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Allotments

Garden, Home and Garden

Vegetables to Plant in Autumn

vegetables to plant in autumn uk

vegetables to plant in autumn uk

I’ve been researching what vegetables to plant in autumn lately, as our allotment is currently winding down for summer.  I want it to keep us in at least some vegetables over the colder months ahead, and get a head start for the growing season next year!

According to my (currently untested!) research, here are some vegetables which you can plant in autumn.  I’ll update this post later with what we found to be successful and what wasn’t.  Fingers crossed we won’t have too many disasters!

Some of these vegetables will give you a yield later in the autumn, others will be ready come spring/summer.

Vegetables To Plant In Autumn Outdoors

vegetables to plant in autumn

As I just mentioned, a lot of these vegetables won’t come good until next spring/summer, but it’s always good to get a head start!  For example, planting broad beans and peas in autumn and overwintering them will see you with crops of beans and peas about four weeks earlier than if you’d planted them in spring.  Likewise with spring onion (as long as you plant winter hardy varieties).

Other vegetables like onions, shallots and garlic have a really long growing cycle, so you need to plant them in autumn in order to be able to harvest them come summer.  Likewise, asparagus has a very long growing cycle – planted from seed in the autumn it shoots up in spring, but then takes two years before you’re able to make the first harvest.  As I love asparagus so much it’s a timeframe I’d be happy with to have my own homegrown asparagus!

With spinach, the ground should still be warm enough to plant seeds directly into the ground now.  You should be able to take leaves from the spinach up until mid-December, at which point you need to leave them with some growth on them until Spring.

Seed potatoes should be planted now (September) in pots, not directly into the ground.  When the first frosts strike, move the pots indoors – e.g. into a polytunnel – and you should get a harvest by Christmas time.

Vegetables To Plant In Autumn In a Polytunnel

If you’ve got a polytunnel then there are few vegetables you can plant in autumn that should hopefully grow quite well in the warmer temperatures.  Vegetables to try include:

Carrots

Kale

Lettuce

Pak Choi

Have you grown any of these vegetables over the autumn before?  How did you get on?  And would you add any other vegetables to this list?  Let me know in the comments below!

ps: if you’re not into growing your own vegetables, here’s what fruit and vegetables are in season in September, October and November so you can still eat seasonally!

pps: I’ve been really enjoying watching Gemma Garner’s allotment progress on her instagram.  Recommended if you’re into growing your own!

Garden, Home and Garden

Allotment Progress!

It’s been a little while since our last update, so I thought I’d share some of our allotment progress with you today.

To start with, some brutal honesty: progress on our allotment has been a little slow lately.  I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but we actually changed sites in the New Year as a new allotment came up much much closer to home (the other one was 5 miles away – which is quite a lot when you don’t have a car), so we’re starting from scratch again.  We still have the very ambitious aim of getting most of our vegetables from the allotment come summer and autumn – wish us luck!!

allotment gardening

Greenhouses aren’t allowed on our allotment, so we recently purchased a polytunnel.  We’ve only got a few things growing in there at the moment – tomatoes, chillies and lettuce – but we’ve planted some seeds indoors again to get a good start on the growing season.  We’re trying out cucamelons again (we tried them last year but they didn’t come to anything so hopefully being in the polytunnel will help), some heirloom potato varieties (my partner got quite geeky and went to a local seed potato swap!  Who is this man I thought I knew?!), herbs and squashes for now, with plans to sow directly into the ground later in the growing season.

As we got the allotment in January we didn’t really know what was already growing on the allotment.  Rather excitingly quite a few fruit canes have since sprung up, as have rhubarb and hazelnuts.  I’m sure there will be a few more surprises as the growing season goes on!

allotment blog

It’s been really handy having the allotment so close to our house – we can just pop over whenever we want instead of having to cycle 5 miles there and 5 miles back.  And it means we can keep a better eye on our produce – we watered our plants on late Saturday afternoon, and when we popped over on Sunday morning to see how things were going (when we took these photos) the heat in the polytunnel from the morning sun was so great that our tomatoes and lettuces had completely wilted (see the above photo!), but thankfully we got to them just in time and managed to revive them with a good water.  And learned the important lesson to open up all the polytunnel vents in warmer weather!

Speaking of water, something we’ve been sorting out too is the water situation.  Our allotment doesn’t have a water supply on it, so something that’s important for us to set up are water butts. With everything that our new house needs (it hasn’t been touched in years), we don’t have the funds to buy an allotment shed, so we were initially wondering how we might set up a water butt without a shed to attach guttering and a downpipe to.  After a bit of internet searching it turns out you can add guttering to poly tunnels, which is what we’re planning on doing.

water butt

Homebase kindly sent us a few water butts, that we are planning on using in conjunction with the polytunnel and some guttering.  While Homebase sell quite a few water butt accessories, sadly they don’t sell the polytunnel pipe kit, but we’ve ordered a kit from the internet and I’ll be sure to share my progress with this as soon as we get it all set up!  While we don’t have them set up just yet, the water butts themselves (these ones) have a great capacity (210 litres) and seem pretty sturdy, and look like they’re going to do just the job!  We’ve actually got three water butts for the allotment that should fulfil all our water requirements!

What are you growing this year?  I’d love to know!

PS: some of my favourite allotment books

Homebase sent us some water butts to help us out with our allotment, but all words and opinions are my own.