With spring just around the corner, it is important to start planning and preparing for the busiest gardening season. There is still plenty that can be done in the garden from preparing soil and planting winter vegetables. During the winter you also need to make sure you are protecting your garden against the last of the heavy frosts! We have compiled a few tips to help.
WINTER VEGETABLES TO PLANT
Even though it is still winter you can still plant veggies!! The following vegetables can still be planted New Zealand wide: Cauliflower, Kale, Lettuce, Mesclun, Peas, Radish, Rocket, Silverbeet, Spinach.
PROTECT YOUR GARDEN FROM FROSTS
- Use protective covering. This can be bed sheets, drop cloths, blankets and plastic sheets. You can use stakes to keep material from touching foliage.
- Water plants before a frost is expected. Light watering in evening hours, before the temperature drops will help keep warmth in the soil, raise humidity levels and reduce frost damage.
- Mulching plants. Using mulch in your garden helps lock in moisture during winter and hold in heat in the soil.
- Use a raised garden bed. This will help guard your plants against frost during colder temperatures.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR SPRING
Preparation is important to ensure a successful planting season.
CLEAN UP YOUR GARDEN
Pull out any weeds and plants that are no longer needed. August is the perfect time for a winter tidy up. You can prune a selection of trees and trim the hedges. Not only will this make more room for planting, but it will make your landscape look tidier.
ALL ABOUT THE SOIL
Make sure you replenish the soil. If you are not replacing the nutrients in your soil, there will not be anything in the soil to nourish the plants to reach their full potential. Organic matter like compost should be added to your soil.
PURCHASE YOUR SEEDS AHEAD OF TIME TO PLANT
This is especially important for potatoes to ensure a Christmas harvest. Purchase your seed potatoes and place them in a sunny spot for at least a month before planting. You can also start summer crops such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants indoors in trays, so they are ready to plant out when the weather’s a little more settled in mid-spring!
THE ART OF MULCHING
As the weather is warming up mulch can help by performing as a protective layer of material insulating your soil from dryness, add nutrients and suppress weeds.