Crops to grow in autumn with coir
Crops to grow in autumn with coir
Ah, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness… As the days shorten and the threat of frost grows, planting crops in autumn might seem a little reckless. But the future you will thank you for it!
What crops grow in autumn?
You can still harvest crops during autumn. This is because the underlying ground retains the warmth of summer, meaning seeds will still germinate. You just have to choose the right varieties. Oh, and the right nutrients. Fortunately our coco coir compost has your back!
Sun worshippers, wind haters
If you’re raising a crop over autumn, give them a fighting chance by picking a sunny spot out of the wind. You might also want to keep a cloche or covering to hand, in case of frost.
The best shield against frost is a greenhouse. But if you don’t have one, the following veggies should still grow.
When it comes to fresh leaves in autumn and winter, lettuce is a real winner. The hardier varieties like land cress and lamb’s lettuce will be happy outside or inside a greenhouse.
Tip: Make sure to cover seeds in a cloche or some horticultural fleece to keep the heat in.
This is the ultimate ‘cut and come again’ crop, even in autumn and winter! It grows really well in pots too.
These only take four weeks to grow from planting. Pop them in the ground, but keep them covered with a mini polytunnel to protect them.
Autumn crops to plant
If you plant the right variety now, you will be in for a harvest next May and June. Autumn long pods are your best bet, as they can survive down to temperatures of up to minus 10 degrees C.
Dig in plenty of good organic matter – our Coco Grow+ coir compost comes with balanced slow-release fertiliser that feeds plants for up to 6 months.
Turnips, beets and carrots
Sow seeds in the autumn to be picked in the winter. To boost growth, use a polytunnel or plant in a greenhouse.
Need a plant that can stand up to a hard frost? Broccoli is the veg for you. Also there’s less risk of the plant ‘bolting’ in the cooler weather. Transplant seedlings into the ground 10 weeks before the first estimated frost.
Given how good fermented foods are for you – see all the benefits of fermented foods! – how about raising some cabbage for some home-made sauerkraut? You will need to have sown your seeds back in summer though – 3 months before the first expected frost.
Onions and shallots
If you haven’t had the chance to sow onion seeds, don’t despair. Many garden centres will have autumn sowing baby onions – known as ‘onion sets’ – on offer. Onions are hungry and don’t like wet feet. So make sure to mix in some free-draining coco coir compost.
Branch out with fruit
Autumn is a great time to plant up fruit canes, bushes and trees. It gives them time to establish their roots before the stress of producing fruit next year. Bare root plants are also a lot cheaper than buying them when they’re in bud. Pick your favourites: raspberry canes, rhubarb or perhaps a pear tree – no partridges needed!
Autumn sown cover crops
You could spend the autumn and winter looking at empty raised beds and soil. Or you could give your soil a boost with a cover crop!
Growing cover crops, also known as ‘green manures’, adds nitrogen back into your soil, suppresses weeds and is great for the local insect population. When you need the beds back for planting, just cut down the cover crop with loppers.
For autumn, we’d recommend sowing cover crops like clover, winter wheat or rye.
Tip: Just check that the plant you want to sow next season won’t react badly to any cover crops you choose. The Organic Growers School has a great guide on the basics of cover cropping.
Tips from the ‘Green Gardeners Guild’ online advice library
On the lookout for more tips and hints? Our blogs are packed with advice:
• What herbs are good to plant in autumn?
• How to start a vegetable patch
• How to keep plants warm in winter
Show us your autumn crop harvest!
Have you been diligently gardening away this autumn? Share your photos and tag @cocoandcoir on Instagram. We’ll credit you for any images we use and you’ll also be in with a chance to win some Coco & Coir goodies for your sustainable garden.