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Planting in Early Winter

garden in JuneSequential planting is such a lifesaver!  This whole year seems to have been routines-out-the-window so far.  I love routines.  Once you have worked a system down to the point where it just works and you turn it into a habit,  it just gets done in incidental time, and incidental time doesn’t count.

My sourdough baking is like that now – so routine that it feels to me like it takes no time at all.  Lunar planting is sometimes like that.  I get on a roll.  I have had some good mowing sessions, there’s been horse manure and azolla available, and the chooks have made compost so I have a nice mature pile ready to use.   I have collected enough creek gravel from the flood bank at the crossing on the way home from town so I have a stock. There are no late stragglers of crops holding up a bed. The seed box has no gaps and the seed is fresh and viable.  And a planting day comes round and it just flows together in no time.

Then something like Bentley comes along and throws all my routines out, and it takes months to get all the ducks lined up again.

I’ve missed planting days but I have managed to plant a new round of seeds in seed trays and seedlings out into the garden every month and I’m really quite pleased about it.  Small amounts of seed put in and small amounts of advanced seedlings planted out every month – the small amounts is the secret. It makes it so do-able and the payoff is that all the balls stay more or less in the air.  I know from having experienced it once or twice too often that once I let them all drop it takes ages and real work to get it all going again.1-image (1)

Last week I potted on a big variety of leafy greens from the seed trays – lettuce, radicchio, sorrel, mizuna, pak choi, cabbage, cauli, broccoli, kailan, kale, celery, celeriac, parsley, coriander, nigella, spinach, silver beet, leeks, spring onions, mustard – just a couple of each.  Winter is the season for leafy greens in my part of the world – my garden is pretty well frost free and so far this year hasn’t even got cool.  Then I planted another round of seed of all of them, just a tiny pinch of seed presorted so that one packet lasts all season.  Yesterday I planted leaf pots with peas and snow peas.  Too late now for broad beans, and it’s been such a warm winter I’ll be lucky to get a yield from the ones planted in April and May.  Today I planted out the new bed that the chooks have just moved off with advanced seedlings of all these from last month – peas and snow peas along the fence on the south side and leafy greens stacked tallest to the south side – just a few of each. Next week I’ll plant out advanced seedlings of beetroot, carrots and parsnips, and put a new lot of seed in.  Too late now for onions or garlic here but I have pretty well enough in already.

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The compost stocks are low, that’s the last of the creek gravel used, I’ve run out of horse manure and I’ll need to do some mowing soon.  And in July it will be time to think about coldframes for planting the first seed of chilis, capsicums, eggplants and tomatoes. But I have the top bed bearing, the middle bed just starting to bear, the bottom bed planted out,  the chooks preparing the next bed ready for the seedlings in their compost rich pots in the shadehouse, and three more beds finishing out all the summer crops, still yielding tromboncinos and squash and potkins and cucumbers and tomatoes and amaranth and chilis and carrots and spring onions and beets and basil.

The coal seam gas battle is a long way from over and it is one that is so worth winning that my garden may just have to slide this year.  But so far, it’s all good.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Jude Wright June 7, 2014, 12:15 pm

    I think the coal seam gas fight is worth fighting too.
    My garden is in the ‘fallen in a heap’ stage at the moment, but I am working on it.

  • Rachel June 15, 2014, 10:19 am

    Aloha! I am so excited to find your website, with so much content that is Right On! Right on with what we are doing here in Hawaii, with my thoughts about why i am here and why we are trying to grow most everything we eat (but be part of community of farmers sharing and getting the rest), with living off-grid with solar and hydro. I loved your posts on “lunatic gardening” – very much like following the Hawaiian moon calendar – and “50 things about me” and wanted to comment but some of your posts don’t have a place for comments. However mostly your blog is beautifully organized and photographed and written, way better than mine, which needs help in the organization department. We share the age of 55, too, and a very similar diet ethic. Mahalo for sharing and I am going to see if I can find your book!

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