Archive | 5:09 pm

The front yard heads towards winter

28 Mar

I pulled out most of the crops in the front bed over the weekend. I thought I’d write a post about what I’m planning to grow over winter and how I’m preparing the front yard for the next season.

I do most of my food growing in the front yard. I have beds along the side of the house and a few in the backyard, but due to major shading issues these are mostly unproductive in winter. The majority of produce comes from the 10 square metres of Bed A along the very front of our block – the part that’s on show to the neighbourhood.

Here’s my attempt at stiching a panorama – gives some perspective of the front yard from the house, looking towards the street. You can see that the majority of the front bed is stripped of summer crops, with the exception of the basil (which I need to process into pesto) and an eggplant at the right that is still covered in flowers.

In the middle is the new crop of dwarf green beans that are about to start producing, which are interplanted with beetroot (an experiment).

In the foreground is the very sorry Bed B.  Right up against the house, this gets almost no sun at all in winter. There is a big block of flat-leaf parsley in the middle, my rhubarb plant and a block of celery at the right, some random onions and a self seeded tomato plant. Apart from those it is all weeds.

I’m about to strip this bed of everything but the perennials and plant my onions here. I’ve planted a whole packet of hunter valley brown onion seeds in a large pot, and I’ll transplant as soon as they are a decent size and I’ve prepared the bed properly. Might have to do a better job of keeping the chickens out of them, because they have already been sat on a few times.

Starting from the let of the panorama along the front I have planted out:

A couple of metres of shelling peas (Greenfeast).

And approximately 50cm blocks of:

  • Baby carrots ‘Nantes’
  • Daikon radish
  • Swede ‘invitation’
  • Turnip ‘De Nancy’

And along the rest of the bed I’ve transplanted seedlings (grown from seed after freaking out in this post) of:

  • Chinese broccoli ‘Gai Larn’
  • Silverbeet ‘Fordhook Giant’
  • Evergreen Bunching Shallots
  • Leeks ‘King Richard’
  • Broccolini
  • Broccoli ‘Di Cicco Early’
  • Mini cabbages
  • Mini wombok
  • Mini cauliflower

Tiny cabbage seedling, protected by multiguard (non-toxic) slug pellets

And at the very right hand side of the bed I’ve planted my Stupice tomatoes

So that’s most of the front yard planting done. Now I just need to clean up all the random pots and tomato stakes so it is a little more presentable.

I’m pleased to report that my citrus trees are thriving in the full sun of the front yard. The few fruit on the lemon actually set, and all the masses of new growth are looking lovely. I’ve been sparying with home-made white oil spray every 5 days or so to keep the citrus leaf miner away and it seems to be working.

Unfortunately the back yard and side beds are disgraceful. I really need to get onto them and plant out with climbing sugar snap and snow peas asap.

That and lettuce. I always fail at lettuce.