The COOL CLIMATE  Winter Garden. 

What seeds to plant in July and August: 


  • Broad beans
  • Lettuce
  • Tokyo Bekana
  • English spinach
  • Onions -spring & brown
  • Tatsoi
  • Florence fennel
  • Peas
  • Swedes
  • Kale
  • Mustards
  • Radish

Some of these may need frost protection, while you have frosts. 




  • Sow direct in All seasons
  • Position in Full Sun
  • Water well.
  • Height To 40cm
  • Row – Space at 30cm
  • Plants – 100m


A superb addition to any winter garden. It looks like lettuce, with stunning bright green leaves. Tokyo Bekana. Looks like lettuce. It has a nice sweet flavour with the crunchy crisp texture of lettuce. It is a type of mustard (Brassica juncea) so has lots of antioxidants and other nutrients. It is easy to grow. It is prolific. It is an open pollinated heirloom variety so the seeds can be saved and replanted. that can be picked again and again. 

The delicate texture and mild mustard flavour have no sign of bitterness, so you can eat it raw as well as in a stir-fry. Best eaten straight off the plant so you will never find this one in the shops. 

In some guides you’ll see many others such as Pak choi, sorrel, watercress, broccoli,

cabbage, parsley, many herbs and kohl rabi as winter plantings – to my mind, winter up

here in the hills is just too cold (usually) for them to get going well – most should be kept until late August or September. (And in any case, perennial herbs are quicker to raise from cuttings taken in autumn).

Later in August you may try early plantings of Pak choi, Bok choi, kohl rabi, cabbage,

broccoli, parsley, chervil, any other herbs from seed, but not basil or parsnips, it is too early for them, yet.  


Want to get an early start on your summer plants?

In August, if you have a sunny windowsill, or better still a hot house, try raising a few early punnets of tomatoes, beans, sunflowers, celery, rocket, silver beet, globe artichoke and other spring varieties. These plants will be well grown and will be planted out October to November.


All through winter it’s time to plant bare-rooted (and potted) deciduous fruit trees,

roses, garlic, globe artichoke offsets and Jerusalem Artichoke ‘sun choke’ tubers, shallots, tree onions, potatoes, onions, rhubarb and asparagus crowns, mint and strawberry runners, raspberries and other cane fruits, blueberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants.

At the end of August, it’s time for Oca, potatoes, yacon, chives and garlic chives.


Other activities: – 

Tidying up – always plenty of that to do!

  • If your tomato glut is over (thank goodness) you can make some apple chutney
  • or onion marmalade… practice your sourdough and pasta making… catch up with
  • reading… take up the ukulele?… or be online 10 times as much as you used to be
  • (guilty as charged).
  • Build a compost heap.
  • Construct new garden beds.
  • Sort out your seed collection; pick out those near, or just past, the ‘use-by date’, for
  • planting as soon as possible. 

*Plant thickly, if you think germination rates may be low. You can thin them out later.

Happy gardening