Winter wonders: the vegetables that thrive in frozen weather

Veg plots are usually bare and dug over at this time of year, but Charles Dowding advises the opposite

Imagine a vegetable garden in winter, and you’ll probably conjure up an expanse of bare earth alongside a frosted-up greenhouse. But market gardener Charles Dowding’s plot couldn’t be more different: celeriac roots the size of bowling balls stand in neat rows next to a carpet of spinach plants crusted with frost, huge globes of savoy cabbages and chicory blooms. He calls this his “outdoor larder”.

“More and more people are seeing the beauty of the vegetable garden in winter,” Dowding says. His 950 sq m of ground – about the size of four full-size allotment plots – near Shepton Mallet in Somerset produces £21,000-worth of produce for his local vegetable box scheme, as well as supplying produce for his family and the gardening and cookery courses he runs.


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