Hope you've had a chance to get out in the winter sunshine. It can be hard to get some seeds going in colder weather, but we're having great success germinating undercover in our barbecue-turned-seed-sowing-central at the Brunswick West Community Garden. If you don't want to try sowing seed, there are plenty of seedlings around now to get your winter garden off to a strong start. Here are a few things you can try:
- Bok choy
- Broad beans
- Mustard greens
- Pak choy
- Silverbeet or ruby/rainbow chard
You can also plant tubers of Jerusalem artichokes, crowns of asparagus and rhubarb, and you'll find strawberry runners and seed potatoes in the nurseries now. It's probably getting too late for the standard varieties of broccoli and cauliflower, but you can find green and purple varieties of 'sprouting broccoli' that grow more quickly and provide lots of small tender heads, as well as year-round cauliflowers.
The odd frost is hard on flowering peas and the tender young shoots of potatoes (and on gardeners' fingertips and ears), so choose your position for these carefully or be prepared to cover them on frosty nights. A good layer of mulch such as pea straw or lucerne hay can help keep the soil warmer too. On the other hand, a good crunchy freeze is excellent news for Brussels sprouts and kale. It's all swings and roundabouts in the winter garden.