Edible garden: Getting the beds ready

By Janice Marriott

It's time to prep garden beds for winter, says Janice Marriott.

Pak choi. Photo / Nicola Topping
Pak choi. Photo / Nicola Topping

Now is the time to decide which of your hard-working edible garden beds you are gong to re-use for autumn and winter planting and which ones you are going to tuck up and leave to sleep through the winter.

The beds you are resting can have compost dug into them, or garden and kitchen scraps straight from source.

Add sheep pellets, lime and a sprinkling of blood and bone and then cover the bed with a duvet of straw.

Lay this thickly and be prepared to add to it as winter progresses and the decomposition in the bed reduces the thickness of the mulch. Your friendly blackbirds will remove plenty of it, too, for spring nests.

For the beds that will keep working for you, think about what to plant for winter and spring crops, and make sure the bed is limed well and dug over before re-planting. Wait a couple of weeks for the soil to settle.

Rocket and coriander, lettuces, spinach and Chinese greens like pak choi, prefer the cooler months. They are less inclined to bolt and set seed. This means you'll have plenty for winter salads.

Other winter crops to try are beetroot, Florence fennel, silverbeet, broad beans, cabbage, leeks and spring onions.

- Herald on Sunday

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