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Thursday, June 13, 2024
GardeningVegetables in December

Vegetables in December

At last, a month when there is nothing to sow! In the mild weather, our vegetable garden is looking good where we transplanted lots of turnips, rocket, Mizuna and lettuce as we gradually removed summer crops in September and October.
Roots are coming up beautifully clean, and we are wondering if the dry summer soil made it trickier for nibbling predators such as woodlice and slugs. In April an MW reader wrote in suggesting sowing carrots in pots in a warm greenhouse. They all came up in a week, and dibbing them into soil with a pencil meant I could get perfect spacing. They were planted under mesh and are now harvesting well, although seem more fanged than usual in our stony soil.
I might be repeating myself, but this year’s yields were all about water. If you had access to a huge water butt like mine, all was fine and yields great. Take care not to spend too much on laying leaky pipes for next year, as that will for sure make it rain heavily next summer!
Yields in the greenhouse were fabulous. For peppers even more than tomatoes, early February sowing gave ripe red peppers by July, whereas a late March sowing had loads of mainly green peppers by the time the first frost came. We brought the fruit into the kitchen, where they are going slightly soft but remain delicious when green, and some are still ripening and turning a beautiful red colour.
If you feel you have to sow something this month, try Aquadulce broad beans and Douce Provence peas indoors in a seed tray, they will come up slowly and can be transplanted outside in January—they’re less prone to vermin attack as plants. And why are Christmas trees so hopeless at sewing? Because they keep dropping their needles.

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