Winter in the garden can be a time of waiting, watching and hoping for spring. At least in past years this has been my experience.
This year I have tried harder to keep the garden going, and think about what might actually be grown achievably. Brassicas are an obvious choice, they grow well in colder weather, and don't bolt. With the added advantage of a lack of white butterflies. So this year, in late summer, early autumn I planted Brussell Sprouts, Broccoli, Cabbages and Kale. It is with my happiness I can announce that soon I will have Cauliflowers to eat. The plants have good full leaves and pudding bowl sized caulis maturing in their centres. I have tied them up once when we had a threat of snow (which never eventuated), as the top of the white cauli will go brown if frosted off. Today I will have to go out and do that again, as we have more bad weather forecast.
The broccoli are forming up well, with tennis ball sized heads, the curly kale are edible, and we have been using the leaves as they grow, for both kale chips and kale in butter etc. The brussel sprouts I'm not sure about, growth wise. They are much maligned, but I love them, however although there are tiny "sprouts" at the base of each leaf, I'm not sure if they will be dense enough to be a proper brussel sprout or of they will bolt to a loose leaf shape. Time will tell here.
Lettuces under cover have grown really well, and we have eaten several butternut lettuces as "Caesar Salad", they seem to tolerate the cold much better than I had imagined, and the tunnel cover just gives them a bit of shelter from the frost.
In other news, I planted out 3 rows of Garlic, from my own bulbs from last year. I had so much garlic last year, we still have bags of it stored, and I had plenty to use as seed garlic. I also planted "Pukekohe Long Keeper" white onion sets, they actually look a bit "sad" but I am hoping they will perk up.
The seeds I put in for both Mange Tout peas and pod peas have not germinated well, with only a few small plants showing above the soil. I haven't given up on them, but hold out hope that come spring the rest will germinate eventually.
This is my Garden Share Collective post for July, you can have a look at all the other gardens if you google it.
Jobs Undertaken this Month: planted Garlic, Onions, Coriander, tied up Cauliflowers.
Harvesting Now: Spring Onion, Lettuces, Parsley, Leeks, Kale
Jobs to do this Month: Weed, watch for Frosts, prune the last Grape, add more soil to the planter beds