Winter can be a frustrating time for the vegetable grower with several weeks still to go before the official start to the growing season. If you are craving fresh home-grown produce, I’ve got some good news. Many vegetables can be sown by late winter to give a super-early start. I’m going to share 3 veggies that fit the bill and some tips so that you can enjoy your earlier crop yet.
Hardy varieties of spring onion, also known as green onions or scallions, can be sown directly into fertile, well-drained soil. Sow seeds thinly in rows 6 inches apart. The seedlings shouldn’t need thinning out if they are sown thinly enough. You can also sow 3 seeds per module to plant out 3 inches apart in both directions. Place covers over your spring onions to help them along. Depending on your local climate and weather, the first stems will be already by mid-spring, when most gardeners will only just be starting to think about getting them under way. We’ve got some good quality 2000PCS spring onion seed for you to grow your own vegetables at home.
Peas can germinate at temperatures as low as 39°F, which makes them an excellent starting point. Growing peas for shoots is an easy way to get a fresh hit of flavor within just a few weeks. The shoots tastes just like peas and are packed full of nutrients. Pick a vigorous, tall-growing variety to give plenty of leafy growth. Start the seedlings off on a greenhouse or cold frame, sowing 2 to 3 plant seeds per pot or module cell. Once the seedlings have filled their modules, they can be planted out to leave 8 inches between each clump. Cover the newly planted shoots with horticultural fleece to help them get going. Pick little and often by snipping off just above the second set of leaves. If you don’t have a greenhouse or cold frame, you can start seedlings on a sunny windowsill or even better, supplement natural light with grow lights, which will prevent seedlings becoming leggy, and promote strong growth.
Many leafy salads such as winter hardy lettuces and endive can be sown inside a greenhouse or cold frame, or under row covers on cloches. Sow into modules and grown on before planting out into greenhouse borders or containers, carefully avoid root disturbance. Space plants at least 10 inches apart to give them plenty of room. Pick just a few leaves from each plant at a time to avoid exhausting the plant. Other early-rising salads include Oriental leaves such mizuna and mustard, cilandro, corn salad and the freshy leaves of winter purslane, or miner’s lettuce.