Sunday, July 31, 2011

Green manure and garlic replaces tiger snakes and blackberry

There are things living everywhere. For every modification something benefits and something loses out.

Even a clear looking patch of pasture can be home to quite a few critters as I discovered while digging up a new vegie patch in the orchard. When the Wwofers and I had finished the patch, four baby tiger snakes had been dug out and relocated to another part of the farm. Luckily the day was cold and they were not at all active.
Garlic and green manure crops

The garlic went in the ground in mid march and came out of the ground very quickly. I obtained a variety called “Italian hardneck” from a local grower who has been growing it very well for many years. I have already done several rounds of hoeing  to kill off germinating weed seeds. Experienced growers around here recommend growing 1 or even 2 green manure groups before you plant your garlic. Part of the reason for doing this may be to reduce the weed problems in your crop. However I know other people who have grown very admirable garlic using compost.  These garlic will be due for harvest in Nov – Dec and will hopefully supply our family and animals with a year’s supply of yummy garlic.

My green manure crops are also thriving. I sowed an autumn mixture from Eden Seeds because that’s what I had on hand. I am still tossing up what to plant in the beds after I dig the crop in late winter. The first crop was dug in about 3 weeks ago and today i put in the first lot of potatoes.
Mixed green manure crop

I have also planted some Oats a month or 2 ago and i also hear that Rye established well in cold weather - much better than other grain crops.

Picking from the garden - Cauliflowers, Fennel, Carrots and parsnip, Broccoli and the occasional cabbage as well as green like Kale.
Cauliflowers have been supplying us with veg for many weeks.
The Caulis were an unexpected mid winter treat as i thought i had planted Paleface  - instead i had planted snoball or something similar. Although in the past i have regarded them as a waste of space - these ones are a welcome addition to our winter diet and the kids love them.

Florence Fennel

I always grow Fennel. It seems to love winter and bulb up beautifully. This crop is no exception. I have noticed that up here at 400m, some of the leaves get burned off by cold weather. Generally they are frost resistant so it would not have been frost alone that caused the leaves to yellow. The bulbs are still brilliant despite this minor damage.


  1. Your winter crops appear to be doing very well and having seen your cauliflower I regret not growing any in our own garden...same goes for the fennel which we will definitely grow again next year. That cover crop of yours looks good enough to eat.:)

  2. HI Mr H. I am pleased we have something to eat over winter. I had invisaged the need to buy veg but so far that hasn't happened (apart from carrots which i will get on top of this coming year). I'm going to plant Zefa fino Fennel again in Spring because it did a good job of not bolting.