Tales from the Kitchen Garden with our PIG garden guru Ollie Hutson

Pig6

It’s an exciting time in the Kitchen Gardens and beyond, as we prepare for the 2024 growing season. Our central nursery in the New Forest, where we do all of our propagation, is in full swing. We completed the first sowing back in late December, and more trays of seedlings are being sown every week. Towards the end of January and into February, we’ll sow over 2,000 tomato, pepper and aubergine plants to grow in our greenhouses and polytunnels over the summer.

In the Kitchen Gardens, we’ll continue to harvest our winter salads, leeks and brassicas daily, until the last produce in April. As each of these beds finish, we’ll start to plant our seedlings, ready for some early harvests to bridge the “hungry gap”: the period when winter crops have ended, but the new season’s plantings aren’t yet ready.

Our crops in the colder months include Chinese artichokes (aka crosne), which we harvest between November and February. These produce masses of small tubers with a crunchy texture and a nuttiness not dissimilar to water chestnuts – it’s crucial to put a few aside for replanting in March.

Our gardening teams are always happy to show you what’s new, so if you’re at a PIG, come and see what we’re up to. Or if you fancy getting a taste of our zero mile ingredients, why not book a table for a light bite or spot of lunch this February?

Meet you by the veg beds!

- Ollie

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