The winter kitchen garden and windowsill

The mini greenhouse and outdoor garden spent most of November and December asleep, or dead, under the frost and snow. Here’s a quick look at what’s survived, often against the odds.

First up, there’s one stick of Brussels left. That’s about six helpings of sprouts (nice halved and added to stir fries), and a full sprout top to cook as spinach/cabbage.

Next, we have the monstrous sprouting broccoli, purple and white varieties. It’s still a little early for them to start making their tasty bits, but I’ll start cutting them off as soon as they appear so the plants start to make more.

There’s also a little Spring cabbage and curly kale, and a few straggly Spring onions…

This growbag contains some unusual winter-variety carrots. I was given a free packet of these seeds in the Autumn and they’ve grown quietly and slowly over the winter. We’ve eaten some of the thinnings already, and the proper carrots should be ready in a few weeks. Quite good timing to fill the ‘hungry gap’ in the middle of Spring.

The mini greenhouse contains some winter sowings of chard, spinach, Arctic King and Tom Thumb lettuce, parsley, coriander, chicory and a few others. With hindsight I should have got these going as soon as I cleared out the greenhouse in the Autumn, to get the seedlings more established before the winter hit. They will be ready in a few weeks, it’ll just take a while longer for them to get going.

The surviving herbs (pic above) are thyme, sage, rosemary, chives, chervil, oregano and peppermint. There is some cold damage but I think it’ll be OK. They just need some dead leaves removing.

On the windowsill indoors we have winter sowings of parsley and coriander, plus a very healthy Sweet Genovese basil that’s survived since last Summer. The cat ate most of my baby lemongrass plant last week, but I hope it might somehow revive itself. Once again, bad kitty, bad.

And last of all we have a cayenne pepper plant, still making me hot chillis. One day M-Cat is going to eat one of these by accident, and I don’t think I’ll be entirely sympathetic when it happens.

In the next few days I’ll be writing about dealing with garden pests on a budget (and/or organically), and working out my wish list for this year’s planting plan. My seeds and new plants budget is strictly capped at £10, but that should be plenty I reckon. Let’s see.

Do you have any kitchen garden plants growing? Has anything survived the harsh winter where you live? Plant-saving tips and any garden gossip welcome!

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