THEY THINK IT'S ALL OVER - 0H NO IT'S NOT
Just as it looked that summer had finished, it has reappeared again. And everything has started growing again, especially my runners which have taken on a new lease of life. Plus seeds are starting to germinate again. During the long hot spell, I could hardly get anything to germinate, but hey presto, now seedlings are getting under way nice and quickly.
And what a lot of seeds can be sown now. Starting with brassicas.
There is still time to sow cabbage seed for next spring, April or Savoy King are two examples.
All Year Round cauliflower can also still be sown for an early crop next year.
For an earlier crop Broccoli Rabe 60 Days I have found to be a winner. As the name suggests it should be harvested within 60 days of sowing, but I’ve found that wishful thinking. The plants don’t grow very big but will provide a welcome crop in November/ December if sown now.
Lettuces can still be sown for winter eating. Winter Density is like a larger version of Little Gem in shape and flavour. Tom Thumb is as its name suggests a small quick maturing variety with few outside leaves which can still be sown in September.
Pak Choi seeds can be sown, I’ve found these to be very successful from a September sowing and growing on in the polytunnel.
Radishes are another crop for sowing now, and all the catalogues include winter cropping spring onions. I have some seed of White Lisbon Winter Hardy from last year which I didn’t get to sow. Maybe I’ll give them a go today for an early crop next year.
And the list goes on. Beetroots, turnips, kohl rabi, rocket, and oriental salad crops can all be tried. Basil and coriander can be sown in pots and grown on indoors. So don’t give up because it’s now Autumn – don’t just keep dancing – it’s strictly sowing time.
All these suggestions can be sown outdoors but they will need a bit of luck with the weather. If possible, it’s better to give them some protection by growing in a polytunnel or a greenhouse, or under a cloche of some sort outdoors.
The autumn planted onion sets, shallots, and garlic bulbs are now available in the EAGS shop. I grow Shakespeare onion sets and Solent Wight garlic. The autumn planted onion sets are supposed to be less likely to run to seed than the spring planted sets. I’m a definitely maybe on that, but they do seem to grow bigger and be that little earlier than the spring planted alternative. They can be planted during the next couple of months – either in modules to get them going, or directly into the ground.
A list of the varieties available in the shop are shown on the website. There are plenty available and the prices are a fraction of the cost in the catalogues.
One last crop to mention, which is my favourite, is broad beans. Aquadulce, or aquadulce Claudia, or superaquadulce can all be sown in the next couple of months for harvesting next May or June. They are very hardy over winter, they may droop and look a gonner, but they will perk up when it gets warmer and provide that delicious first bean crop next year. They will require staking to stand upright, but they are worth every minute of effort. Seeds will be available in the shop soon.
So get sowing