Growers may wish to start a number of crops in late winter rather than early spring if the winter is mild or if they have a sheltered garden bed. These crops include artichokes (Globe and Jerusalem), beetroot, cabbage, carrots, potatoes and radish. Frost-sensitive vegetables such as capsicum, eggplant and tomatoes can be started early in August indoors but may need a heated glasshouse or warm spot to germinate and will certainly need protection before being planted out in spring.
What To Grow
Prepare the bed before you buy the crowns to plant in late winter – early spring. Since this is a perennial crop which can last for up to 20 years it is well worth the effort of establishing properly. Asparagus needs good drainage and plentiful food and can be planted very successfully in a raised bed enriched with compost and well rotted manure. Seaweed is an excellent mulch. The crowns are planted in a trench, but with the roots straddling a ridge. Cover so dormant shoots are about 4cm below the surface. Do not harvest spears the first year, and only harvest for a few weeks the second year. Remember this is a long-term investment.
Late plantings of broad beans in June may be very slow to germinate. Better results are usually achieved with an autumn or early spring planting.
Prepare the soil well with lots of organic matter. Needs rapid growth for flavour.
Only plant winter varieties of lettuces (cos, salad bowl, oakleaf, butterhead and mignonette varieties)