With the weather getting colder, it’s a matter of taking advantage of the good days to get out into the garden. Our main winter crops are all in, but there are always jobs to do.
Making sure the weeds don’t take over the beds is always a priority. I’m not sure where they come from, but I’m always surprised how hardy they are.
And while you’re weeding, use your Niwashi to hill up the broccolis, kales and caulis to give them more support on windy days. Remove the lower leaves to make this task easier.
An application of sheep pellets which are slow-release and a liquid fertiliser like seaweed at this time of the year helps keep our plants strong.
If there are any parts of your garden not planted, it’s best to cover them. Rain and frost can damage the soil structure and cause it to become compacted. This is not good for the earthworms, bacteria and fungi in your soil. Planting a green manure crop like lupins has many benefits or cover the soil with a mulch like straw or cardboard.
If the beds are large, I cover them with a woven weed mat (which we re-use every year).
Another good option is coconut fibre matting. It breaks down after a season or two and is good for the garden.
Covering hoops with a product like Mikroclima to make a cloche helps the plants grow a little quicker. Mikroclima lets the rain and air in and increases the soil temperature by up to 4 degrees – a real bonus during winter.
December is a good time to plant deciduous fruit trees like apples, pears and plums. Make sure you plant your fruit trees properly (adding plenty of compost to the planting hole, staking and pruning back) as the trees reward you for many years to come. Remember that most trees need a pollinator to fruit successfully.
During cold wet days, cosy up and read some gardening books!
From Rob, Jan and the Team at OEG!