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.

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10 Responses to “The front yard heads towards winter”

  1. Kate March 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    Fantastic. Reminds me I have to get my onions started!.

  2. Claire March 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    Well done! I also have planted seeds of broccoli, lettuce, spinach and sweet peas (because they are beautiful). I have not been diligent with the white oil spray, and my citrus are a bit sad and sorry looking)

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney March 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

      You have to be so vigilant at this time of year (and Spring) because the leaf miner loves new growth. If you keep up the white oil until the leaf is 4cm long, then it is no longer susceptible. I must sow some spinach too – a block of that would be great, but I’ve never had much success.

  3. Gardenglut March 28, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Wow, I love your winter crops. I have never tried diakon, turnips and swedes, but perhaps I should!

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney March 28, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

      This is my first attempt at daikon too. I love it, so I hope it works! Turnip is the easiest thing ever – it grows insanely quickly, so it’s a good filler crop too. It is also very flexible in the kitchen – I particularly like it pickled.

      • Liz March 28, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

        I think daikon falls into the turnip category of growing ease – I grew it once but got stressed out by having too much at once and I haven’t grown it since – silly eh?

  4. Lilian March 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    Looks wonderful! I wish I knew what to do with my strawberries – they’ve pretty much taken over 2 whole garden beds – should I be digging them out? Or should I leave them be and put out more garden beds for plants that have a natural ‘death’ cycle (ie when you harvest them). I’m still undecided. I do believe you were right about my passionfruit – it’s the gold variety and there are a couple that are starting to look slightly yellow! So I might harvest some this autumn/winter after all.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney March 28, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

      That’s why I’ve kept my strawberries in planters – it’s easier to contain them and track which ones are current year’s plantings or a few years old. They stop producing well after 3 years or so. Yellowing is encouraging – yours are a bit ahead of mine, so I’ll keep an eye out. I only have 3 so far though, so nothing to write home about.

  5. Liz March 28, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    When I look at these photos do you know what I see – a big green patch waiting to be dug and planted – he he he….imagine the potatoes you could get out of that space…

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Lay…me…down… on a bed of onions* « 500m2 in Sydney - April 15, 2012

    […] finally planted the onions. I had sown a whole packet of onion seeds in a large pot, and they had   progressed to about 15cm high and strong enough for transplanting. […]

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