Overwintering Crops


After the 2009 autumn harvest nothing but bare earth was left in the veg beds, basically I didn’t plan that particular growing season very well. Apart from being bored from lack of things to do, I was disappointed that the vegetable garden was not being given the chance to be used to its full potential.

This year I have attempted to extend the growing season by growing crops that can be left in the ground during the winter months until needed, such as Leek and Parsnip. I will also try autumn /winter sowing of peas, autumn sowing of Broad Beans as well as overwintering onions and garlic. I have never used mini polytunnels to grow more tender crops during the colder months, perhaps this is something I could also try? Any ideas?

So, what will be grown in the garden smallholding to hopefully see me through the winter months of gloom?

Leeks. Ready for use now but I shall resist the urge to gobble them all up in one swoop.

Parsnips. Probably big enough to lift now but I want them to get a frosting to sweeten. They shall be left in the ground till needed.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli? No, I don’t because my first attempt was a disaster and I was too lazy to sow again on time, gaaaah!

Overwintering onions. Sets, all ready to be planted.

Peas. Autumn/winter sowing variety, never grown these before so I’m looking forward to the challenge.

Broad Bean. I have never done an autumn sowing of Broad Bean before, normally I opt for early spring. I’m not a fan of Broad Beans usually but hey if there is a sniff of an extra early season crop then it’s got to be worth a bash.

Garlic. I plan to plant garlic towards the end of October.

Swede. Disaster.  I did not give them enough room and powdery mildew claimed the lot. I shall put this one down as experience.

What are you currently growing or plan to grow for winter and early spring crops?

5 thoughts on “Overwintering Crops

  1. Autumn Broad Bean planting is great! I’ve found the plants that get started now not only give a great early harvest but seem far more resistant and tolerant to those blasted sap sucking blackflies. Good luck :)


  2. We are in the early stages of Spring and my broadbeans may give me something I am not too sure yet, they are covered in flowers but who knows.! Mini cabbages are doing very well and I harvested 6 mini wongbok cabbages they were great and will definitely plant again next autumn. I am patiently waiting on my Leek seedlings they seem to take forever. Just about to plant 3 Loganberry plants, I may have a fight with the possums come fruiting time. Let me know how the broccoli goes I have never tried growing this.


  3. Last year we had great success with pak choi – apparently it is better to plant it in Autumn as there is less of a tendency to bolt and it appreciates the Autumn rainfall very much. We harvested ours right through a very cold and snowy winter and it provided welcome splashes of bright green when not much else was going on. We’re doing it again this year, it can be sown straight into the ground and germinates well.


  4. I am trying to plant broad beans in autumn for the first time. Got leeks and peas growing well. Silverbeet has taken over. My celery is growing well too though the outer leaves seem to dry off. I read somewhere to add lime to them, but it still happening. Any suggestions?


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