Harvest, Spring Gardening, Winter

Last of the winter crops harvested

It’s over for another year. I’ve harvested the last of this round’s cabbages and cauliflowers and prepared the beds for my summer tomatoes, basil, eggplants, and zucchini. I’ve even chucked in some sweet corn and radishes.

I still have beans and peas on the go, but they should be all done by the start of November.

Digging Tools, Garden Work, gardening, Winter

Tools! Digging stuff.

Tools! No I’m not making a statement about government official again. I’m talking about garden tools – those used for digging. During the winter months I make time to clean out my garden shed, and go through and repair and clean my garden tools.So what kind of digging tools do I have hidden in the shed, and what do they do?

Fork

A garden fork(also known as a spading forkor graip) is a long-handled tool with four (sometimes three or five) flat, thick metal prongs. Forks are used to loosen soil, break up clods and clay, and dig up stones and rocks.

Hand-Held Fork

This is a smaller version of a garden fork. It is also known as a boarder fork or a ladies fork. These forks generally have three prongs set close together. Hand forks are used for wedding around plants, and to assist with lifting out root vegetables.

Rake

A rake is best described as a broom used for the outdoors. It is a long-handled tool with a (usually metal, sometimes plastic) toothed bar fixed to the handle. It us used like a broom, to scrape together leaves, grass and garden debris.

Shovel

A shovel is a long-handled tool with a blade fixed to the end. The blade is usually made of metal and appears to have a seam in the centre. This creates a bucket-like shape. Shovels are used for digging, lifting and moving material around your garden.

Spade

A spade is like a shovel in that it is used for digging. It is also a long-handled tool but the blade at the end is narrower and less curved than a shovel (they’re often quite flat). The flat blade makes a spade a good choice for digging, chopping up roots and breaking up soil.

Trowel

A garden trowel is like a hand-held shovel. It has a pointed, scoop-shaped blade and is used for breaking up soil, digging small holes (for planting), weeding, and scooping fertilisers into the soil. This is a ‘must have’ garden tool. You can get ones with metal or plastic scoops.

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