Charles Dowding’s latest book How to Grow Winter Vegetables published by Green Books £14.95 arrived last week. It is astonishingly helpful and beautifully written based on his 30 years experience as an organic vegetable grower.
He identifies winter as starting in December through to March but most importantly this is followed by what he describes as ‘the hungry gap’. These are the months from April, May and June when there is very little to harvest on the plot. Currently I am cropping last year’s Swiss Chard, rhubarb, salad leaves and flat leaf parsley. Broad beans will start next week and Ruby Chard by the end of the month but this is a poor show given the size of my allotment.
So I will be following Dowding’s extensive month-by-month sowing, planting and growing calendar. He suggests that the second half of August into early September is the best time to sow for a winter harvest so I have filled my diary with reminders. I am determined that next year I will have substantially more to crop through winter and at this time of year, so watch this space.