I’m heading for a hungry gap

21 Feb

I’ve realised this morning that in my abundance of summer veggies I have failed to plan properly for Winter/Spring. Jackie French says in her Calendar of Self-sufficiency that if I haven’t already planted the brassicas then they won’t be ready until spring – eek!

So today I’m going to have to salvage my winter garden with fast-growing vegetables. I’m going to plant the following:

  • Beetroot
  • Dwarf bush beans
  • lettuce
  • turnips (and maybe swedes)
  • Broad beans (probably a bit early, but we’ll see)
  • Broccolini
  • Mini cabbages
  • Mini wombok
  • Chinese broccoli
  • Mini cauliflower

I have already sown into seed trays over the past week:

  • Stupice tomatoes (cold season variety)
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Silverbeet
  • Iceberg lettuce (hasn’t germinated, perhaps too warm or too wet)

Has anyone else gotten cocky and failed to plan for Winter/Spring?


19 Responses to “I’m heading for a hungry gap”

  1. Sarah February 21, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    The chinese veggies sounds like a good idea.

    I was all excited that my pea and bean plants had sprouted in the jiffy pods on the windowsill, but now it looks like they’re going mouldy! 😦

    I’ve been looking at the various dwarf bean varieties on the fothergill’s website – they have a dwarf borlotti bean that would be great to grow for dried beans!

  2. ASydfoodie February 21, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    Bum. I thought I could put in brocoli now. Oh well, at least I’ll have snow peas and *fingers crossed* carrots, as long as I beat off the snails and slugs.

    • Gardenglut February 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      I live in Sydney and always put my broccoli in in Fenruary and it crops June/July.

  3. JulieK February 21, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    We’ve got some broccoli seedlings almost ready to go in the ground, and a heap of beans that have come up over the past couple of weeks. Hopefully that’ll tide us over for a little bit. But, to be honest, the garden generally goes a bit fallow over winter and we get excited about it again in Spring.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney February 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

      Well I got most of the stuff planted that I was aiming for. Still have to do the swedes and turnips, but I might hold off and put them in once the eggplant comes out. To be honest I’m always a bit disappointed in the broccoli anyway – takes up so much space! I figure I have no right to get lazy over winter when I read of the Americans and their (literally) frozen ground. But then again I’ve only been at this for a year now – I’m still enthusiastic (and naive and inexperienced!).

      I sowed all the brown onion seeds I had in my stock with the intention of planting out soon, but I probably need to buy more. I want to fill my ‘Bed B’ across the front of the house with a view to harvesting late next summer. I’m still dreaming of achieving onion and potato self-sufficiency, but I know that’s pie-in-the-sky thinking 🙂

  4. Norma Chang February 21, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Funny how you are planning your winter crop and we are still waiting to plant our spring crop.

  5. Linda Woodrow February 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    I’m in northern NSW, and I have really just planted my last round of summer crops. In my part of the world, the next leafy planting days in early autumn are the ones for planting all the leafy greens like lettuce, parsley, amaranth, endive, celery, silver beet, rocket, basil, dill, coriander, nasturtiums, spring onions, chives. I’ll probably put in a few brassicas, just on the off chance, but its a bit early for them here. I’ll leave it for another month to start seriously planting cabbage, chinese cabbages, cauliflowers and kale, along with broad beans, peas, snow peas, spinach.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney February 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

      Maybe I’m in with a chance then. Jackie French lives quite a bit south of me and slightly inland, so perhaps it isn’t quite too late after all.

      • Jen February 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

        I was lucky enough to meet Jackie about 15 years ago through a friend, and wander through her wonderful garden, wombat holes and all. I would have said the climate in the Araluen valley is quite a bit different to Sydney, so who knows, you might get lucky.

      • L from 500m2 in Sydney February 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

        Fingers crossed Jen! I had to look up where the Araluen Valley was – felt a bit relieved when I realised – I think it would be much colder than Melbourne – do you agree?

      • Jen February 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

        Yep, they get winter minimums of -9, strong frosts. I don’t think I could handle that cold! Not sure whether her writing would be for wider (capital city) audiences though?

  6. Frogdancer February 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Yep. I’ve been so preoccupied that I haven’t even THOUGHT of winter plantings. Ooops..

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney February 21, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

      Well I think this time of year must be hectic for you, even without all the Thermomix demos you’ve been doing. I’m starting to think I need to host a demo. I wish you were in Sydney!

  7. veggiegobbler February 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    What!? I’m late! Oh dear. I’m new to all this seed planting business and I haven’t even thought about winter. I’m still eating tomatoes. Right, thanks for the reminder it’s on my list for next week – this week’s already a write off.

  8. Liz February 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    I reckon you’d definitely still be OK sowing broccoli, and you can certainly buy seedlings of cauliflower and cabbage and be able to harvest them in winter. Her winters get colder than mine so I think they’d be a lot colder than yours. I think you could sow anything you wanted and still be fine to harvest in winter – presuming that winter isn’t ridiculously cold…. In a rare feat of organisation I did sow broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Kale, silverbeet, beetroot etc etc in January and have planted out helps of seedlings in the last week or so but now I’ve run out of space until the tomatoes, eggplants etc finish so there isn’t much more I can do really….except clean the house….arrgggh

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney February 21, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

      OK, well I’m feeling a bit better now. I guess it was good to get a bit of a kick up the bottom though. Probably wouldn’t have sown anything otherwise.

      My house is chaos today too, but mostly because I have so many food projects on the go. Hope you get some tidying done.

  9. Gardenglut February 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    Yep, I’m headed for a hungry gap too. Woman cannot not live on chilies alone. I do have some beans that are starting to produce and 1 cucumber plant that if I can save it from the aphids will provide a feed or two.

    Thanks for your guide on what you are doing. I am going for radish and rocket as a quick crop to fill a blank spot.

    My broccoli are in as are my beetroot seed and other things will have to go in next weekend too – cabbage, cauli and leeks and others.

    As for broccoli and maturing time – yep Araluen is way colder than Sydney and Melbourne for that matter – they get really serious frosts and snow on occassions. I always put my broccoli in in February and I am usually eating then in June/July.

    Jackie also talks of the autumn bolt. Like a spring bolt anything in the ground at this time can really grow fast ( as long as you get some sun) – I think it is true. Good luck.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney February 21, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

      “As long you get some sun” LOL!

      Good to hear that you plant in Feb and harvest in June/July. That sounds like experience talking, and I lack that.


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