Hi Friends, with the approach of winter our nights are cooling, so much so that we actually had to put our quilt on the bed last night. Could have put it on a couple of nights ago really however I kept telling myself it wasn't that cold yet.
famous last words, I slept so much better last night which is an indication that it had been cold enough.
I know some of you (well more than some I suspect) living over in Qld will have vastly different methods of gardening in winter to those of us down south in cooler climates, sorry, but for those of you in the southern areas, have you prepared your garden for winter yet? To prepare a vegetable garden for winter, you'll want to do a great cleanup job in autumn. This garden care will make it easier to start the new growing season in the spring.
I have been clearing my garden beds of all the crop remnants from the past season and am now ready to refill the beds with new soil, manures and compost ready for next season. I like to put the manures and compost in now so that they have time to settle over the next few months because it has been my experience that the newly prepared beds while great for growing my produce, they tend to be so rich that they grow more leaf than anything else. While all this cleaning up and preparing seems tedious it does make a huge difference with a much easier start to the new growing season. Come spring I shall only have to do a little light weeding prior to turning over the ground to loosen it up a little. Sometimes I will grow a cover crop as well because this protects the top soil as well as providing valuable organic matter to enrich it.
I will be resowing some of the beds with winter crops such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach etc and these will be protected with a blanket of mulch to prevent root damage from extreme cold temperatures.
In the mean time I have all my vegetable bed netting inside washed and folded awaiting me to find the time to repair the holes and make new rod sleeves for those that need them.
In the orchard I have pruned and secured the trees, DH is about to give them their first spray with copper sulphide and I am in the process of mulching. It is important to keep mulch up to our gardens not just to protect them from heat but from the cold in winter and most importantly from erosion.
All this activity has added greatly to our compost heap. Don’t worry about knocking all the soil off the roots. Soil contains microbes that will boost the decomposition of your compost. The compost recipe is “two-parts brown and one-part green. Dried leaves, pine needles can be added to the dead plants to provide the “brown.” Kitchen waste, grass and still-green plants will help provide the “green” component of your compost recipe.
So how goes all your winter garden preps?
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon