Thursday, 21 May 2015

Autumn potager

As we head towards the end of autumn, the days of big basketfuls of produce from my potager are at an end. But that doesn't mean an end to the growing season. Our climate here in Christchurch means that I can still grow plenty of things over winter, as long as they are frost hardy, so I like to plant accordingly. When evenings are dark I can't pop outside after work with my basket like I can in summer, so I usually take a tour at the start of the week and bring in enough for the next few nights. Spring onions, leeks and broccoli can be stored in the fridge, and herbs or leafy greens like silver beet go in vases on the windowsill. I'm even getting the occasional strawberry or raspberry, so if they're still fruiting at the end of May then that's really only about 4-5 months until the first spring berries start up again... not so long really!

My favourite season in the garden is summer, but I also really like the tidiness of the winter potager! I've trimmed the lavender hedges and the rosemary balls, and they'll provide shape and structure until the spring growth hits. I've also created some scalloped garden edging which really tidies everything up and looks great with the black metal arches. The edging was so easy to make and I'll share a tutorial very soon.

In this bed I have silver beet (not pictured), cabbages, broccoli and the last of the chillis. The chillis are doing well, they will last until frosts get them and provide a good spark of colour until then. In the bed behind are leeks and spring onions.

 In the two beds closest to the glasshouse, I planted a green crop of mustard, lupin and some kind of grass. I haven't grown a green crop over winter before so I'll see how it goes. I do intend to put garlic in one of those beds so half of it will be dug up, we'll see if it makes a difference! 

The cherry tree is always the last on my property to shed its leaves and it's doing so quite spectacularly! It's amazing to see how many different leaf colours and patterns come off one tree.

A sunny autumn day in the potager is like heaven. Hope you're having equally good times in your patch, wherever in the world you may be! xx

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