Winter crops - kale etc.

I have a small area in my garden I use for planting vegetables in summer but recently visited a friend who purchased their house in March and they got it with garden full of kale.
Decided to try it myself and planted it all with kale in early September and now have a lovely green, knee high plants which should provide me with greens over winter.
Has anyone else had much experience with any other plants that thrive over UK winter? (I live in south east England btw).
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  • Woolsery
    Woolsery Posts: 1,535
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    Mizuna, some mustards and various forms of chard usually do OK in our milder winters. It's too late now, but leeks stand well. Garlic is better autumn planted in many places
  • KajiKita
    KajiKita Posts: 3,190
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    This is a good time of year to start broad beans as well, for early crops next spring.

    KK
    As at 20.01.24:
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  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,290
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    Purple sprouting broccoli, a whole different taste to that stuff you get in supermarkets, grows really well. About the same size.

    You cut the purple sprouting bits the length of their stemish and it sprouts again.

    Usual time Feb to March but can come earlier depending on the weather.

    There's a white version not quite as productive and less flavour.

    There used to be a perennial one which you only needed to replace every 3yrs. Grew huge and very productive. Came in autumn so perfect.

    Winter cabbage isn't to be sneezed at. Especially red cabbage. Out of fashion 

    Brussle sprouts. I've only successfully grown them once but they tasted so different to those in the shops. Really sweet.

    There is cauliflower too.

    But for space and ease value kale and broccoli are really good.

    You know to cut the young leaves on kale? Then they will keep producing more.

    Love my winter veg. No shopping, just out the back with a knife while the water's heating an full of goodness. Not cut and cold stored for a week.


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  • Ok thank you, I will give a brocolli a go next year, this year little late and no space left :) 

    @twopenny, what do you mean "cutting young leaves" ? Everywhere I read it says - start from the bottom? Little scared to chop ones at the top as I don't want to kill the plant, nor pick the leaves before they get full size.
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,437
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    edited 27 October 2022 at 10:25PM
    Try mizuna, land cress, mache/lamb's lettuce and swiss chard. All survived minus 19 in the 2010 winters, plus Mustard Giant Red Wave. Lucellus is the best chard (Ldl) and Broad Bean Valenciana planted now crop really early. If hairy bitter cress is a common weed harvest it; it's even better than land cress.

    If you can grow onions, you can start winter/Japanese sets now and garlic for cropping late spring/early summer. There are some winter lettuce that grow with protection (Winter Density is reliable).

    And try Jo Maiden's hanging basket trick if you have a greenhouse or polytunnel, except I'd grow mange tout rather than podding peas. Pea-shoots are another indoor option needing very little space.

    2P's perennial broccoli is 9-star which has just been re-introduced by King's Seeds. If you stop it flowering it will last more than 5 years but gets leggy.

    Oh and there are several perennial Kales sometimes referred to as African kales. Look like fodder kale but are really tender and sweet to eat.
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  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,290
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    edited 27 October 2022 at 10:51PM
    I wonder if it's because I grow a smaller version. Not the huge stuff.

    I did a quick check and it does say that on the net.
    But I grow 6 or so curly kale plants and cut the tender young leaves. Even the once I grew big ones I did this. Just 3 or 4 but not the central growth ones. They just produce more in a week or so. 

    My current one is growing from a stem left in the ground and has become a healthy plant.

    I'll post a photo this weekend so you can see.
    Sweet and tender leaves that take just 10mins to cook.
    The bottom leaves are much tougher and better for stir fry and stews.

    Ill also ask my allotment holder friends who may grow the big stuff.

    Sprouting broccoli produces a largish central head first. You cut that and cook then it will produce lots of side shoots from the stem for cutting as needed. They will produce a lot for ages.

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  • KajiKita
    KajiKita Posts: 3,190
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    @twopenny - love that you got a free plant / crop  :)

    KK

    As at 20.01.24:
    - £16,360 of target £20,000 YNAB savings pots and EF (been doing quite a bit of work on the house this summer)
    - When bought house £315,995 mortgage debt and end date at start = October 2039 <gulp>, now £258,213 end date brought closer by 2 months (also caught up mortgage holiday during furlough) 
    - OPs to mortgage = £5,804, Interest saved £2033, to date
    - LTV 52% @ccord, 51% Yopa
    Fixed rate 2.17% deal ends October 2024

    Proud member of Tilly-Tidy Club since January 2022:
    TOTAL for 2022 = £2,008.67, £2023 = £1,202
    Jan ‘24 £3.05

    Read 5 books of target 52 in 2024 (as @ 10th February) 
    Produce tracker: £9.00 of £300 target 😊

    Watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your reality. 
  • KajiKita
    KajiKita Posts: 3,190
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    I spent some time planting out red veined Sorrel and Winter Density lettuce in my greenhouse this weekend - too wet to get them in the outdoor veg beds, but they still have growing room in their trays so I have some time to get this done.

    Also, started off garlic, autumn plantable shallots (apparently! never grown them before :) ) and some broad beans (got the last packet at the garden centre.

    KK
    As at 20.01.24:
    - £16,360 of target £20,000 YNAB savings pots and EF (been doing quite a bit of work on the house this summer)
    - When bought house £315,995 mortgage debt and end date at start = October 2039 <gulp>, now £258,213 end date brought closer by 2 months (also caught up mortgage holiday during furlough) 
    - OPs to mortgage = £5,804, Interest saved £2033, to date
    - LTV 52% @ccord, 51% Yopa
    Fixed rate 2.17% deal ends October 2024

    Proud member of Tilly-Tidy Club since January 2022:
    TOTAL for 2022 = £2,008.67, £2023 = £1,202
    Jan ‘24 £3.05

    Read 5 books of target 52 in 2024 (as @ 10th February) 
    Produce tracker: £9.00 of £300 target 😊

    Watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your reality. 
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,290
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    You reminded me that my neighbour grew Japanese onions.
    They are bigger than spring onions and grow perpetually in a clump.
    You use them year round as spring onions without the hassle. To me the flavour wasn't as good but they are an easy space saver crop.
    https://www.gardennewsmagazine.co.uk/plants/fruit-and-vegetable/sow-hardy-tasty-japanese-onions/
    I had mine from him and haven't seen them around anywhere but interesting.

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well

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