Winter Veggie Patch
Dinner's ready. Photo - Linda Ross
Winter is a busy time in the vegetable garden and a delicious time in the kitchen.
Roast parsnip and potatoes, sprouting broccoli, and hot pan-fried radicchio, glowing white cauliflower, all fresh from the garden, are the highlights of the season. Here are our tips for the vegetable garden this season.
Harvest sprouting broccoli often as the more you pick, the more you get.
Cutting the hearts from hearting lettuce will allow another to form in the centre.
Keep harvesting handfuls of chard, silverbeet, sorrel, wild rocket and baby cos every night for a tasty side salad.
Set up wigwams for peas, and plant snow peas, podding peas and sugar snap peas. Tie them in for the first 20cm and then let the tendrils take over.
Plant shallots and brown and red onions. It’s traditional to do this on the shortest day of the year.
Plant asparagus and rhubarb crowns.
Sow tomatoes indoors in seed-raising trays to get a head start on the summer season. Add a few eggplant, chilli and capsicum.
Roots such as parsnip and beetroot do not germinate in cold weather, so delay seeding them until it warms up to 20 degrees.
Keep slugs from feasting on leafy growth with this homemade recipe: to about a litre of boiling water, add 2 crushed and peeled heads of garlic and a teaspoon of chilli powder. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and decant into a spray bottle. Apply to your plants as needed.
Fold up the large leaves over the developing cauliflower hearts to avoid yellowing.
Keep liquid feeding broad beans, cauliflower, cabbage and peas to push them along.
Text: Linda Ross