I am a fair weather gardener. I don’t like the cold, and I certainly don’t like to be outside in the garden when it’s cold or wet. But spurred on by reading Animal Vegetable Miracle (finally) and by a little something Jackie French said in her Backyard Sustainability book, for the first time ever, I am looking at seed catalogues and planning an Autumn planting.
I’m only half way through reading Animal Vegetable Miracle, but I am already struck by how short their growing season is. I have always whined about how difficult our climate can be here with crazy late frosts then scorching summers, but that is nothing to the months of snow and frozen earth that this family is coping with. The shear volume of food they seem to be able to grow in such a short period made me feel kind of guilty, and quite a bit inspired.
Our winters are cold, but not so cold that we can’t grow things.
Then there is Jackie French’s idea that just made so much darn sense to me- “When you harvest something, plant something else in it’s place.” Not only does that take care of dealing with weeds that grow on any patch of bare dirt around here, but it also means there will always be something growing and something to eat, hopefully.
So here I am, going through the seeds we already have, and those we have saved, to see what I can plant now. Trying to remember where I put the left over seed raising mix and trying to clear a space on the window sill to start a few seeds.
It seems kind of crazy since at the moment we are finally seeing some abundance from our spring/summer crops. We have tomatoes (no matter how early put them in they never fruit till March!?!?) and zucchinis a plenty, plus spring onions, radishes, potatoes and maybe even our first popping corn!
At the same time I am planting silver beet, spinach, broccoli, peas, carrots, parsnips and some other bits and pieces. It’s not a lot and who knows if they will grow, since I’ve never attempted this in autumn before, but hopefully we’ll get something back for our efforts!
Is anyone else planting an Autumn garden? What are you putting in?
And for those of you on the other side of the world, what are you planning for spring??