How to grow Kitchen Garden Jobs winter 2017

Kitchen Garden Jobs winter 2017

In the Kitchen Garden this winter Linda Ross is composting, planting winter veg and planning for the future.

It’s time to get into those winter kitchen garden jobs!

Words: Linda Ross

 

Delicious rhubarb. Photo - ac rider / shutterstock

 

It's time to

Start a compost heap. Compost helps to balance and replenish the soil, recycle kitchen waste, feed worms and provide nutrients for strong healthy plants. Already on the job? Keep compost healthy by turning regularly and covering if weather is very wet.

 

Spread compost or fertiliser over beds

 

Spread compost or fertiliser over beds before it rains and when the rain stops, collect and dispose of slugs and snails and feed them to the chooks. While you’re snail-hunting, pull weeds from the softened soil.

Add colour: marigolds, lupins, pansies, violas, phlox, verbena and lavender are not just pretty in the kitchen garden; they also act as beneficial insect attractors.

 

Cabbage family. Photo - stockcreations / shutterstock

 

Plant more broad beans, cabbage, lettuce, marjoram, mint, onion, peas, radish, shallots, snow peas, artichoke, asparagus, beetroot, leek, potato, rhubarb crowns, spinach and spring onion.

 

Don't forget to plant potatoes. Photo - soo hee kim / shutterstock

 

Choose bare-rooted fruit trees. Pick trees with a nice shape, and ask the nursery to prune it back for you before planting. Check you have the right pollinators to ensure a good crop and remember that some stone fruit trees will not fruit until they have been in the ground for a few years.

Consider a green manure crop to add some nutrients back into your patch, especially before planting heavy feeders in spring. Try lupins, fava bean, field pea, oats and wheat. This will improve your soil.

Sow coriander and chervil in bare spots.

 

The incredible Romanesco broccoli. Photo - luca santilli / shutterstock

 

Feed newly planted seedlings with seaweed tea or liquid fertiliser, watering it on early in the morning, according to the pack concentrations.

Make a blackboard and hang it in the shed for keeping track of what has been planted in your patch where and when. This makes crop rotation easier, and allows you to keep track of feeding times and dates, what worked and what didn’t.

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Author: Linda Ross