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Vegie planting in Winter

As the weather cools, plants grow much more slowly, so patience will be required in the garden, but there’s no reason why you can’t continue to grow good vegetables right through the cooler months. At home, we are still eating broccoli from the seedlings put into the garden last October. If you leave the plants there they will continue to re-shoot florets from the side for a long period. These plants are finished but now the next crop is just starting to produce. The cabbages that were planted in late February are now ready for picking.

Broad beans can be planted from late Autumn until late Winter. I use Yates Coles Prolific Broad beans which are a semi-dwarf variety. Just sow the big seed directly into the garden bed around 4 cm deep and 15cm apart. They will germinate in around 10 to 14 days and should reach maturity in 16 weeks. I tend to find that these will self-seed every year in the vegie patch and occasionally when those low temperatures are experienced in Spring some bud drop may occur but this is a natural occurrence and new flowers will quickly follow. Broad Beans need to be given some support as they can reach over one metre in height.

You can plant your onion seedlings and some all season carrot seeds. I have just planted some snow pea seeds. I prefer the Yates Climbing variety which will require a sunny position. Seeds should be planted at around 25mm deep and 5cm apart and should be placed near a trellis for support. Snow peas take around 8-10 weeks to reach maturity. The Yates Winter Triumph lettuce seeds can also be planted from early Autumn to late Winter. This is a frost tolerant variety of lettuce which is best grown in seedling trays before planting out.

I have vegetable beds raised above the ground, which appear to protect the plants more from frost and pests. Raised vegetable beds can be purchased in kit form or built using timber sleepers or with corrugated iron. I placed straw in the bottom of mine then layered with mushroom compost and organic garden mix with screened cow manure and then placed sugar cane mulch around the plants. This seemed to work brilliantly and produced some great vegies this year, so now is the time to start planning that patch for Spring and Summer.

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