How to Grow Winter Vegetables, pub Green Books 21st April, £14.95


 
 
 
All about how to come through winter with plenty of vegetables stored and delicious fresh harvests to make, and covering the hungry gap period with advice for growing small plants to survive winter, for eating during April, May and early June, when there can be plenty of growth but little to harvest from spring sowings.
 
Winter requires a different kind of gardening to the summer months, and a longer period of growing: not a lot grows through winter, but a well planned plot may nonetheless be quite full. Winter vegetables need to have been sown and planted at specific times, from March onwards, so the book’s large middle section is a monthly sowing, planting and growing calendar.
 
Another whole part of the book covers monthly harvesting adventures, from garlic in July to spring cabbage and pea shoots in May. Timings and methods of harvest are an important and overloooked part of the grow your own story. In winter, another aspect is that a vegetable plot is transformed, by cool soil, into a large outdoor larder where many vegetables keep healthy and alive, ready for harvesting when needed.
 
The book’s last section covers a wonderful range of tasty salads to grow in winter, especially with a little protection, such as from fleece and cloches. Many examples of frost hardy salad plants and other vegetables are given, with best sowing dates and harvesting methods. They resist frost better than is often realised, when sown at the best dates, which are all given.
 
And for sure I include advice on how to grow without digging, for healthy plants and less weeds…
 
The beauty of winter and its produce is captured in plenty of photographs from my garden, throughout the book, often used to explain points I am making. I am indebted to the frost and snow of November and December 2010 for helping with the photography.
 
A nice review from Robin Lane Fox in the Financial Times of 2nd December 2011: 
"Among the practical titles I like the calendar format and good pictures in this book. Winter is generously defined as the kitchen garden gap from October until May and there is a mass of proven advice here from a serious vegetable grower who knows what he is talking about. The subject is an excellent one as so many of us have veg patches which are blank in the colder weather except for a few pigeon pecked brussels sprouts leaning at an angle among the invaluable purple sprouting. Dowding demystifies leeks and much else. If you gave your best beloves a Joy Larkcom or Alan Titchmarsh veg title this year, you can follow up aptly with this sequel. Anyone in the British climate zone will learn from it."
 
 
 Here is an excerpt from a review by Matthew Biggs in BBC Gardens Illustrated, June 2011 page 107.
"This fabulous book is ideal for those seeking to extend their knowledge and experience. It reconfirms old ideas, is alive with the new and contains so much fascinating information that you will need to read it at least twice to absorb the mass of detail. The price is a pittance compared to the pleasure you will gain..."
 
And a reader's resuts, from Charlotte Frejya-Richwoods
 I read Salad Leaves for All Seasons and How To Grow Winter Veg, which also inspired me to incorporate Biodynamics and polytunnels. Whilst I underestimated the tenacity of molluscs in my area, we are able to harvest something daily and have been flooded with goodies at high season. This was us at the start of last Summer. Hopefully one day my produce will start consistently looking as nice as yours too! I'm eagerly awaiting my copy of the Veg Journal in the post. Thank you so much and keep up the great work!"
 
 
You can buy the book here