Sow times for winter harvest

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Sow times for winter harvest

Post  Raymondo on Sat Jul 26, 2008 12:36 pm

One of the most difficult things I've found about the climate here, particularly as I'd grown up in and around Sydney, is the timing of sowing for winter harvest. No one here does it as they belive nothing will grow over winter so they just put their veggie patches to bed until spring. Not being caught up in the local veggie patch culture I had no constraints and have had good success with collards, kale, silver beet, carrots, coriander, rocket and lettuce. Experimentation, Blossom's sowing guide and a little common sense have resulted in the aforementioned successes.
I have almost finished a book called Root Cellaring in which they give sowing times for a wider range of vegetables so this year I'm keen to expand my horizons. I've just added six months to the times given in the book as it's an American author. One oddity, at least for me, is the sowing time for onions, which they say is the end of winter. This may be because where they are the ground freezes over winter. I'm not sure. In any case, I intend to try it. The book has saved me a lot of time. I have tried many things but a lot have failed and I think the reason is simply that I'm not sowing early enough. Things need to get some size before mid-autumn here as plants just stop growing once the night-time temps start dipping below zero.
Over the next few weeks, I'm going sit down with Brian Keat's Astro Calendar and my diary and draw up a sowing schedule for as many different things as I'll be able to fit in. If I may, I will post my sowing schedule here for comment, particularly regarding my choice of sowing dates. I'm quite excited by this little project and it has enthused me to expand my veggie patch considerably over the coming months.

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Re: Sow times for winter harvest

Post  Blossom on Sat Jul 26, 2008 1:29 pm

Great idea. Post away! I highly recommend Brian Keats Calendar for anyone interested in Moon gardening. He gives all the information about the moon phenomena and I'm always here to answer technical questions. I am thinking that this site has all the planting information I could possibly devise. I just found it and it is interactive and you can get reminders by email. I'm impressed - it could take the pressure off me to come up with a planting guide every month! and has the added advantage of suggesting what to sow direct or in punnets etc. http://www.gardenate.com/
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Re: Sow times for winter harvest

Post  syrah on Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:59 am

Hi Ray

I've read that you plant long day onions in late winter. I find knowing which onions to plant when is a tricky thing.

Helen

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Re: Sow times for winter harvest

Post  Raymondo on Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:50 am

Blossom, yes, that gardenate site is a good one. It's put together by a local and his mother in NZ. I'll certainly be giving it a workout over the next year.

Helen, I agree. I've read about short, long and day length insensitive onions but I've never seen that information on packets or in catalogues. Experimentation is one way of finding out I suppose, but rather hit and miss. And perhaps it's only relevant at (above/below?) certain latitudes.

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Sow Times for winter harvest

Post  Wattle on Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:52 am

Ray
I wish I had you tenacity
Inverell is the same as your place. My patch is south of town an sits on a creek bed so winter frosts are 2 to 3 degrees colder that BOM tell it.
I would be most grateful if you could pass on your knowledge.

Thanks

Wayne

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Re: Sow times for winter harvest

Post  Raymondo on Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:57 pm

Wayne,
I've found that sowing just after the summer solstice allows most things (not leeks though!) time to get enough size before the freezes start. It's nonsense here in Armidale, and I'm guessing in Inverell too, to sow in autumn and expect winter harvests, except perhaps for coriander and lettuce. The plants simply don't have enough time to grow. Mind you, it can be a struggle getting things up successfully just after the solstice as it's often pretty hot around then. Carrots I've found the hardest. They need constant attention until they're well and truly up. And both beetroot and carrot usually shoulder their way out of the ground so need covering over winter to keep the roots in good condition. Slow growers like leeks need to be sown over the next month to have any decent size for winter use.
And why the solstice? I find some things tend to bolt after the solstice (as the days begin to shorten) if they start growing as days are lengthening (before the summer solstice). So, by sowing after the solstice this situation is avoided, or at least reduced.

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Sow Times for winter harvest

Post  Wattle on Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:38 am

Great info please keep up the hard work.
I will change my planting this year and let you know how it pans out

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