A selection of tips for winter to keep you warm and the garden going well
- Dress Warmly to Keep Warm on the Plot
- Soup to Warm the Inner Man (or Woman)
- Pre-Harvesting Leeks
- Cover your Parsnips
- Harvesting Brussels Sprouts
- Keeping the Greenhouse Warm
- pH Testing
- Keep off the Grass
- Don’t Let Your Store Freeze
- Storing Onions Tip
Dress Warmly to Keep Warm on the Plot
Working outside in frosty weather can be pleasant so long as you don’t get chilled.
Keeping warm on the plot starts with thick socks,long Johns and thermal vest. It finishes with a warm woolly hat to top you off! Layers hold in the heat best.
If you ever see an old ski-suit in a second hand shop, grab it. Great for working outdoors even if you look a bit odd.
Soup to Warm the Inner Man (or Woman)
Hope you made tomato soup in the summer because nothing provides better central heating on a frosty day than a flask of piping hot tomato soup. Take a seat, sip the soup and return to your tasks refreshed and warm.
If you pull some leeks and then heel them in in a trench they’ll stay fresh but be easy to harvest if the weather turns nasty. They’ll keep well for weeks like that.
Cover your Parsnips
Cover your parsnips with a thick layer of leaves or straw or folded horticultural fleece. Even a few layers of cardboard will help. When you come to dig them out the ground shouldn’t be frozen solid.
Harvesting Brussels Sprouts
Harvest Brussels sprouts from the bottom up leaving the higher ones to develop. Save the leafy tops for a treat at the end.
Keeping the Greenhouse Warm
If keeping a greenhouse frost free, just insulate half of it and save fuel costs. On sunny days, ventilate to keep mould free.
Lime is important to keep the soil sweet but how much to add? Invest in a soil test kit and get it right.
Keep off the Grass
Don’t Let Your Store Freeze
Whilst most crops store well at low temperature – around 5 to 10ºC is usually best – freezing will damage them. The cells will rupture and when things warm up they’ll turn to mush.
A fan heater with a frost thermostat is best but even a 100 watt light can make the difference in a small area.
Storing Onions Tip
It’s always a shame when your carefully stored onions start growing extra green leaves, spoiling the look and flavour. To avoid this just hold the root end over a naked flame for a few seconds. The shock totally stops any further growth without affecting the look or taste.
Thanks to Henry for the storing onions tip which I haven’t tried yet.
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