Started planting the winter garden, has anyone else?

Get down and dirty growing your food...
Shadowgirlau
Posts: 2281
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:57 pm

Started planting the winter garden, has anyone else?

Postby Shadowgirlau » Wed May 06, 2015 9:08 am

Hi,
Although very cold lately with a couple of the beds now ready to use we decided it was time to start planting the winter garden. Cabbages, carrots, broad beans. spinach and beetroot have all been planted for now. I need to seek out my seeds for planting out a green manure (hopefully today) with the aim that I will be continuing to improve our soil after all we do live in the gigantic sand pit that is called Western Australia. As we live all the way over here please anyone on the east coast take note, what we grow here in winter may not be as successful for some of you at the same times as us here. Usually what ever plants & seedlings are available in your nurseries are what you can grow at that time. I think in this case I am particularly referring to those of you who live in Qld as your growing season is quite different to ours really.

Anyway I digress, our soil here would have to be some of the most nutrient poor & degraded soil in the world and thus needs lots of improving. I can't afford to add all those extras that they do on the many gardening programs so I tend to add all our kitchen scraps to a bed along with sheep manure, pig manure, hay, a bit of blood & bone, and a few shovels of our home made compost, after which we then cover this with the used soil from the year before and spread seeds in it to grow a cover crop which we dig in to add extra nutrients. All very time consuming and something we hope is worth it in the end.

I discovered I had missed a piece of ginger and it has begun to shoot. As it is the wrong time of year to plant this out I really it has been sitting here on the kitchen counter mocking me :roll: well until yesterday when I decided that it was time to do something about it. I haven't planted any ginger out before so having read up about it and discovering it needs a little shade I decided to plant it out in my east garden where it will receive sun all morning and afternoon shade. I always think of ginger needing a warmer climate so I have covered the planted ginger with a sprinkling of pea straw & some lucern mulch around it to hopefully help keep the soil warmer and covered the planting site with plastic to hopefully keep it warmer during the old days. Now we shall wait and see what happens over winter.

Did I tell you how cold it has been this week so far? Well it has been so cold that I have felt like I am living in a freezer!
Happy gardening everyone.
Last edited by Shadowgirlau on Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon

Shadowgirlau
Posts: 2281
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: Started planting the winter garden, has anyone else?

Postby Shadowgirlau » Mon May 11, 2015 8:03 pm

Sow! Sow! And Sow! Preparing to anyway...

I always seem to have trouble sowing my seedlings or even seeds using the correct spacing and usually end up with my plants or seed too close together. Having your plants growing too close together often ends up with them being unable to 'breath' properly thus encouraging fungal or rust type issues. We have made a start on our winter garden with DH planting the first of the cabbage seedlings. The remaining beds are not quite ready though it is hoped that we will complete another come the weekend.


What to do about the spacing issues has been going around in my mind like a broken turn table, does anyone else remember the time of records? The fact that I do would indicate I am from the stone ages as my kids often tell me.

Well I searched high and low for a wooden ruler and finally found one at a little hardware store that I thought would do the trick. I don't know what it is used for although I assume it is used in the building industry for something? The chap taking my money told me that they don’t use them so much any more as they now have some digital thing-me-jig? with a laser. No wonder the box they were in was so dusty.

Anyway to cut a long story short, a few days later I had DH drill some homes along the ruler every 10 cm. He used a small drill bit first then changed to a larger drill bit to make the size hole I wanted and did this so the wooden ruler wouldn't splinter or crack and break (thank goodness he did it as I would have just used the size bit for the hole I was after). As some plants or seeds are planted at half measures say 5cm for example, he used the smallest bit to make an indent at the 5cm spacing all the way along and I have now painted this with a coloured nail polish to mark the measure permanently and make it easier for me to see. The holes at 10cm are about the size of a pencil. Yesterday as DH was varnishing an outdoor table for me he also varnished the top of the ruler so hopefully the markings wont wear off so quickly. I am very excited at this new measuring tool and hope that the fungal problems I had last year from planting too close together doesn't repeat itself now I have something more accurate to space them with and sowing my seedlings or even some of my seeds will hopefully be so much easier for me now I have a measuring stick but there are some seeds that are just too small and fiddly planting individually so I hope this tip I read and tried last year helps you as much as it did me.

Another handy tip that I came across recently relates to seed tape -

You can buy seedlings already spaced using seed tape but I find that these are too expensive for me and thus have refrained from buying them, so when I read a readers tip in one of the gardening magazines I was intrigued with the idea of making my own seed strips. The tip was to take a page of the newspaper and cut it into long strips (no coloured paper) and put this aside while you make a paste of flour & water, (you want the paste thick enough to paint with) then paint this paste along the length of the newspaper strips. After doing this place your seeds at the required spacing then lay what is now your home made seed tape along the spaced rows in your garden bed. I found the parsnip seeds to be easy to lay out given they are that little bit larger than those tiny carrot ones however I did manage to place the carrots eventually. Gosh the carrots were fiddly. Once I had laid my seeded strips in their rows I covered them with compost which I shaked over them using a large holed sifter, don't know what this is called but it is something my father used on the farm years ago when cropping and I have found it to be very useful for a variety of needs I think this is an ideal project for children to do actually as a means of not only encouraging them to help in the garden but also as a teaching tool.

How satisfying it is to have a little more of the garden planted out, in succession. If you have any tips for the garden then please do share them.

Happy Gardening :mrgreen:
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon


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