Plants are fading now, but it’s never over until it’s over.
Planning for winter planting is an awkward thing for me. I am mostly not good at it, mostly for good reasons. It is to do with space, primarily. Plot 29, or my part of it at least, is about 20-odd square metres. Rotation is tough. And I tend to let plants live a longer life. To leave, say, a few kales and Japanese mustards to bloom. It is a thing I learned from Jane Scotter at Fern Verrow farm: a respect for things you grow.
There are chicories we sowed last winter that have been blooming throughout the year and now we have a few newer plants that are fast spiralling upwards, soon to be throwing perfect blue-flowered spikes.
Increasingly I am finding that there is much beauty, in fading, too.
I don’t have the killer instinct you need to be super-efficient at rotating space. Ripping out and making way isn’t my way. It’s never over until it’s over, appears to be my gardening mantra. I am also fascinated by saving seed.
I tend not to grow things ngs that can be bought cheaply aply or are easily available in shops unless, like peas and beans, a few potatoes, super freshness takes them to another taste level. That said, we recently cleared a couple of patches of ground (I couldn’t in all conscience call them beds).
We have sown them now with autumn aquadulce broad beans and left space for a few alliums. So this weekend we will be planting a couple of (Isle of Wight) purple garlic, some (Electric) red onion sets and shallots. It seems I’ve decided I can’t waitcan’t wait for the new year.
Truthfully, we’ve never had much luck with them, except one bumper crop some years ago. But there is a small patch on the edge of the plot that has been unused. Even in mid-November, I am in need of new green.
Allan Jenkins’s Plot 29 (4th Estate, £9.99) is out now. Order it for £8.49 from guardianbookshop.com
Know your onions: there is still time to plant garlic, shallots and onion sets