Top 10 Winter Harvests in the Edible Garden

Cold temperatures and low light levels in winter do not mean an end to fresh produce from the garden. Here at The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh we have been harvesting a range of vegetables over the darkest months. Here is a list of our favourites.

1. Chard: Multi-coloured leaf stalks and spinach-like leaves make this an indispensable winter crop in the Edible Garden. Sow July – August, Harvest December – May.

2. Kale: Very hardy, provides a continuous supply of nutritious leaves. There are several attractive varieties such a ‘Nero di Toscana’ and ‘Red Winter’.  Sow May – July, Harvest December – April.

3. Leeks: A winter classic, essential for broths, soups and stews.  Sow April, Harvest January – April.



4. Winter/Land cress: A spicy salad crop. Sow August. Harvest January – April.

5. Winter purslane (Claytonia): Mild, buttery textured leaves that combine well with land cress in a winter salads. Sow August. Harvest January – April.

6. Parsley: Flat-leaved and curly parsley provide vitamin C rich leaves throughout the winter months. Sow July – early August, Harvest December – April.


7. Chervil: A delicate aniseed flavour and fine, feathery leaves. Sow July – early August, Harvest December – April.

8. Mizuna and mibuna: Oriental greens that can be stir-fried or eaten raw in salads. Sow August – September. Harvest January – April.

9. Jerusalem artichokes: Knobbly roots that produce a velvety soup (and flatulence!). Plant tubers March, Harvest January – February

10. Sorrel: A perennial herb that grows fresh citrus flavoured leaves early in the year.



Please note: All of the above crops have survived outside uncovered this winter, which has not been particularly harsh. However they will always be more productive and more likely to survive a tough winter if grown under a fleece or in a cold frame, unheated greenhouse or polytunnel. 

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  1. Reblogged this on EcoTech & Design.