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July 2018

Calendar Calendar

Time for winter vegies

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Time for winter vegies

Post by AlleyRose on Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:35 pm

April’s an important changeover month in the vegie patch. Summer crops are coming to an end and the winter crops are taking over.
What you can grow in your garden is very much governed by your climate. In really warm areas, this is planting time for warmth-loving vegies such as tomatoes and beans. But, in colder regions, these are coming to an end. As the summer crops finish, pull out the spent plants, add them to the compost or dig them into the soil. This is especially important with legume-family plants like beans because they’ll add extra nitrogen to the soil.

Things move slowly

As the weather cools, plants grow much more slowly, so patience will be required. But there’s no reason why you can’t continue to grow good vegetables right through the cooler months.

Follow crop rotation

Crop rotation is a complicated-sounding term for a fairly simple practice. The idea is that when you are planting a new crop, you choose a variety that is unrelated and unlike what was grown there immediately before. Hence, if you are removing tomatoes (a fruiting plant) replace them with, say, something leafy like lettuce. Beans (a legume) can be followed by carrots (a root vegetable). The reasoning behind this is that certain types of plants use up more of a particular nutrient. And, as well, making regular changes helps prevent the build-up of diseases in the soil.
If you have the space, it’s a good idea to leave part of the vegie garden empty so it has a rest over winter. Dig in some organic matter (old manure or compost) and don’t replant until the next season.

What to grow

Here are some vegies that enjoy growing during the cool weather:

  • Broad beans – Sow the big seeds direct into the garden bed.

  • Broccoli – Yates Shogun/Winter harvest has firm, dome-shaped heads that hold well. The side branches continue to produce after central head is cut.

  • Brussels sprouts – Yates Drumtight is aptly named because the very best Brussels sprouts are tightly packed with flavoursome. Loose, fluffy sprouts are often an indication that temperatures are too high. This is one vegetable that really loves the cold.

  • Cabbages (pictured) also enjoy cool weather. Low temperatures seem to add a special sweetness to cabbage leaves.

  • Cauliflower – Home-grown cauliflowers have a delicate flavour. They prefer well-limed soil and need good watering while the heads are forming.

  • Spinach – True spinach is a winter favourite. Best grown as quickly as possible, with ample water and liquid fertilising, spinach doesn’t keep well so should be harvested as required. Yates Baby Spinach is good for a pot.

  • Turnips – Yates Purple Top White Globe is an attractive-looking vegetable: a shiny, round, snow-white root coloured with touches of purple.

  • Peas can be sown now in areas with moderate winters. If winter is very frosty, it’s best to wait until spring.


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