Your winter crop sorted - our tips May 01 2017
On a cold winter's day nothing beats a hearty home-made soup packed with home-grown veges freshly picked from your garden. With winter just around the corner now is the time to get your vegatable garden ready for this next season.
What to plant
Although the elements may be harsher there are still a wide variety of vegetables that you can enjoy over winter including carrots, leeks, spinach, brussel sprouts, silverbeet, broad beans, parsley, broccoli, coriander, cabbage, cauliflower and peas.
If you live in a relatively frost free zone you have a few more options including beetroot, celery, chives, spring onions and hardier varieties of lettuce.
Stock up on the staples
Kitchen staples like onions and garlic can also be planted during the cooler months. Autumn is the perfect onion sowing season – a dedicated raised garden box makes growing onions easy, and you can always plant lettuce inbetween the rows to make the most of space. If you're a fan of tradition garlic is historically planted on the winter solstice (shortest day of the year) and harvested on the summer solstice, however feel free to plant garlic anytime during autumn or winter to ensure your summer stock is sorted.
Give your soil some love
Before planting give your soil a nutrient boost with a good dose of compost or fertilizer like blood and bone. And remember to rotate your crops! Avoid planting the same vegetable in the same place to keep your soil healthy and pest free.
Location, location, location
When considering the location of your winter garden the two vital ingredients are sunshine and shelter. That's where a raised garden box comes in handy - simply move it to a sunny spot sheltered from the wind. Also consider using pots and planters that can be placed under covered patios and easily moved into the the midday sun. Whether it's an old wheelbarrow, wooden crate or a recycled tyre - get creative and use what you've got for a sustainable solution.
A final tip
For a great winter crop use a layer of pea straw to help keep the roots of your winter vegetables warm and to ward off weeds. This will also give your garden lots of mulchy goodness to set you up for replanting in spring!