Article by: Sought After Seedlings
Designer of the Bryanston Organic Food Garden
Supplier of Franchi Sementi Heirloom Seeds & Victory Ticket Organic Seedlings
If you have, go again, right now/soon, because you will be amazed at what a winter garden can look like. As one visitor said: “It’s amazing to see a vegetable garden like this in the middle of winter.” Take a look at the broad beans that are simply bountiful.
If you have never been to the Bryanston GardenShop Organic Vegetable garden, set up and maintained by Linda Galvad of Sought After Seedlings, (another DSTV show coming up soon of her Organic vegetable garden courses), take the kids and friends and family and make an outing of it. Watch out for events that are held there, e.g. on the last Sunday of the month there is a lovely artisinal market there. Courses and talks are also held in the garden. It’s such a remarkable venue.
Truth be told, your vegetable garden can look fabulous all year long, as long as you look after the soil, use the wonderful Franchi Sementi specially chosen heirloom winter seeds and the Victory Ticket organically grown winter seedlings, and protect your vegetable plants from hungry birds, with bird netting, the frost (when it arrives) with frost fleece, and keep watering regularly and sufficiently. Of course an absolute requirement is MULCH, MULCH, MULCH. This magic ingredient is for the summer months to keep the temperature in the soil even, prevent weeds, and keep the moisture in the soil, and guess what… in the winter months MULCH does exactly the same but for the winter temperatures. The correct mulch will also add to your soil nutrient value as it degrades, that is why you will see that the mulch that we have used at the Organic Vegetable garden is straw. It degrades beautifully.
You may need to keep an eye out for a few sprouts from the mulch, but you need to keep up with weeding anyway.
If your winter garden has too much shade, you will not be able to produce much. Shelter helps a lot and be aware of wind tunnels. The sun may be beautifully warm but the wind can be icy cold. If your plants are not flourishing and you have done all of the above, stand in the garden and be mindful of where the wind comes from and put up some kind of barrier. Don’t make it too high, because the wind will come up and over the barrier and dump down on the other side, creating far more damage than if there had been no barrier at all. Don’t use a solid barrier unless it will close the entry point fully. Rather use a short reed wall, or lattice that you can also cover with hessian if necessary.
Plant your favourite winter flowers, and there are so many of them to choose from at GardenShop, to keep your vegetable garden looking bright and giving the beneficial insects all they need, to come to your garden. Plant a hedge or a row of trees, for the years to come, to act as a wind breaker. Looking forward to seeing you there!