Rich pickings at Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Pumpkins on the plot in September

Winter is the time for essential maintenance work in the Vegetable  Garden—mulching, pruning, training and removing of spent plants.

We will be continuing with our no-dig methods of gardening by adding a generous layer of mulch to the beds which will be incorporated into the soil by worms and other microorganisms throughout the year. This layer of compost not only enriches the soil, but also provides a blanket over the soil which traps moisture and cuts out the light to any weed seeds; reducing their chance of germination.

Although all may seem quiet in the main vegetable garden in terms of produce, our polytunnels are still productive with fresh winter salads aplenty for the restaurant.

The winter months also provide us with time to scour the seed  catalogues looking for fresh ideas and new exciting varieties to  introduce into the garden– exciting times ahead.

In The Garden This Winter

Sowing

Broad beans– We will be direct sowing ‘Aquadulce’ in the garden– this variety is the best for autumn sowing, which will ensure an early harvest in spring.

Sweet Peas– It is time for us to sow this hardy annual. These highly scented blooms will be later be transplanted out onto the vegetable   garden to attract those essential pollinators to our fruit area.

Aubergine– We will be starting to sow next season’s aubergines over the winter months. The variety ‘Farmer’s Long’ proved to be very successful for us last season.

Pruning

The winter pruning of our fruit trees and bushes has commenced, as well as lifting and dividing some of the rhubarb plants– all essential jobs to ensure both healthy and fruitful plants for the growing season ahead.

Harvesting

Brussel Sprouts– Our winter veg is now coming into its own. We are harvesting  these flavoursome delights for the restaurant. The variety  we grow is ‘F1 Bosworth’– an RHS AGM early maturing variety.

Parsnips– We are harvesting our direct sown parsnips. We have grown ‘F1 Gladiator’ this year, and they certainly seem to live up to their name.

Winter Salads– Our polytunnels provide the perfect conditions for us to grow ‘cut and come again’ salad crops during the winter. 

Swede– We have trialled ‘Marian’ as a variety of swede in the garden this year, a purple top variety with paler yellow flesh and a good uniform shape.

Produce in the Plant Shop

Fresh produce which is available to buy this month at the Plant Shop include : Raspberries, courgettes, squashes, pumpkins, garlic, tomatoes, aubergines. Why not pick up one of our make your own ‘Ripe Tomato Chutney’ packs or grow your own winter salad packs.