Winter greens, reds and blacks….??

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Even though we’re having an indian summer here in Melbourne, it is time to think about what to plant for a tasty winter harvest!

And while we all know about common winter vegies like cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts – but here are some more unusual ones you might like to try!

kale, winter vegies, how to grow, organic vegetablesKale

Why?

It is jam packed full of antioxidants and vitamins C & A. All the goodies you need to beat off the winter blues!

How? 

Plant in autumn for a winter, spring & summer harvest.

Kale prefers a sunny position (protected from the hot afternoon sun in summer) and does well in vegie beds or containers. Add a bit of lime to the soil pre-planting if you soil is more acidic than a pH of 6-7.

Grow from seeds planted in Feb or March, or seedlings planted March, April or May. A kale plant will continue producing throughout summer.

 Harvesting?

You can pick the young leaves off one by one and add to a salad. Once the leaves mature, they need cooking and make a great substitute for cabbage or spinach. The leaves however will take a bit more cooking to soften than cabbage or spinach.

Make sure you keep up the moisture to kale during the warmer months, as high temperatures and lack of water can make the leaves bitter.

Look out for….winter greens, winter vegetables

Tuscan Black Kale – gorgeous slate grey frilly leaves.

Green Kale – bright lime green frilly leaves.

Red Kale – deep burgandy frilly leaves.

HINT: Kale is delicious chopped and added to a minestrone soup or cooked with butter & garlic….YUMMMM!

Some other winter vegies to try…..

 Red Pak Choy – grow just as you would the other asian greens. Pick the leaves as you need them and make sure you keep the water up to them to keep the leaves sweet.

Red or Green Mizuna – another member of the brassica family, but it looks more like rocket. Has a lovely peppery bite.

Perpetual Spinach – “perpetual” means that it continues to grow a lot longer than normal spinach and doesn’t bolt to seed. Pick regularly to encourage new tasty growth, old leaves can be a bit tough.

Lettuce – most people don’t think about eating lettuce in winter, but it tends to grow particularly well because the cooler weather means that it doesn’t bolt! There is nothing like a tasty warm salad in the depths of winter, just to remind you of the coming spring & summer :-)

My winter greens, reds and blacks ready to go!

Feeding Winter Vegetables

Mix some organic fertiliser through the soil before planting – something like Rocket Fuel or Seamungus would be ideal.

A fortnightly dose of liquid seaweed and/or fish meal will help keep new leaf production sweet and tasty!

**This season I’ve planted out several felt planters with my winter leafy vegies, so they can be close to the house & kitchen for really easy picking! The planters in these pics are from the Urban Farmer Range by Takasho**

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2 Responses

  1. Jude H

    Hello chloe,
    I love growing kale in raised veggie bed.
    It grows quite tall as I pick the leaves during the winter.
    Is it possible to transplant kale plants at end of winter to another spot?
    thanks

    Reply
    • Chloe

      Hi Jude,
      Funny you should ask this, as I’m contemplating moving the kale I have in the felt pot into my veggie garden!
      Because it is an established plant, it might not respond as well to transplanting as a seedling, but it is worth a go if your pot can no longer support the plant or you just really need to move it! Use diluted seaweed solution when transplanting and for a few weeks following to help reduce transplant shock.
      Good luck :)
      Chloe

      Reply

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