Frosty mornings have many of us sleeping late and spending more time indoors. But if you can bring yourself to brave the chill, the milder months are the perfect time to tend your backyard veggie patch and get ready for the harvest seasons ahead. “With less rain and blue skies on the mountain, winter is my favourite time to get stuck into the garden and prepare for spring,” says Brenda Fawdon of Mondo Organics. When we first visited Brenda’s Tamborine property back in April for our Issue 22 Green House feature, she was busy replenishing her uber-productive kitchen garden with new organic seedlings. Now, as they bask and bloom in the winter sunshine, Brenda has a few tricks up her sleeve to make sure the garden receives all the TLC it needs. Read on for her top winter gardening tips and details about her upcoming appearance at the launch of Harvest in Brisbane – and remember to read the full story of Brenda’s beautiful Gold Coast Hinterland home in our latest edition, Winter Issue 22!
I love winter – it means less weeds in the garden and loads of slow cooking in the kitchen! So as the days become shorter and cooler and the mower has a well earned sleep, it’s time to get into the garden for a clean up.
We always plant a stack of sugar snaps on a trellis – they give us a brilliant result every time and rarely make it into the pot, because we pick them straight from the tendrils and munch or throw them through a salad.
Lettuce, broad beans, kale, rainbow chard, kohlrabi, turnip, purple cabbage – actually, all of the brassica vegetables are perfect to plant during the cooler months.
Strawberries and citrus enjoy a fortnightly dose of seaweed fertiliser at this time of year; strawberries need it to start fruiting, and citrus loves to be replenished after an autumn of fruiting.
Remember to keep the water up to your veggie garden in the morning or late afternoon during the dryer cool months, and enjoy the winter sunshine while you do.
For more food inspiration, you can see Brenda this weekend at Harvest, a new exhibition celebrating food in art, opening at Brisbane’s GOMA. Brenda will be joining audiences for a free discussion about food and sustainability on Saturday from 1.30pm, followed by the launch of the Harvest: Art, Film + Food publication, which features recipes from some of Australia’s best chefs, including Brenda’s own famous chocolate dandelion pudding!
Images by Natalie McComas for Peppermint Magazine.