01 April 2012

Preparing for Autumn/Winter

In the attempt to grow vegetables all year round, you need to always be concentrating on what needs to be done next, and thinking forward to the next season.  But it's also important to take notice of what's happening in the current season.

It's the start of April so therefore it's time to get the Autumn/Winter plantings sorted, which I was working on last Friday.  But then I stopped and looked around.  Yes it's definitely getting colder in the mornings, and Daylight Savings ended this morning, but there are still the last of the tomatoes in the garden, and none of the fruit trees (or my beautiful Crepe Myrtle) have started losing their leaves yet.  So as I started working toward the coming seasons, I made sure I also enjoyed the beautiful, warm and sunny Autumn day.

I've decided to do the annual rotation of the garden beds in the Country Garden each year in Autumn/Winter.  It's approximately 70% completed, but won't be finished until after the frosts of winter have passed and the potatoes are planted out in early Spring.

Based on the Planting Plan I developed earlier this year, this is what is happening in the beds currently:

  1. The beans and capsicums are still going strong and will continue for the next couple of months.  Who knows when the soy beans will be ready...!
  2. The lettuces and strawberries have been transplanted into individual barrels out of the rotation system.  Radish, beetroot and carrot have been planted in their place
  3. The tomatoes have finished and been replaced with purple sprouting broccoli and brussels sprouts.  The eggplants still have some fruit on them, so hopefully there's enough warm weather left to ripen them, then they will be replaced with cabbage, cauliflower and more broccoli
  4. Garlic has replaced most of the beetroot and the spinach.  The silverbeet is going strong, so will stay there for a bit longer until the seedlings in Bed 5 are ready to start picking, then we'll plant some onions and some more garlic in their place
  5. The corn and cucumber has finished and been replaced with an interim crop of silverbeet and cavelo nero before the potatoes are planted in Spring.  My Planting Plan did nominate a green manure in there, but we decided that we need to maximise space use at the moment - hope we don't live to regret this, will definitely get the green manure rotation going next year...  The second planting of fennel is going well, as is the celery 
  6. Most potatoes have been picked, but there is a small second crop coming up.  Broad beans have been planted in about half of the bed, with a carrot crop coming along slowly, and a spring onion crop in its last few weeks.
  7. The leek and pumpkin will continue through for the next month or so, then be replaced with peas.  Sadly only one pumpkin has survived, but it's looking good
  8. The tomatoes and beans have been replaced with peas (not broad beans as I nominated in the Planting Plan as I thought a whole large garden bed of those might be enough!)
As well as that we have added lots of extra pots of lettuce, rocket and herbs that will continue throughout the year, outside of the rotation system, as well as a few boxes of garlic to try to get as much as possible planted!

1 comment:

  1. I've been so focused on just having a summer garden that works well, I haven't even thought about winter/cool-season veggies.