Don’t forget to make best use of any space not already filled with autumn planting vegetables – plant your own Chinese take-away! There are a wonderful array of delicious oriental vegetables which can be sown from seed if you gets your skates on, often providing some delicious additions to salads , sandwiches and stir-fries for weeks to come , just at that time when you may be feeling your veg patch isn’t being too productive.
I like to make sure that everything crops for as long as possible so I do rely heavily on horticultural fleece – sometimes laid directly over the emerging and then burgeoning crop and sometimes in the form of a fleece-covered EasyTunnel. Fleece will provide wind filtering and a few degrees of frost protection too, yet allows plenty of light, air and moisture to penetrate. A covering like this also has the added benefit of keeping some of the troublesome autumn pests at bay – pigeons being a classic example!
Some of my favourites for this time of year include Tatsoi with a delicious spicy kick to the rounded leaves and Mizuna, this is of the most attractive leafy vegetables you can grow -finely divided rich green leaves soon appear after sowing the seed in a pot or in open ground and they add a great somewhat spicy flavour to your Chinese eat-in………..and they’re great for adding zing to salads and sandwiches. Then there is Pak-Choi, that fast growing Oriental veg that has a superb crunch to it
Another easy vegetable to grow late in the summer, just sow the seeds in to a forked soil or in a large planter, water and wait. Thin out as per the instructions of the seed packet, and remember that these thinning are great to eat too, just pinch off the roots and pop them in to the wok!
If you want to do some indoor gardening too, you can get sprouting – bean sprouts are so easy to grow you could almost do it with your eyes shut. The most popular are sprouted mung-beans, either buy packets of the seed especially for sprouting from the seed companies, or do as I do and buy as small packet of mung-beans from your local health food store. I then soak the seed for about half an hour, rinse thoroughly and put a couple of tablespoons full in a large glass jar, add a bit of water, put a bit of muslin (or a section from a clean but old pair of tights) over the mouth of the jar and secure well. Put in a cool, dark cupboard and check once a day, each time draining out the old water and adding fresh…….the bean sprouts will soon appear and after a thorough rinse lightly stir fry!