The Vegetable Garden Transition from Autumn to Winter
May 30, 2016
The end of autumn has arrived with winter pushing its way in over the last couple of weeks as the days noticeably cool. It’s been wet and grey more often than not.
The theme of this month’s Garden Share Collective is leaves. The Collective is a group of garden enthusiasts from around the web who create a monthly update of their productive garden. We’d love for you to join us. You can do so on the last Monday of each month by using the link at the bottom of my post here, or via Rosehips and Rhubarb. Be sure to visit some of the other beautiful gardens to see how they are progressing. It is the perfect place to learn from the experience of others.
This time of year is all about the leaves. The beautiful colour, the bareness the fallen leaves reveal, the growth of new leaves on emerging winter seedlings and unfortunately the holes in the leaves of new seedlings being eaten by the pests that are prevalent at this time! A gardeners focus shifts from watering and harvesting to protecting new plants from being attacked. Snails and slugs and cabbage moth can wreak havoc and destroy winter crops.
This year I am protecting the leaves of my main winter plants by covering one of the planting areas in the garden with exclusion netting. It is not the most beautiful addition to the garden but it is working perfectly. The little plants are undisturbed by the cabbage moth, each little seedling has perfect, untouched leaves. Ideally I would have used poly pipe to make a neat tunnel shape for this garden bed but I didn’t have any. I wanted it completed without the time or cost of sourcing materials. The walls of the neighbouring garden beds, 2 tomatoes stakes and a pea trellis were utilised to create the shaped and secure the netting.
I have mentioned many times over the years that Winter is my least favourite season. I tend to drag the plants from summer and autumn through as long as possible before finally giving into winter planting. I expect that most members of the Collective will have advanced broccoli, cabbage, kale and cauliflowers. My winter plants are still tiny, just seedlings. I prefer the vegetables of summer so am happy to still have basil in the garden, at least for the next few weeks before it needs to be removed. Similarly, the capsicum are still producing, the fruit is now getting smaller and the leaves wilting in the cold. I have just started to cut them back in preparation for winter. In spring they will develop fresh new growth and the cycle will begin again. The eggplant are also still producing. Only one variety is showing signs of disliking the cold. The other three plants have fruit almost ready to harvest.
One thing I do love about winter is how pretty the leaves make the morning dew and rain look.
The images below show our garden areas as we move into winter :
Over the last couple of weeks I have planted seeds of :
Relax a little and let winter pass by. The slow growth of winter plants lends itself to just stepping back and enjoying other activities such as cooking in the warmth.
Not much is required at this time except for regular daily checks of the plants to make sure no pests are present and collection of whatever is ready to harvest to add to meals. Plus a little weeding.
What about you? How is your garden progressing? Are your winter plants growing strongly and almost ready to harvest or have you been slow to get into this season also?
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