Firstly I’d like to apologise for disappearing for a moment. I’ve been away. It was only 3 days but the before and after of preparing and catching up has taken its toll. I’ve been to Australia for a conference, but there were beautiful gardens to visit so I am loaded up with great inspiration, slightly disappointed not to see a kangaroo or koala, but relieved to have avoided snakes!
It has been a traumatic start to the year and every time there is a bad burst of weather I think of you all and wonder if you are ok. There is only so much wind and rain we can take before our bedraggled gardens say ‘enough’ and we give up hope!
And for the rest of you who have been spared the worst of it, I know you have had your own gardening struggles and while they aren’t as devastating, it is still your struggle and I see you dealing with heatwaves or with pests and disease. And I even see you with the burden of too many tomatoes as this can be a worry as processing timelines are often tight and need to be shoehorned into already busy schedules. Wasting what you have grown doesn’t bear thinking about.
But now we are in March it is a good time to begin to clear away the garden and get rid of anything not doing well and prepare the soil for the cool season crops. While the options aren’t as exciting as in summer, there is more than enough to keep green thumbs from itching over the winter and will result in a fresh crunch to accompany the comfort foods we turn on chilly days.
Pop over to the Yates seed finder to see all of the things you can be growing now: Yates Seed Finder
Another thing to think about, if you have the space, spare a thought for those who have lost everything. Many people were growing a vegetable garden to save on the rising food costs, however the storms destroyed their gardens making their precious crops not safe to eat. But not only that, a large part of our horticultural industry was devastated, which will also result in high food prices and supply issues to all areas across the country.
So my suggestion to you is to grow some extra things – it doesn’t need to be much – a silver beet will give a regular supply of fresh leaves throughout the winter and a cabbage can be cut into quarters to feed four families. A few years back Yates did a Grow a Row thing for National Gardening Week and so all the resources for that are still available – including a long list of food banks. Yates National Gardening Week 2021 - Grow a Row
Many of us aren’t in a position to give much, but can feel helpless in the face of the enormity of it all, however this is a small something we can do to help out – one cabbage at a time!
In the meantime keep us updated with what is going on in your gardens, you are all an inspiration and an encouragement to me. And as always – if you want to get in touch leave a comment below.
Sarah the Gardener : o)
Photo: My Giant Pumpkin for this year - I don't think it is going to get any bigger...