July 26, 2012 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment


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There is still time to plant a variety of vegetables that you can sow in July, August (as well as one or two in September) and which can be harvested within weeks giving you some fresh vegetables throughout autumn, winter and into next spring.

Can be sown outside until the end of July for a late autumn crop, or you can sow in an unheated greenhouse during August or September for a crop in early spring.  Steaming retains flavour and texture and the small spears can be stir-fried.  The thicker stalks are great for soup.  There have been a number of studies that suggest broccoli and calabrese can help protect against cancer.

Sow from now to September at 10-day intervals for a steady supply. Baby carrots can be picked within four weeks.

Can be sown until mid August. Baby leaves can be picked at three to four weeks.

Sow until end July or early August if the weather is good. You can cut baby leaves after 3-4 weeks.

Sow to end of August with repeat sowings a couple of weeks apart for plenty of leaves. You can pick leaves at 2-4 weeks. Essential ingredient in many Indian, Oriental and Mexican dishes.

French beans
Sow in July for a late crop of dwarf beans. You may be able to start picking by the mid to end of September. Grow some  in pots so that they can moved under cover if the weather turns cold.

Sow under cover in autumn for baby leaves after six weeks, or outside for an over-wintering crop.

Lettuce/Salad Leaves
Are quick and easy to grow. Sow until the end of July or into August if under kept cover.  Make an autumn sowing of lettuce in a greehouse and you’ll have salad leaves throughout winter and into spring.

Oriental Greens (chinese cabbage, pak choi)
Sow until the end August. Pick young leaves at 2 weeks or more for salads, or leave the plants to become bigger for cooking.  An excellent source of vitamins A and C and a good source of folic acid.  Eat pak choi raw or cooked. It should store in the fridge for up to a week.  Great for use in salads and stir fries, or steam the whole vegetable as a side dish.

A quick “early” variety can be sown until the end of July, but probably no later than mid-August.

If you lost your potatoes to blight this summer, try growing late cropping varieties in containers and you’ll have fresh potatoes for Christmas dinner. Tubers planted as late as September may give you new potatoes in October.

Winter radishes (mooli) are popular in other countries for stir frying, salads and pickling. There are several winter radishes that can be started now.  Radishes and their greens are a good source of vitamin C.  They are great used in a variety of salads or roasted together with other summer vegetables.

Sow spinach from now until mid-August. Keep sheltered and pick young leaves for salad and stir fry.  Use the leaves as soon as they’re picked as spinach does not store well and recent research suggests that fresh, bright, vibrant-looking spinach leaves are not only more appealing to the eye but are also more nourishing.  Spinach is rich in vitamins and minerals.  Cooked spinach freezes well.

Spring cabbage
Sow spring cabbage in July/August, transplant in September/October. Pick in early spring the following year.  Cabbage is delicious if properly cooked or eaten raw and grated, or finely chopped into coleslaw and salads.  It contains nearly twice the vitamin C of an apple or orange and four times that of the potato.  Cooking cabbage will about halve the vitamin C and niacin content and destroy the other B vitamins, but it is still good for you.

Spring onions
Sow winter varieties from August onwards and pick in 4-6 weeks.  Enjoy raw in salads or chopped into a stir fry. Spring onions can used as an onion substitute.


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