Winter marks the turning point in our year, Andy packs up his landscaping tools and get his grafting knife ready for the season ahead. It also marks the turn of the season, where we get our gumboots out, the woodshed starts to get very frequent visits and we slow down on the gardening front. The start of winter, also brings the end of our Feijoa (Pineapple Guava) harvest.
Our veggie garden also starts to slow down, but this year we are determined to continue growing. It’s always hard to drag yourself outside on the cold, windy, rainy days to do bits and pieces, but if we truly want to try and live by the seasons we need to ensure that we have veggies growing all year around.
So what do we currently have growing in the garden?
We made sure that during Autumn we struck some seedlings from seed and have planted out the following plants. Although not yet producing, we look forward to these winter/early spring harvests:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Broad Beans
Did you know that Sage is a great companion plant for Brassicas?
We also still have an abundance of herbs growing in the patch too. These herbs get a lot of use and save us lots of money (and packaging), seeing that we don’t have to buy them from the supermarket:
- Bay Leaves
What’s happening in the Polytunnel?
We have managed to extend the growing/ripening season for some of our summer veggies that are still growing in the Poly Tunnel. The tomatoes are still ripening, although the plants are dying back. We have eggplants still fattening up along with green capsicums and cayenne peppers. And our native Indigo is ready for one last harvest, before it drops its leaves.
Our Babco (Champagne Fruit) has lots of fruit on it, but are still ripening. We are looking forward to these ripening to see what they taste like. We purchased this ‘southern paw-paw’ from Diggers Club after seeing them growing at their Heronswood garden and thought we would give it a go after reading that they produce a lemon sherbet flavoured melon.
We also have some of our staples still happily growing; Silverbeet, Red Russian Kale, Beetroots, Lemongrass, Curry plant and Gotu Kola.
Andy has started to deconstruct our straw bale beds that we had our main summer crops growing in, as this has now become the perfect way to mulch the existing beds.
How to brighten the dull winter?
Winter can be such a dull and dreary time of the year, especially in the garden, but this year I have the best intentions to brighten up the garden with winter/early spring blooms. We have planted out some Everlasting Daisies, Tom Thumb Helichyrsum, Angels Choir Poppies, Pink & Purple Opium Poppies. There seems to be the gorgeous sunny coloured, orange & yellow, Calendula popping up all over the garden.
Did you know?
Did you know that Calendula are edible flowers? The perfect way to brighten up your winter salads. You can also make a really easy Calendula tea, by simply pouring hot water over some dried Calendula blooms and let steep for 12-15mins. Calendula has some amazing healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Here are some recipes that I have on my ‘to-do’ list:
Here is another great resource of 30 uses for Calendula – The Free Range Life
I must admit I am a little calendula obssessed at the moment, as the more I read up on it, the more I discover just how incredible it is and the best bit it they are so easy to grow and they brighten up our dreary winter garden!
What can I plant now?
If you live in Gippsland, surrounds or a cool temperate climate, you can plant the following:
|Broad Beans||Lettuce||Mustard Greens||Onions||Peas|
Winter for us is a little bit bitter sweet, as I go into hibernation, with lots of indoor play with Murphy, warm cosy nights by the fire, drinking endless cups of tea, Andy will be heading off, to set about grafting fruit trees, for many big fruit orchards. We look forward to start making a planting plan for the seasons ahead!
We hope that this has planted some seeds of inspiration into your garden of thoughts.
Be happy, eat raw, eat well and don’t forget to smile!
P.S. Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog posts on Our Top 10 Favourite Dehydrator Recipes, Natural Indigo Dying with plants from our garden and Our Experience growing Peanuts! Be sure to sign up to the newsletter to receive our monthly notifications!