dan the gardenerEven in the colder months of autumn and winter when lots of plants have lost their leaves some vegetables prefer to be planted so they are ready for the start of spring. Some vegetables even need a touch of frost to improve their flavour.

It is always best to plant new trees in the winter as they way they have no leaves when you plant them so they put their energy into growing roots.

Under the soil is an amazing place. Only the very top layer of soil gets affected by the winter frosts. This means that the potatoes and parsnips that are deeper down are safe from the frost.

It is actually better to store your potatoes, leeks and parsnips in the soil because the outside air makes them go rotten faster. This does not work for all root vegetables though, you should pull carrots up when they are ready because there is a certain rascal fly that can smell them in the soil and looks for them for a snack.

Remember a good set of Children’s Gardening Tools is a must.

Garlic– Garlic is a root vegetable their leaves grow above ground whilst a bulb grows beneath the soil like an onion.

A good time to plant Garlic is in the winter, try leaving the bulb in a dark cupboard, this encourages them to grow some leaves so when you plant them you know which way to put them into the soil.

  • Prepare an area in the garden or a tub of soil where you would like to plant them.
  • Separate the bulb into individual cloves.
  • Remember that beneath the soil each clove will grow into a bulb of garlic so you need to space them out to give them enough room to grow.
  • Push the garlic into the soil and leave about half a centimetre popping out of the top.
  • Watch your garlic grow above ground and wonder what it is doing underground.
  • Garlic usually takes around six months to grow.
  • You will know when it is ready because the leaves turn yellow and fall over.

Lettuce is a leafy green vegetable

Only some types of lettuce can survive the winter frost theses are the Arctic King and Valdor.

Lettuce grows close to the floor so they do not need a lot of room if you have a space try planting some in a row.

No need to worry if you do not have a garden you can grow them in tubs if you like.

If the weather is mild sow the seeds straight into the soil if it has gotten a bit colder plant the seeds in pots before transplanting them to their outside home.

Plant the seeds about 15 centimetres apart as the lettuce needs a bit of space to grow.

If you grow Lettuce from seeds it will probably take around twelve weeks to finish.

You can then pick, wash and eat it also try collecting some seeds to replant in the year.

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