Epic kale 200/ Specials!
Plant this darling of leafy greens now to ensure a healthy supply over winter, writes Mary Lovell-smith. 0Off Opening
• Sow broadbeans and plant garlic. • Plant kale, for a tasty supply of greens over winter, and a change from silverbeet. Perpetual spinach is also a winter-hardy green. • Any clear ground may be limed in preparation for spring – about a handful per square metre is adequate. • Spread compost onto asparagus beds. • Give leeks a side-dressing of fertiliser. • Take hardwood cuttings of soft fruit • Plant fruit trees and fruit bushes.
• In milder areas, sweetpeas may still be sown – in
rich, free-draining soil in a sunny spot. • Move any pots of tender plants to frost-free spots, such as under eaves (preferably on the north-facing side of a building), on porches or in glasshouses. Other tender plants in the ground may be needed to be covered with frost cloth. These include young citrus, bougainvillea, hibiscus, fig and fuchsia. • Take root cuttings of plants that naturally produce new shoots from their roots. These include perennials such as acanthus, Japanese anemone, echinops, Oriental poppy, phlox, primula and verbascum; and more woody species or climbers, such as campsis, chaenomeles (Japanese flowering quince), clerodendrum, lilac, potato vine and robinia. This is best done late autumn to early winter when the plants are entering, or in, dormancy. • To prevent stress on turf, lawns should be cut longer during the cooler months – about 5mm longer is enough. The optimum length (apparently) for a lawn is between 2cm-4cm. • House plants generally need less water over winter, so reduce their intake.
• Try not to walk on soil too much if it is too wet
as it compacts it and can damage its structure. • Turn the compost heap. If it is not covered then cover to protect from the winter rains. Corrugated iron, a tarp or sheet of black plastic will do the trick.