as spring onions. And last but not least there’s still PSB and cauliflower still to come hopefully. Its great being able to eat from the allotment all year round.

    1. Hi Steven – that is a brilliant haul for winter!

      I’ve always found caulis tricky so you’re doing much better than me already!

      Have you tried the winter lettuce like mibuna? They’re very hardy, and taste great. Lovely and peppery.

  3. ps – How do you manage to keep the white fly away? I have failed miserably and whilst I don’t think they harmed the plant they are awful, especially clouds of them in the kitchen!
    (Great blog btw – love it)

  4. I’ve had a great year for leeks, but the pigeon-shaped demons have realised if they sit on the net above one kale stalk they can perch happily and have a feast through the holes. It’s been totally whomped.

  5. I’ve had a good year for leeks and was surprised how long it’s possible to keep harvesting them for into spring – good news as I planted masses last year.

    Also, I’m with you on Cavolo Nero and perpetual spinach but not spring greens. “Delicious and sweet.” Are we eating the same thing? 🙂

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