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  • Writer's pictureHuttons Valley Permaculture

My winter vegetable garden starts now

I’ve never really grown a winter vegetable garden before, well not with success anyway. Last year I put seedlings in my beds when they became available. So that was after the tomatoes and pumpkins had finished in around April. My new beds had yet to be constructed and there was lots of grassy wet habit around which snails and slugs love. So two problems there - planting too late for good growth before the light reduced and the plants were way to small to stand up to attack by these slimy pests. Now that I have a bigger garden I can let my tomatoes and pumpkins continue to do their thing while clearing old lettuce and Asian green beds to get my next seasons crop thriving before conditions deteriorate. The ducks and chickens loved the old greens pulled from the garden. The seedlings are slowly growing in the greenhouse and I’ll plant them out soon.

Had a look at my kitchen garden also. Was able to take a harvest of oregano for drying while tidying up. Also decided to harvest some lemon balm and Vietnamese mint to use as mulch around my sage plant. I’d previously cut down the weeds around the sage, laid down cardboard and put down some mulch, just not enough so added the extra. These days I usually just cut the weeds at their base and try not to disturb the soil. The soil food web is responsible for feeding our plants so the less we mess with it the better! Grabbed a bit of mint and chocolate mint while I was out there - mint sauce coming up and dehydrated choc mint for future teas in winter!

Got a bit of paperwork done inside today - prefer to be outside but it has to get done sometime right?! While inside I did a bit more microscopy and discovered that one of my composts had done really well. While not much fungi it did have heaps of bacteria, Protozoa and a few good nematodes so happy to be adding this to my winter growing bed.

Managed to get a few things thrown in the freezer so they don’t go to waste. While clearing the garden bed I inadvertently knocked green chillies off the plants there. It’s great to be able to pull things like green chillies or red, and berries out of the freezer to enjoy when winter is here. Also while clearing the bed I pulled out masses of beetroot. I had planted lots so that I could harvest the greens along with other salad mix leaves but when the rest of the bed had gone to seed I had forgotten these guys were still there, growing away nicely. Think I might be preserving and cooking a few beets tomorrow!

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