Grow at Home

Frosts, as we come up to the shortest day – but it is getting us closer to Spring.

One essential job that can be done even in the worst weather or darkest evening, is to browse through seed catalogues and websites, finalising your plans of what to grow.

Avoid planting the same crops in the same place year after year, as this can lead to a build up of pests and diseases.
Even if you don’t have space for full-blown crop rotation, ring the changes as best you can – and if you run out of space, a lot of crops can be grown successfully in containers.

Setting up a vegetable patch – essential advice for starting out, or useful reminders.

The Modern Kitchen Garden – practical advice from Barry Newman, past Chairman of the National Vegetable Society, with some innovative ways of growing vegetables.

Kale - click to see more

Keep salad going… even when it gets cold by sowing winter salad leaves in pots under cover – oriental greens are particularly useful.

Click for video Tom Brown, Head Gardener at West Dean Gardens, shows how.

Lamb’s lettuce (corn salad) will continue to grow outside throughout winter – just protect from harsh frosts with a layer of fleece.

Pot up herbs, such as chives, mint, parsley and tarragon, if you have them growing outside, and bring them inside to grow on and use through the winter. A well lit kitchen window sill would be convenient.

Sweet peas can be sown in winter.

How to Grow Better Sweet Peas:- useful advice that local expert grower, Roger Parsons, gave in his talk to LHS.

How to go about it

Click the boxes below to access the information you need:
Preparation, sowing & after-care:
Comprehensive guide
from the RHS
Illustrated guide
fom Gardeners’ World

Growing salad leaves
Gardeners’ World guide

Cut and come again
RHS guide

Herbs in containers
RHS guide with video

Choose your herbs
Guides to individual herbs

Seed sowing techniques:
Comprehensive RHS guide

RHS guide

Successional sowing:
RHS guide

Choose your vegetables:
Individual growing guides

A guide to
Potatoes for Christmas
by the RHS

West Dean Gardens video
Planting potatoes
by Head Gardener, Tom Brown

Another way to grow potatoes
Growing potatoes in bags
from Barry Newman’s talk

Comprehensive guide
How to grow potatoes
from Gardeners’ World

look at some activities from
RHS Schoolgardening

for instance, enchanting…
Miniature Gardens

or choose something that will produce results quickly, such as cut and come again salad leaves.

Sow broad beans now for an early crop:

  • either directly into well prepared soil (Aquadulce Claudia is good for this);
  • or in pots/modules under cover, which prevents the seed from being eaten by mice or voles and allows planting out at the right spacing in early spring.

Now is still a good time to plant garlic.

Strawberries taste best picked directly from the plant. Grow them planted out in the garden or in containers on a patio or balcony. You can plant bare-rooted plants now (obtain from reputable suppliers on the internet), either in containers under cover or outside with some protection, such as a cloche, against the worst winter weather. Alternatively, potted plants can be purchased in the Spring.

to see advice on other
things to do now, go to
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