How to Grow Winter Vegetables
By (author) Charles Dowding
Biographical note (a single note referring to all contributors to a product – see PR.8.17 for a biography which is linked to a single contributor)
Charles Dowding has been growing organic vegetables for many years. An early pioneer of vegetable boxes, he runs courses in organic gardening from his farm in Somerset, England. Using no-dig methods on an acre of raised beds, he grows an extensive range of vegetables and year-round salads for local shops and restaurants . His website is www.charlesdowding.co.uk.
How to Grow Winter Vegetables shows that it is possible to enjoy an abundance of vegetables at the darkest time of year, whether stored or ready for harvesting when needed. It also covers growing for the ‘hungry gap’ from April to early June.
Not much grows in winter, but a well-organised plot may nonetheless be quite full. You need to plan carefully, and well ahead (as early as spring) for sowing and planting at specific times through the year, so the main part of the book is an extensive month-by-month sowing, planting and growing calendar. Further sections cover harvesting, from garlic in July right through to the last of the overwintered greens in May, and storing your produce.
Many salads can be grown in winter, especially with a little protection from fleece, cloches or larger structures. The book includes a whole section on frost-hardy salad plants, explaining how to ensure harvests of fresh leaves throughout winter. The beauty of winter and its produce is captured in glorious photographs from the author’s garden.
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I have read and re-read this book many times, and followed the detailed month-by-month sowing guide. The reward, from our first year as allotment holders, is an abundance of fresh salad leaves, kale, swede, parsnips, sprouts, leeks, chard, spinach and chicory. We have stored butternut squash and onions, have cabbages waiting to be harvested, and the promise of purple-sprouting broccoli in a few short weeks. This book has been invaluable, and I would thoroughly recommend it.- Charles Dowding's website
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