Friday, May 25, 2012

What goes in the veggie patch this winter

Hi Girls and Guys,

Just because you can't grow your tomatoes anymore doesn't mean you can't grow anything. For the last couple of years I've been very lazy, leaving my veggie patch to become weed infested throughout the winter then spending a few day preparing it for the summer and letting it go again. Heres a list of things that will go great in your veggie patch over winter making it productive 12 months of the year!

[caption id="attachment_181" align="alignright" width="117"] Carrot - great with roasts, salads or in stew[/caption]

When it comes to the cooler months, and what to plant think of all your winter favourites! What goes well with a roast chicken or a leg of lamb??? Things like Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Broad Beans, Red Onions and all the different types of peas, snow peas, snap peas and podded peas.

But these aren’t the only herbs and veges that love the cooler months, don’t forget all your leafy vegetables such as Rainbow Chard, Spring Onions, Leeks, Beetroot, Kohlrabi, Cabbage and all the different Asian greens such as Pak Choy and Bok Choy. Lettuce loves winter too so maybe get experimental and try growing some Cos, Mini Cos, Varying colours of Coral and Butterhead and my favourite the peppery taste of Rocket!

[caption id="attachment_180" align="alignleft" width="150"] Its all the colours of the rainbow with Rainbow Chard[/caption]

Garlic bulbs are a good idea to plant if you use a lot of garlic in the kitchen amongst Bolognese or over your Prawns split the bulb into individual cloves and they should be ready for harvest late spring early summer look for the foliage dying back and remember to keep the biggest and best one to replant next year!

Herbs can be hit and miss over the cooler months with cold wet feet and cold nights sounding the death kneel for herbs such as most basil’s (perennial and greek will still grow okay but lack the flavoursome punch of sweet basil) and others such as oregano, BUT maybe try growing Chervil, Fennel and now is the best time to grow the sometimes troublesome Coriander.

Many of these winter favourites now are available in dwarf varieties as well for those of you who are planting in smaller garden beds or in pots on balconies or for the adventurous using them in a wall gardens!

[caption id="attachment_179" align="alignright" width="112"] Don't forget the Seasol[/caption]

As its cools you may want to also think of using a liquid food to fertilize as it is available for the plants to use straight away. It is also a good idea to apply it over the foliage of the plants and at the same time mixing your liquid foods with seasol (a plant tonic) to increase pest and disease resistance!

On the topic of pest and diseases over winter you may want to keep an eye out for snails, slugs and caterpillars. For the slugs and snails a liberal sprinkling of snail bait (available now in child and pet friendly forms) or for those of you who use pots using a copper barrier tape around the top of the pot will stop the pesky buggers from getting in their. For your caterpillars, aphids and other insects that appear in the garden over winter try using a natural pyrethrum spray, which is made from the pyrethrum daisy and is safe for us, but will stop them dead!

Until next time happy gardening and happy eating


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