Ready, Set, Seed…

Spring is just around the corner…. well almost. But it is time to start thinking about seeds and sowing. One of my favorite pastimes in the depths of winter is perusing seed and plant catalogues, imagining the garden fecundity and laden harvests…. and then pruning my wish list down by nine tenths!

If you don’t have a polyhouse or glasshouse, you can make a simple cloche from bricks and windows (get the angle right!) or a tunnel from poly pipe and plastic, or use a sunny north facing windowsill. Aspect is everything. It’s still too cold to start most warm season seeds though, even in a glasshouse.

Have you treated budding stonefruit trees for leaf curl yet? Thought about pheremone
traps for your apple and pear trees when they start to flower? Got compost bays set up and ready for the spring weed influx?

Thought about supplies of mulch for later on, when water conservation becomes important and you have well and truly forgotten how cold July was? Is your water supply maintained and reliable come the demands of spring summer? Now’s the time for all those maintenance jobs, and time to construct new garden beds.

The Notes for August are now up, along with some seedy tips and auspicious gardening
dates for planting. Think artichokes (globe and jerusalem), spinach, lettuce and greens of all persuasions, leeks and spring onions, broccoli, perhaps even some early spuds if you’re game to dance with jack frost.

Lastly, if you’ve reached that time of the season when ideas for silverbeet (or kale) have run out, in her Kitchen Garden Companion, Stephanie Alexander suggests a one-pot silverbeet and potato dish cooked with garlic, tomato paste and a hint of chilli; an egg based silverbeet, pine nut and olive tart; silverbeet and cheese filo triangles, silverbeet stem chips, and silverbeet stem gratin ….

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