SO....ARE YOU BUSY THIS WINTER?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by danjo, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. danjo

    danjo Junior Member

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    what do you guys do in the garden in winter? or do you hibernate?
    do you have a list of things you do this time every year? pruning roses, mulching etc.
    do you add plants to your garden this time of year or wait until Spring?
     
  2. FREE Permaculture

    FREE Permaculture Junior Member

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    Broad beans is about the main thing here, very boring though,
    watching broad beans grow :?

    bare rooted fruit trees are out and about now, so i bought a new persimmon, it's just one long stick about 5ft tall, i'm wondering if i should prune it down to keep it reasonably compact? or maybe wait 'till next year.

    Bought another dwarf pixie peach, and i have a little room left out front so i'm thinking a couple of them ballerina columnar apple trees.
    didn't know they had to be different for pollination so i'm trying to find one that matches the flamenco i have my eye on in bunnings.
    might even squeeze three in to be sure.

    has anyone grown these? they seem interesting and would just fit into my yard, i put in a dwarf nectarine and a peach last year and am wrapped with their progress, nice full size fruit and no pruning which suits me fine so i couldn't resist getting another today.

    giant garlic and onions are moving along, lettuce is boring me to tears to but my mum convinced me to plant another lot, so the other day i made yet another new bed, have just 2 square metres of grass left :)

    My lemons are getting thrown out weekly as they are just going crazy, my oranges are still splitting so haven't had one at all.
    the chooks are nice and cosy though :) maybe some eggs in another month or so :( and did i mention broad beans? well there everywhere!

    Bring on spring i say!
     
  3. Loris

    Loris Junior Member

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    Always look forward to winter in the garden - when I was a kid it represented a change in food and now I still look forward to fresh peas (winter crop here), new potatoes and brussel sprouts. Its also a time for seed collecting when a lot of summer things have finally dried out for seed. The chokos had a glut in autumn that we are still eating through but now have set a few little winter chokos that are always more delicate in flavour and texture. We will get gardens ready for grapes in the spring and early august is the time to prune grapes and propogate for spring planting.
    July or August is a good time to plant sugar cane for wind breaks, barriers and also for pigs and cattle. Some garden beds which were fairly new, I planted with potatoes to try and break up the soil a bit. They do a little job down about four inches and once I have dug them, I will put in winter crop green manure to try and get more soil depth. The trees love the winter as it is dryer and they don't have the pests to contend with. Some winter figs are on and I will bag these soon to keep things off them.
    There is more work watering in winter when we don't have the more regular rainfall although last winter I only turned a hose on twice before xmas due to wetness. Little bit more firewood work though.
    I'm hoping to see some mango blossoms on my trees because the lady down the road's tree in just covered. Someone gave me some runners of a big white sweet potato that we used to call sweet yam. It seems to be able to live in gravel and peel and grate the flesh and use in soups in stews for thickening and they make great chips. Can't believe they are still growing. Thinking of throwing some tubers in the road verge/ gully to feralize.
    Trying out some bulbs which are really hard to grow here so it takes some experimenting to try for tulips, croccus and hyacinths. Some I put in pots and spread around to try and find the ultimate spot with just enough shade or something and them I can plant them there for good.
    Lots of things happening here and not enough time to enjoy them.
     
  4. bazman

    bazman Junior Member

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    Mulch Mulch Mulch and ahhhhh more Mulch.

    Have to run a spark along next doors fence as the cattle keep pushing heads over the fence and ripping at trees etc..

    More Mulch

    Keep the new trees roots happy with a bit of water as it's a bit dry.

    More Mulch

    Build hand powered sugarcane mulcher.

    More Mulch, I plan to mulch another 600-800m2 before the end of winter
     
  5. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day danjo :)

    When we moved onto this site a little over 6-months ago I was determined to not rush into making any major design decisions and subsequent developments. I'm now very glad that I didn't. I knew this region was highly susceptable to frost (my research had indicated that we could expect up to 60-per-year), but what I didn't expect was that these frost events would occur almost each and every night! This morning's makes it 20 - in a row!

    So apart from recording frost events (severity, location, etc) for future reference we have been busy 'drought proofing' in the lead-up to this winter. We are eventually hoping to have all the food production systems operating with minimal (if any) irrigation other than for what falls out of the sky. Of course this means taking advantage of the slight slope we have on site to direct all runoff into drains and swales. This means that I have been spending almost every spare moment hanging off the end of a pick, crowbar or shovel as we create these drains and swales and mini catchment areas.

    Other things we have been doing:

    Dad has been busy building raised kitchen garden beds in (what will eventually become the 'home' orchard). Into these beds he is planting all sorts of winter veges - the broad beans are looking marvelous!). I'm sure that all of his hard work will not only provide us with yummy food, but will rejuvinate tired, mal-nurished soils which will later form the basis for orchard plantings.

    Mum has been helping me with the removal of the legacy we inherited when we moved here. Hundreds of diseased, dying and dead (mostly ornamental) trees/shrubs have been cut down and stumps grubbed out. In their place we are planting (or at least we will be planting - when it rains!) a totally indigenous front 'garden' (an ecologically-designed extension of the roadside where native animals can find refuge and access to niegbouring corridors), and out the back a complete indigenous and non-indigenous food and medicine forest. We are putting in multi-grafted fruit trees, nuts, and Mediterainian things like olives, etc.

    I have removed literally hundreds of metres of high-pressure poly-pipe irrigation after deciding that i could not retrofit it to suit our new design. Eventually when the tanks are positioned and filled, the kitchen gardens will be gravity fed via mobile poly pipes and "leaky" hoses.

    We have an enourmous pile 2-by-2-by-20mt of biomass ready to be chipped and eventualy used for sheet-mulching or as a carbon componant of the compost system. Writing of compost, I have designed and built a 3-bay system that takes all of our (three families) green waste. I currently feed this system carbon from a pile of sawdust that I 'harvested' from the former horse stable that we have on site. The 'stable' has now become a woodshed that dad has been filling with dry fallen, ecologically harvested fire wood that we use in the slow combustion heater (our only method of heating, and occasionally used for cooking soups/stews, etc.).

    We are currently waiting for entry to our DSE 'green standing' wood lot where we will harvest (via ecological thinning) next years supply of firewood. This green wood will be stacked behind the nursery (situated on a north/south axis) in an east/west axis of rows. The plan being that it will act as a partial heat-sink and provide a sheltered micro-climate environment.

    On top of what is happening at home, my full-time studies keep me busy (often well into the morning hours) and I occasionally find the time to pursue my spiritual path.

    I love the winter, as I do the spring, the summer and autumn. The beauty of living in a temperate region (yes, even the frosts are beautiful) is that one gets to experience the full gamut of nature - from the blazingly hot heat of summer, to the frosty chill of winter. Winter (for us) is a time for collection, planning, observation, designing, building, creating, planting, harvesting, retrofitting, nuturing and generally just enjoying the fruits of our labours.

    Well, must go, as I want to sketch a few more designs into the 'frost plan' before I get ready to board the train (Sydney-bound) in order to take in some of that 'spiritual path' that I mentioned earlier.

    I hope that your winter gives you much peace and joy, danjo, as I hope it does for all the permies and non-permies around the globe.

    Cheerio,

    Mark.
     
  6. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    Its summer in my garden right now. Actually it is really summer in my garden all year long! :D
     
  7. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

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    Jammy bastard :D Wish I was there. (brrrrr hate winter)
     
  8. grease

    grease Junior Member

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    so are you busy this winter

    I'm with baz, when to much mulch is barely enough. Rudolph Steiner's theory was the earth 'breathed' in in the autumn/winter and breath out in spring/summer. So feed the earth now so it can 'inhale' the nutrients. Keep on with the winter crops including the legumes and you'll keep yourself busy.
     
  9. heuristics

    heuristics Junior Member

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    yeah, Baz-za how is that mulch mountain goin' can you show us a pic of how much you've carved into it>
    when I said I had mulch-mountain envy - you can see now, I was only a bit joking......
     

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