Monday, 1 March 2010

Winter garden planning... early days.

It's been a busy week, preparing for the state election and beginning to prepare the garden for the winter.  I have planted the first of the brassicas... some seedlings of broccoli and cauliflower,  and seeds of some kale, beetroot and, of course my usual standby,  silverbeet (Swiss chard.)
Now is the time to plant these,  before the soil is too cold,  but after the very hottest days...  not that that is all that reliable... we seem to be able to get unseasonably ultra-hot weather at most times of the year.
Here are the broccoli seedlings that have been in the ground for about a week....  ready for dinner in June?  They grow quickly while the soil remains warm.

It is also time to prepare the garden patches that have been dry and empty during the summer.  This patch (below) had beetroot, fennel, cauliflower and broccoli and some silverbeet last year.  It is the least favoured piece of this garden as in the shortest days of the year (June) it is shaded in the afternoons... 
Today I dug it deeply, and broke up the clay lumps.... it is now waiting for some rain (we haven't had any to speak of since before Christmas)  and whenever it is predicted,  I'll be out spreading gypsum...

I think that there'll be an assortment here again this year...  some onions, leeks and garlic and, in the part that I know is a bit deeper,   I'll put some carrots and beets.  I'll leave the brassicas for the other end of this patch where the broad beans were last winter.  The silverbeet can go there this year too,  but since that seems to grow wild and come up all over the place,   it may just mean not "weeding it out" there.

Tonight the electricity was "off" again... it has been for much of the day.  It's rather nice to have the quiet and nothing urgent to do.  In fact, I need to write some election material and press releases,  but with the internet unavailable (I have a laptop and wifi) I'll wait til later...
Outside the sun was just setting (before 7.30 now) and through the trees near the gate it looked like a fire....


.... and back to the garden planning....   this is an advantage of having separate winter and summer crops and patches...  the planning and planting happen at least a couple of times a year here.   It makes me think of my garden in Saskatchewan, years ago...  covered in snow for months on end,  one could only plan with the seed catalogues for the following summer... a "once a year"  pleasure.

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