Suddenly, here, the nights are colder and the air crisper. As we ease on into another winter we’re getting ready to plant greens.
It’s good fortune really that the abundance of greens that we can grow in the colder months are full of nutrition!
We’re a lucky bunch in Australia. Minus a small pocket or two, across the country we can grow an abundance of food outdoors year round. (Technically those few small snowy pockets could too – just ask Eliot Coleman who grows throughout his white winters in Maine, USA.)
We have a feeling you may have heard of a little trendy vegetable called kale?
As we bunker down into thick socks and knits-type weather it is very handy indeed that this and other winter greens provide us with a steady dose of the vitamins and minerals that are so readily available from raw vegies and salads.
Winter greens are generally those varieties that as the name suggests, keep green over winter. They are the dark leafy greens that are the heroes of nutrition.
This includes brassicas like cabbages, broccoli and kale, Asian greens like tat soi, bok choy and pak choy, along with a host of other favourites including spinach, Swiss chard, mustard greens, lettuces, endive, collards, beet greens and rocket. The list goes on.
Depending where you are in the country your planting list will vary.
But for those in the temperate areas of Oz, now’s the time to get your greens in the ground!
March and April were generally the best time of year to get many varieties started in seedtrays
So if you haven’t done this already, buying some quality organic seedlings will be your best bet for a bumper crop.
Transplant seedlings into garden beds now for:
- Brussel sprouts
Sow these seeds direct into the garden:
- Arugula (rocket)
- Bok choy
- Corn salad
- Florence fennel
- Mustard Greens
- Pak Choy
- Swiss chard (silverbeet)
- Tat soi
There are a range of other tasty greens, such as parsley and chives that will thrive through these colder months – as well as a lot of wonderful wild varieties. Stinging nettle and chickweed are two that love a drop in temperature.
And of course, don’t forget about the many root veg, alliums, peas and broad beans that will happily fill your garden during winter.
A few resources:
- Allsun Farm’s planting calendar for cool-temperate Australia
- The Gardenate app and www.gardenate.com – if you haven’t put this to good use yet, do so!
- This post – particularly for wild winter greens.
Might we also recommend our Serious Backyard Veggies course stream which is providing many folks with the knowledge, skills and confidence to get growing!
I read your post… and thought… this is the second “out of season” post I’ve read lately… where in the world are these folks from? Australia? LOL! Why Yes! Yes, you are! Isn’t the internet cool! 😉
Well we have to put up with all your ‘christmas in winter’ weirdness so there you go 😉
LOL! 😀 I totally agree! Now that we are all “one world” it is like keeping up with the whole family’s food allergies… it seems like I’m always in translate mode, not just language, and hemispheres and time zones, but colloquialisms and regional idioms as well… I LOVE IT! 🙂
Thank you! I love gardening in this cooler weather. Autumn, my favorite time of the year. Happy gardening.
So do I! No more water rationing, watching gardens shrivel and die. Bring on Autumn with the rain and all the luscious winter greens.
OK – am on track this year! Brocolli, cauliflower, lettuce (3 types), kale (3 types), and have seedlings of english spinach, purple sprouting brocolli, pak choi and (something else – getting old!) to go in the ground in a week or 2. Garlics are in and all up and looking good!
What a beautiful garden you have! Our aim is to have our beds ready and prepared for a spring time planting – this winter for us it is all about preparation 🙂
Inspiring photos, I love seeing these gorgeous images of veges. I’m on track with garlic and broccoli, but want to get some spinach and other greenies in this week.
Reblogged this on Manly Vale Community Garden and commented:
No need to rewrite this. Kirsten says it all. A quick summary:
Now’s the time to sow these seeds direct into the garden:
•Arugula (rocket)•Beetroot•Bok choy•Corn salad•Florence fennel•Kohlrabi•Lettuce•Mizuna•Mustard Greens•Pak Choy•Spinach•Swiss chard (silverbeet)•Tat soi
Transplant seedlings into garden beds now for:
We are planning on these this winter (eastern Washington state) and will plant in late July to mid-August and maybe later with low hoops. Especially kale which over-wintered here last year.
Reblogged this on The Violet Verge and commented: Spent some time in our garden today. Separated some Rhubarb and put it onto the verge along with some strawberry runners I had propagated. Finally got around to planting the garlic which had arrived 3-4 weeks ago (its been busy!) and dug in a heap of faba bean as a cover crop. Beets, Broc, cauliflower and carrots planted about 3 weeks ago are going well. We have had some pretty fine sunny (but coolish) days which has meant the soil has stayed relatively warm. The mornings are getting decidedly cooler now (making… Read more »
How do you keep out the cabbage moth and aphids while growing kale out. He open? Every time I plant kale it’s half eaten within the first 2 weeks if not covered over. Natural solution?
Yes please! Any tips gratefully received. I looked at your rows of kale with envy as I contemplated my own, which looks like lace.
I read somewhere that Landcress planted between rows is useful to stop the white cabbage moth…..trying to source some…….
Hey Nikki, use some fruit fly netting. It’s the only chemical free way unless you want to (daily) pick off tiny green caterpillars and eggs! Some people use Derris Dust to protect them, active ingredient is Rotenone. Look it up for its effects and uses. Or a Spinosad product which uses Bacillus thuringiensis a natural bacteria that kills many caterpillars.
Go for the netting, easy and toxic free for everything!
I love your blog and pictures! They are beautiful! Your lettuces look so hearty and healthy. I wish I had the green thumb you have. Thank you for posting these!
Love your posts thanks for advice about planting now
Reblogged this on Sustainable Impact.
Love your newsletter. Thanks for sharing. I’m in the UK but reading this connects me with my loved ones in Oz whom I miss very much. I just turn your newsletter upside down and plan for autumn here 🤣
happy spring planting! 🙂
i love growing winter green from self sown vegies. some grow easily like red russian kale , silver beet, parsley. radish, i save some seeds and let some drop, they have a built in timer. some plants im working on to improve my stock of seeds. especially mustard varieties, and i love corn salad. always keep seeds for that. without knowing it i am selectively breeding what grows well in my soil and climate and self seeds. give it a go and have fun
What is corn salad?