Saturday, 16 July 2011

Planning for Spring

I know, I know. It's been a little while since I last posted for the garden, but it's been a tad crazy the last week or two in our little village. Medlow Bath got hit pretty badly last week along with a few other upper mountain towns, by a crazy wind storm. Seriously, parts of it look like a warzone. We were also without power for a couple of days, and a surge early on took out our phone line and computer. But we are all safe and sound, and amazingly, our house is in tact. That includes every single solar panel, which is incredible because they have blown off before. Perhaps it's because my amazingly talented husband put super dooper bolts on the frames after last time?!

Our garden also survived 139km/h winds, not a tree has been lost, not a plant uprooted. I can't say the same for some broccoli plants that were uprooted by a cyclonic chook. This is the third time I will be fixing up the broccoli, and a sturdy net will be going over the top to keep Miss Matilda out. She's a clever chooky, flying over the fence into the veg patch!Anyway, forgive me, I'm rambling.

So what should you be doing in the garden right now? Winter is downtime, so it is the time to plan for Spring. I do a sketch of my beds, what's currently in them, and then write out what is going into them next, and when this will happen. This is the time when I order all my seeds. This way, I know when to start off some seedlings so that they will be sturdy for planting when the changeover happens. It's also a good way to ahem, stop yourself from buying anything that takes your fancy, only to find you have nowhere to grow it!

A garden diary is a good idea too. Get yourself a cute notebook, and start taking notes. Once Spring arrives I write down what I need to do week to week, observations on my plants etc, so that next time I can improve, or when I know I've got something right, I know how I did it last time.  Raising seedlings isn't very far away, for example I start off my tomatoes in August in a heat tray, so that they are bigger and stronger than bought plants when the last frosts are over in November (Melbourne Cup Day is my approximate in the mountains). If I started them from this time, they would not fruit and ripen for summer. So as you can see, it's a good tool for observing and planning your garden.

By ordering seeds now, you will also ensure that you have what you want before the best ones sell out (and trust me, they do). I order my seeds from The Lost Seed, or Green Harvest Harvest also stocks a lot of other gardening supplies and books, it is well worth a look if you are just starting out. Both suppliers are organic and stock heirloom varieties that you just can't get anywhere else. For potatoes, I order form Tasmanian Gourmet Potatoes- and once again, if you don't order now, you will miss out. The other place many people go to is Diggers Club, based in Victoria. I personally don't recommend them. I had three separate batches of seed and most of them failed to germinate - and I'm talking something as simple as tomatoes here! Sending emails with questions got me answers...six weeks later! So, I switched to the Lost Seed and haven't had any trouble with them- Kerryn guarantees her seeds, but I haven't had to ask her for a replacement.

So get cosy beside the fire, and get sketching!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you guys were among the lucky ones. Thanks for the continuing inspiration! Im really struggling with decisions over what to do when. I want to get the vegie garden underway but I think in the long term Im going to wish Id waited to put it where the garage currently is.... such dilemmas!!!