Fall and winter vegetables- sowing time?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Finchj, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Dzionik

    Dzionik Junior Member

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    Sorry Pippimac didnt see your previous post, my was addressed to Eco. I was talking about stalk celery "D.T.Brown" which is not common here but thriving in my heavy clay soil and heavy newspaper mulch in shady, weedy part of garden. And yes it needs moisture and some watering even with mulch.
    More common here are leafy and root celery. Excellent companion with leeks and I dont like celery at all :). So my neglecting gave him right place in garden.
    Palerider its not the leek plant thats difficult but seedlings, as all Alum seeds have slow and irregular germination. And after transplanting need 10 C for couple of weeks to establish good roots if its wormer it starts to grow but slowly without good root sistem.

    Right...
     
  2. palerider

    palerider Junior Member

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    It's amazing isn't it.? This family came from Bagdhad in a flat, and have never done any gardening.
    They were pretty amazed about the no-dig stuff. So we made a little patch, about 3 sq. metres, and planted beetroot, silverbeet, spinach, peas, broad beans and lettuce/
    tomorrow is the spuds, and then the corn and tomatoes.
    They just can't believe with a bit of work, you can get hundreds of dollars worth of veggies.
     
  3. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    Oh good, I was a bit worried I looked like the 'nasty internet lady';)
    finchi, you don't mention broad beans (favas) and garlic. I know many people grow garlic though some really full-on American winters. Actually, I think I'd plant broad beans in your climate in very early spring. But I would plant them! Really easy to grow, tasty and productive, fix nitrogen, loads of carbon in the mature stalks for compost, flower first for the bumblebees...I'm a broad bean pusher! I plant a block and poke sturdy stakes in the corners, then use ripped cotton sheets to encircle the block as they grow. Most varieties get pretty tall and really floppy, so they need help staying up.
     
  4. Raymondo

    Raymondo Junior Member

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    In general, for a good winter vegie garden, by that I mean harvestable, you need some planning. An excellent book on the subject is Eliot Coleman's Four Season Harvest.

    To set the scene, it gets cold here in winter with subzero (Celsius) night time temps but the ground doesn't freeze. It's also a summer rainfall area so winters tend to be dry.

    My timings, for winter harvesting, are something like this:

    Potatoes - sow early summer, leave in ground and harvest over winter as needed. Remember, the ground doesn't freeze and there's not much rain over winter.
    Leeks - sow in spring - they're slow, slow, slow but worth it. This year I plan on trying milk cartons around them to keep the stems white.
    Onions - sow seeds around the autumn equinox and plant out when big enough. These are harvested late spring/early summer and eaten over the following few months, including winter. Plan ahead.
    Carrots, beetroot (beet), collards, kale, mustards, silverbeet (chard) - sow around the summer solstice. They need to be harvestable by the time winter sets in as they do very little growing then. Slightly after the solstice is better than slightly before to avoid early bolting. The root vegies in particular need mulching during winter to prevent their shoulders being frozen at night.
    Spinach and rocket (arugula) - sow about halfway between summer solstice and autumn equinox.
    Mache (lamb's lettuce/corn salad) - as above though more twoards the equinox if it's still quite warm. It likes the cold.
    Cabbage - sow late spring/early summer. The savoy types are pretty hardy but sugarloaf types manage quite well here. All brassicas need covering against the Cabbage White Butterfly and/or the Diamond Back Moth when sown in the warmer months.
    Lettuce - just keep sowing a few each week, maybe increasing the number between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox.
    Turnips - sow lots leading up to the autumn equinox. Winter turnips, eaten when small, are deliciously sweet.

    You'll need to adjust timings to suit. Experimenting with different cultivars is also worthwhile as some cope with winter better than others. For example, I cannot grow hearting lettuces over winter because they don't seem to cope with the regular freeze/thaw cycle. Hope this helps some.
     

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