We’re reaching peak summer and so is your vegetable garden; it’s time to start thinking about sowing seeds for the winter season to prepare for all those naturally tasting winter crops!
But why so early? For the best results, seeds need to be sown in the late months of summer in order for the plant to establish itself before the colder weather descends on the garden. Once it does, it has been said that the cooler temperatures enhance the taste – and if nothing else, growing crops over the later months of the year can make the garden look more cheerful when the weather dulls down!
So, what vegetables to plant in August?
Thinking ahead, the most productive and fastest-growing crops to grow throughout the autumn/winter are salad leaves. There’s a range of winter salad leaves to choose from, with more variance in flavour than you may think.
It’s time to sow…
A strong, lemony flavour which will produce leaves all year round once established, sorrel can be a great alternative to basil. Why not have a go at sorrel pesto? With a refreshing, zesty aura it works well with nutty flavours such as marcona almonds!
Purslane and claytonia become gorgeously flowering plants in the spring and are packed with vitamin C. They also include miner’s lettuce, which is great wilted in a sauté, ready for those cosy autumnal dinners! Alternatively, create thickness in soup with a few handfuls dropped in last minute, or use the delicate blossoms as a gorgeous garnish. The versatility is endless!
Everyone’s favourite! Rocket is a great winter crop that’s less prone to bolting (prematurely running to seed) at this time of year. Growing rocket will keep the summer alive that little bit longer as a favourite to greening up homemade pizzas and peppering up almost any meat or summer dish!
A strong, confident flavour which requires less water than its best friend watercress, but still tastes – and looks – great in sandwiches, salads and soups!
Don’t forget the winter Root Crops!
Originating from East Asia, mooli, also known as daikon, is a large white radish which includes edible leaves as well as the root. Add flavour and crunch to winter salads such as in this Honeycrisp, Daikon and Cucumber Sesame Salad, a rich addition to your next autumnal get-together!
A high source of vitamin C and vitamin A, this root veg is the ultimate autumnal ingredient for a wide range of hearty meals. Nourish yourself with this recipe for Roasted Parsnip & Garlic Soup, creamy with a kick for when the outdoors gets a little cooler!