in the late winter garden

Althought it’s late winter now, there’s lots going on in my garden…

the garlic has popped up, the first green shoots

the usual winter crops are growing great guns: silverbeet, leeks, spring onions, red onions, parsley, beetroot, celery…

the first spring bulbs are coming up, the fruit trees have fat buds…

Every season I like to try to grow one or two new things (with varying results) – last summer I tried tomatillos (fail – the plants were pretty and grew lushly, but never fruited and then died in the first frost).

This winter, I grew my first curly kale and cavolo nero. I have a self-seeding purple kale which springs up everywhere, so I will let a couple of these curly kales go to seed in the hope they do the same.

The cavolo nero is such a handsome plant! It seems to like the conditions in the Manawatu, so I will definitely keep growing it.

Winter salad greens are from my favourite salad mix – Kings Seed’s Italian Mix – there’s such a great variety of interesting and tasty plants in that mix. I think it’s way more exciting than the more usual French Mesclun Salad mix…

The mustard which grows in the Italian mix is HOT! It tastes like horseradish. It’s intense, but one or two leave thinly sliced into a salad or coleslaw really adds a punch. It’s also great on a sandwich AND it’s so attractive, with the rich purple shiny leaves.

With all the first signs of spring, I must now try to avoid a mistake I make EVERY YEAR in my enthusiasm to get the summer growing season off to a start….I must not buy tomato plants before November. There’s no point, living in the Manawatu. *must not buy tomato plants, must not buy tomato plants, must not buy tomato plants*


3 thoughts on “in the late winter garden

  1. Your garden is looking beautiful Helen, it makes me want to grow purple mustard beside calendula! I love kale and made my first tasty sauerkraut with kale and cabbage and kolhrabi this year.


  2. What fabulous yummy greens, very beautiful. I do not miss those late frosts in Palmy, it was corgettes we always managed to kill in them!


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