I'm a very stubborn gardener, and sometimes if my mind is made up to be in the garden, almost nothing will stop me. I suppose that's why my neighbours might sometimes see me, in the torrential rain, outside, getting soaked, weeding the garden. I actually like the feel of rain bouncing off my face, I like getting covered with mud from head to toe. It makes me feel alive. And sometimes one of my young children will join me in my madness.
One of these moments spawned the following blog, which I simply called "Rain".
So winter doesn't reduce the time I spend growing food much - it just changes the weather and my clothes. Over the years we have trialled many winter crops. Some, like parsnip, carrot, and beetroot, effectively bank the warmth and sunshine of the autumn, packing it away into their nutrient-dense roots. These crops then simply sit there, in the giant-outside-refrigerator called winter, until they are needed. And a few other crops actually like winter weather. I find winter is the easiest time of year to grow salad greens, if you pick the right species. Tat soi, corn salad, and miner's lettuce thumb their noses at our cold wet soils, even germinating if sown in June and July. In fact, most of my garden is coming up with miner's lettuce like a rash, as a result of plants left to go to seed last summer.
On Friday I was on Radio New Zealand, being interviewed about our winter garden. Here is the link:
So if you haven't thought about your garden recently, it's a great time of year to plant garlic, miner's lettuce, corn salad, tat soi, and if you have a cloche or mini plastic tunnel house, lettuce and mesclun blends. And we are only eight weeks away from inside sowings of long-season summer crops, like capsicums. Summer is around the corner?
Till next time,