Winter

Winter blooms

Pre-Spring blooms. I do love my Winter bulbs.

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brassicas, Seasonal guide, Winter

Brassicas

Winter is a great time for brassicas. In fact, if you planted them in late Autumn you should be getting close to the harvest time. The brassica family of vegetables includes broccoli, broccolini, cabbage and cauliflower. They are easy enough to grow from seed, but growing from seedlings is more convenient (especially if you are planting them late)

Brassicas are generally slow but steady growers. They get very green and leafy over two months and then almost overnight, start to develop the veg bit you want. It then takes about 2 weeks for the brassicas to develop good- sized produce for harvest.

Check out our Brassica fact sheet: Brassicas 

 

Maintenance, Pruning, Winter

Pruning season

 Winter is the best time to prune your deciduous trees, and unsightly shrubs, as this is when the plant is dormant or at its slowest growth point.

Pruning can be a daunting prospect for the inexperienced, but it’s really not that difficult. Even if you make a mistake, your plants will be forgiving.

The first thing that you need to do is ensure that you have clean and sharp tools. You may use a pruning knife (suitable for smaller branches and roses), secateurs (suitable for small branches) and a pruning saw (suitable for larger branches/bigger jobs).  Make sure that you are wearing a long shirt, and a sturdy pair of garden gloves. (I recommend that you wear glasses to protect your eyes).

  1. Remove any dead branches, flowers and leaves.
  2. Remove any canes (branches), which are growing in towards the centre of the plant. (You are aiming for a vase shape – unless you are cutting a topiary).
  3. Cut back the remaining canes (branches) by up to two-thirds.
  4. Cut above a knot in the branch.
  5. Fertilise the plant if it needs it.

Happy Pruning!

Bees, flowers

Bees and more bees.

Here in Australia we are quite lucky in that we aren’t suffering from the significant drop off in the bee population experienced in other countries – and we don’t want to!

Bees are an essential element in your garden. Without bees, there is no pollination. Without pollination, there’s no fruit. Even if you aren’t a huge flower fan, it’s important to have some flowering plants in you garden, to support the ecosystem. Try adding at least some of the following to your garden:

Herbs:

  • Borage
  • Catmint
  • Coriander
  • Lavender
  • Sage
  • Thyme

Perennials:

  • Anemone
  • Aster
  • Bottle Brush
  • Buttercup
  • Crocus
  • Geranium
  • Grevillia
  • Hollyhocks
  • Sun drops

Annuals:

  • Calendula
  • Cleome
  • Heliotrope
  • Poppy
  • Sunflower
  • Zinnia

Seasonal guide, Winter

Things to do in Winter

Winter is here. Yes, I know, it’s hard to believe that we are almost half way through another year.

So, what do I need to do throughout the colder months to keep the garden in good shape? Here are a few suggestions:

What to plant:
Salad Vegetables: Asian Greens, Lettuce, Endive, Salad Greens, Silver Beet, Spinach, Herbs
Legumes: Beans, Peas
Root Vegetables: Beetroot, Potatoes, Radishes, Parsnips 

Berries: Raspberry, Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberries
Fruit Trees: Cherries, Apples, Pears, Citrus, Stone Fruits

Jobs to do:

  • Weeding
  • Clean tools
  • Clean out potting shed
  • Check use by dates on seeds and garden products
  • Work on paths, check garden edging
  • Outdoor maintenance
  • Prune fruit trees

For more information go to the Winter page of this blog and download the Winter Fact Sheet.