Saturday, June 24, 2017

The winter garden in Melbourne

We are now entering into the midst of winter here in Melbourne, but we are lucky enough to have a temperate to cool climate and so it is still possible to grow veggies through the winter months. In order to have a good winter crop you must do your sowing and main planting in autumn, so that the plants have a chance to get established before the soil cools right down.

What can you grow through the winter months, you may ask.  We are fortunate enough to have a wide variety of vegetables that prefer the cooler weather. One of my favourites to grow are peas.  This year I am growing four different varieties; two dwarf shelling peas, Super Gem and Willow. It's my first year for trying Super Gem, but I can tell you that Willow produces the sweetest peas ever. The other two varieties are snow peas, and sugar snap. Find growing tips for peas  HERE- Easy Peasy  

Another favourite crop of mine is garlic.  This year I'm only growing one variety, Italian Red soft neck.  I've chosen a soft neck variety because they keep just that bit longer than the hard necks do.  For my tips on garlic see HERE

Autumn/Winter is a great time for planting any of the allium family - these include onions, spring onions, garlic, chives, shallots and leeks.  None of these are a difficult crop to grow and there is nothing nicer than pulling fresh baby leeks straight from the garden.
 
  <-- Garlic

                        -->Leeks

I give these two crops a organic liquid feed around every two to three weeks.







Of course salad crops do very well in the cooler month and I like to try a few different varieties of lettuce, along with silver beet and radishes and tatsoi. I usually pick tatsoi leaves when they are babies and throw them into salads but you can, of course let them grow bigger and use in stir fry. 
<--------  Tatsoi
                                                          

                                                 
The last crop I'm going to mention are the brassicas which of course include cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, kale etc.  I always grow some cabbages and cauliflowers, but I choose the miniature varieties as they are plenty for two people and you can eat the whole thing in one go.  If you have a bigger family, then of course it makes sense to grow the larger types. Again you can find my tips on growing cabbages and cauliflowers HERE


<------- Cabbages & Cauliflowers

So with a little bit of preparation in autumn,your winter vegetable garden can be just as productive as your summer one.

Happy Winter Gardening.

All photographs are taken by Helen.