lots going on in the winter garden

With the warmish wet winter we’re having, the vegetable garden was getting over-run with weeds, but the other day I gave it all a good tidy-up and was pleased to see just how much is going on, despite the season. (I’ve said it before….we are so lucky to live in such a temperate climate that we can carry on growing food all through the winter.)

So, what’s growing? Lots of green things, of course. Winter is not the season of colour in the vegetable garden – the kale is growing great guns, rainbow chard, the lettuces are looking lush and lovely, the florence fennel is growing into tree-like proportions, the leeks are nearly big enough to start eating…

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In terms of colour, there are beetroots, which I cannot wait to eat – I’m thinking beetroot/feta/toasted walnut salad will be first up!

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The artichoke is thriving – this is looking down at it’s centre. I love the silver of it’s foliage.

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The calendulas are going mental at the moment, and the fact that the nasturtiums are still alive shows how few frosts we’ve had – they are frost tender and don’t usually make it this far through winter in the Manawatu.

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And last, but not least…..my first spring bulbs are popping up. Hoorah!

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But it’s not all fun and games…

Failures this season:

Broad beans, alas I let the romping nasturtium cramp the broad beans style and they are stunted and pathetic. I will probably pull them out.

Carrots. I planted them in March, experimentally pulled one up today and it was the size of….a cherry tomato. TINY! They’ll go to seed before they’re big enough to be edible. It was sweet and delicious, but so uselessly small. I think I’ll give up on carrots, they are so inexpensive to buy.

Rocket. It’s called ‘Rocket’ for a reason, no sooner has it established it’s first edible leaves it goes to seed. I think I got one tasty sandwich off six plants. PAH.

If you are a vege gardener, I hope the season is treating you well, too.

 

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