30. January 2019

6 vegetables I winter sow

I know it's the middle of winter but I just can't wait! My fingers are itching so I decided to winter sow 6 of my favorite vegetables.

Närbild på ett gäng speantblad. Winter sow, a close-up of spinach.

I winter sow spinach every year. I can start harvesting my January sowing in April-May.

 

There are plenty of vegetables you can start sowing already in January. I like sowing now, doing so will make my beds look nice and green early in the season. If you winter sow early, you will get an early harvest too!

Here are my 6 favorite vegetables I always try to winter sow:

 

Potted tomato

I winter sow tomatoes mostly because I enjoy it and not because I necessarily get a huge harvest. Just watching the little tomato plants shoot off now in winter is so much fun! There are several different small tomato varieties that grow to become around 12-16 inches tall. You can grow these tomatoes in pots with some extra light early in the season, for example in your window sill.

Read more about winter sowing: Growing winter vegetables

 

Artichoke

The artichoke is possibly one of the most beautiful plants in the kitchen garden. It needs some time to grow though so that's why I make sure to sow them already in January. I put them under a grow light, just like all of the other plants right now. There are many different artichoke varieties out there. I chose the gorgeous purple variety Violet de Provence this time. The artichoke plants need to stay in pots for a long time before I plant them outside, so that's why  I make sure to replant them several times.

My best tips on winter sowing: Wintersowing - my best tips

 

Bilder ur boken Skillnadens Trädgård. Winter sow, pictures from my book.

The beautiful little artichoke bud is harvested before it bolts and it's just as delicious as it looks. The picture was taken by Maria Fors Östberg and the pictures were published in one of my books.

 

Leek

Broadcast-sown leek doesn't take up very much space at all but you still get a really nice harvest. I think that it says February/March on the seed packets but I sow earlier than this. I sow the leek indoors and then I leave them there, or put the plants in another warm spot until it's time to put them outside. The leek is, like many other vegetables, sensitive to temperature changes and it might start to bolt if gets too cold.

Read more about growing in pots: Winter sowing in pots

 

 

 

Summer carrot

I feel like I talk about summer carrots all the time, but it's worth it if I can inspire any of you to sow carrots in the middle of winter! I sow carrots in my beds outside, in pallet collar beds and in my polytunnels. And I do this to get an extra early harvest, earlier than if I had only done one sowing ouside in spring. Try it!

More about growing vegetables in winter: Protect your crops

 

sommarmorot, morot, Skillnadens Trädgård

These beautiful summer carrots were sown in February and I could start harvesting them in May.

 

Dill

I always try to make some room in my polytunnel to winter sow dill! We can start harvesting already in April and then fill the freezer with a year's worth of dill. Dill is so much more than just a herb. See it more as a leafy green instead and use it in your salads, for example. Sowing dill is very easy, I just scatter the seeds on top of the soil and then simply cover them with a little soil before I water them.

 

I tunnelväxthuset skördades nästan en kvadratmeter dill i maj för infrysning. Winter sow, dill in my polytunnel.

I was able to harvest almost 10 sq ft worth of dill in May. I froze most of it.

 

Spinach

No winter without winter sown spinach! I love other leafy greens too, but spinach is the best. I winter sow it in my beds outside, in pallet collar beds and in the polytunnels. The seeds will germinate even at only a few degrees over freezing, and they grow quickly after germinating. The spinach in my garden usually thrives in early spring and late fall. I never sow after the last day of April or before mid-July, but I sow plenty of seeds both before and after.

 

Spenat som växer i en odlingslåda. Winter sow, spinach growing in a box.

The winter sown spinach will produce a nice harvest already in April when I grow it in a cultivation box. I live in zone 3.

 

There are plenty of options out there if you can't wait to get going with the sowing. Good luck!
/Sara Bäckmo

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