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Garden This Winter For Sensational Results This Spring

Contributor:
Voxy Newswire
Voxy Newswire
Garden This Winter For Sensational Results This Spring

Hey you! Yes, you. Person who should be in the garden but who can’t be bothered because it’s too cold. You know who I mean.

Well if you want an exquisite garden come spring, you better get off the couch and head outside. Now!

Here’s why. Winter gardening is all about preparing your soil for the coming months and ensuring it’s in tip-top condition for planting your spring and summer vegetables.

And part of that is taking care of your winter crops. So if you planted veges during autumn, or approximately four months ago, now is the time to harvest them all.

From broccoli, cauliflower and leaks, to parsnip, celery and silverbeet - head outdoors and harvest your matured veges for use in your favourite soups, casseroles and quiches. After all, winter hasn’t finished just yet, which means you’re still entitled to an all expenses paid, free-pass to comfort food.

Harvesting your veges now is good for your panty and allows more time for the soil to regenerate for spring and summer planting.

So now that you’ve got a cupboard full of veges why not put them to good use and create a hearty soup. Cauliflower is often used to accompany more glamorous veges or drowned in white sauce, but it can also be a real crowd pleaser as a main dish if used well.

Drum roll please … introducing blue cheese and cauliflower soup! It sounds a bit bizarre but the recipe is easy to make and you can impress your friends with something a little different that tastes great.

Finely chop one onion and three cloves of garlic and fry until soft in a teaspoon of oil. Add one peeled and diced potato and fry for a further five minutes.

Cut a whole cauliflower in to even-sized pieces and place in a large pot with the fried onion, garlic and spud. Add four cups of good quality chicken stock to the pot. Cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

Process the cauliflower mixture through a food processor or with a hand-held blender until smooth and creamy.

Gently reheat and add 70g of crumbled blue cheese to the soup. Once heated, you can garnish with an additional 30g of blue cheese pieces and serve. Voila!

Now that you’ve impressed your friends with cauliflower soup and cleared out your garden to make room for planting spring and summer veges, you should start digging in your winter crops. From oats, mustard and lupine seeds, if you planted them in autumn, now’s the time to dig them in to the soil before they begin to die off.

Once dug in, the decomposing plant matter will increase the nitrogen in your soil, nourishing it for when your spring and summer veges are planted. And trust me, your family will thank you for it when they taste your Xmas spuds.

Clearing out your garden and digging in winter crops can leave your garden resembling a barren land of dull muck. So brighten up the garden with polyanthus and pansies.

Polyanthus and pansies are popular bedding plants because they’re easy to grow and add great bursts of colour to winter gardens.

When you’re next out, grab some of Awapuni Nurseries’ Traditional Value range of polyanthus and pansy seedlings from your local supermarket, Warehouse or Bunnings’ store.

To plant, choose a spot in the garden that receives morning sun and has good drainage.

Boost soil fertility by digging in organic compost and adding fertiliser. This will encourage bright, healthy blooms.

If you live in an area that’s had a bit of rain lately, add some lime to sweeten your soil. This will regulate the pH level of your soil and ensure your flowers are growing in optimal soil conditions.

Dig a wide, shallow hole for each plant, approximately 3cm deep, and space the holes 10 to 20cm apart. Make sure the holes are wide enough so the plant’s roots don’t become cramped.

Cover the seedlings’ roots with garden soil and give them a good watering, then add a layer of mulch (peastraw works well) to keep the moisture in, suppress weeds and keep frost out.

It might be the middle of winter but there’s still plenty to do outside. So head outdoors if you want your garden looking great this spring and your summer veges tasting sensational.  

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