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Winter Vegetable Garden

The last month of Winter has arrived and I am happy to commence the count down to warmer days. I am missing the sunshine and the energy that warmth brings to me and also to the garden. My Winter plants are not going to provide much of a harvest this year. To date we are collecting fennel, rocket and loads of lettuce, some bok choy but there is a noticeable absence of kale and the broccoli is still small, the first head should finally emerge this month. Last year I had a wall of kale that was waist high, this year there is not yet enough to collect for a meal!

Broccoli plant

KaleThe garlic also seems to be growing slower than usual. It looks healthy enough as do all the plants. Maybe it is because I have not been out there daily this season pottering around and chatting to the plants? No, I don’t do that but I do usually spend time weeding, propping things up, checking for pests and harvesting bits and pieces, removing yellowing leaves and generally pandering to every need of my bountiful garden!

Garlic and Parsley

Planting:

Beetroot seedling

Not much is going in the ground at the moment. I will wait until the end of the month to get my Spring seeds started. For now there is a newly planted round of:

  • Beetroot
  • Fennel
  • Carrot
  • Lettuce

Harvesting:

Fennel

Salad Greens

  • Bok Choy
  • Capsicum
  • Chilli
  • Fennel
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Rocket
  • Spinach

Yes it is strange that chilli and capsicum are still producing. I have not had plants go all the way from Spring through Winter and still be producing any other year. I am keen to know if you have experienced similar anomalies?

Chilli through winter

Jobs this month in the garden:

I was to dig in the green manure (oats) that I have growing in the raised beds but I don’t think it is quite ready yet. I will wait another month and check again for readiness at the end of this month. In the mean time those beds are looking very lush!

Winter garden

I did a soil pH test a few weeks ago to check the various garden beds and all were pretty much perfectly balanced except the blueberry beds are not acidic enough.  After I did a happy dance around the garden I checked for additional advice from my Facebook friends. My own method was clearly not producing adequate acidity for the blueberries. One of my lovely Facebook friends told me to go and get some Epsom Salt to correct it. That is at the top of my To Do list or I fear we will not have a good crop of berries this year. I am told that I need to add it as a dilution in water every two weeks and the retest the soil.  The blueberries are looking healthy and have lots of new growth but I know they will produce much better if I correct the soil.

Blueberries new growth

Other things on my To Do list this month in the garden include:

  • Review my seed collection to see if there is anything I need to get for Spring planting. I am heading out for a visit to my friends at Birdland Organic Seeds in a couple of weeks with my list of must have warm weather seeds.  I love that there is a quality, certified, organic producer just up the road from me.
  • Late in the month I will start to plant some Spring seeds on the window ledge of the garage, protected from the wind and weather to bask in the sun that streams in the window.
  • Weed the garden while the soil is soft and moist from Winter
  • Turn the compost pile at least twice

 How has Winter treated your garden this year? Are you looking forward to Spring and the promise of fast new growth that it brings?

Please note: There are some exciting new changes coming to The Garden Share Collective. The Garden Share Collective will move to the end of each month, instead of the start from next month.  There will still be a link up but some changes will be introduced to make it even better and more interesting for participating blogger vegetable garden enthusiasts and home vegetable gardeners.

The Garden Share Collective was created by the very clever Lizzie from Strayed from the Table. Since it started it has grown to include bloggers from not only all around Australia, but all around the world. Stay tuned for some exciting new changes to the Collective. Join the Facebook group if you have not done so for more news soon.

Kyrstie


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{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Kate August 3, 2015, 8:45 am

    I’m in Melbourne and much of what you describe happening in your garden is the same here. The winter crops have been painfully slow and yet I’m still harvesting capsicum and chillis too – go figure!

    • Elissa August 3, 2015, 6:44 pm

      Me too! Glad I’m not alone in the brassica drought…

    • Kyrstie Barcak August 7, 2015, 7:57 am

      It is an odd season isn’t it Kate? I hope that you have a great Spring.

  • Julie August 3, 2015, 10:29 am

    Oh aren’t you good doing the pH test! I haven’t done one in ages (damn). In fact, I should do that especially for my blueberry which is looking rather sickly. Hmm Epsom salts .. must give this a go. Your photos look wonderful .. what a lovely garden you have 😀

  • Lizzie {Strayed Table} August 3, 2015, 11:11 am

    I am one of those people who talk to their plants. Shameful I know but I swear it helps them to grow bigger and stronger. Your fennel is looking lush, just wishing I had some at the moment.

    • Kyrstie Barcak August 7, 2015, 7:57 am

      I think you might be onto something there Lizzie, plant whispering could be a thing 🙂

  • Jacican August 3, 2015, 11:39 am

    you are highlighting what I need to be doing, but I to am waiting for the weather to heat up. Please bring on the summer.
    Now time to organize the seeds for planting
    Jaci

  • Becs :: Think Big Live Simply August 3, 2015, 2:13 pm

    It’s all looking very gorgeous! I can’t believe it’s nearly spring planting time, already – I’m sure I say that every year though. And, I may have been known to have a little chatter to my plants 😉

  • e / dig in hobart August 3, 2015, 2:19 pm

    i’m a little like you – just waiting (impatiently) for the warmer weather, and not really doing much until then. it’s quite a few months away for us here in Hobart.

  • Francesca August 3, 2015, 3:40 pm

    Very slow here too, all the chillis have died in a frost and the cockies are causing havoc. Love the fennel.

  • A Kailyard in Adelaide August 3, 2015, 7:13 pm

    We also have capsicums and chillies as well as eggplants. Totally bizarre considering the freezing temperatures we have had here is Adelaide this winter! Love all your gorgeous borage 🙂

  • Grant Nowell August 3, 2015, 7:58 pm

    We still have hundreds of chillies on the bush that I planted ten months ago, I’m drying them to give to friends. Our garlic is also going along slowly but looking quite healthy, fingers crossed!

    • Kyrstie Barcak August 7, 2015, 7:54 am

      It is tough to tell how the garlic is going until it has been in the ground for ages. Fingers crossed for yours and mine both Grant.

  • Jill August 4, 2015, 4:48 pm

    Peas are one of my favourite winter harvests, only 1 more official month of winter and you & the garden will be ready to go again.

  • Kate August 4, 2015, 10:05 pm

    My Adelaide garden is similar to yours — not producing much after a colder-than-usual July. I’m hoping that we’ll have a bumper stone and pome fruit season because the trees got properly chilled. Your photos, as always, are gorgeous and make me want to just step into your garden.

  • Nerida @ The Crooked Cottage August 6, 2015, 8:59 pm

    I’m starting to think it’s a wonder I grow anything – I clearly don’t do enough tender loving care – my garden seems to mostly thrive on neglect! But then again, it is not nearly as wonderful as yours and all the other Garden Share Collective gardens so I guess I’ll be out there chattering away on the weekend! That’s really interesting though about pH testing and all, do you just use litmus paper (and where do you get it) or is there a fancier way to do it?

    • Kyrstie Barcak August 7, 2015, 7:52 am

      Hi Nerida, you can get the pH test kit from Bunnings or a nursery. They are cheap and easy to use. My 7 year old helped me do it.

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