SOW OR PLANT LETTUCE
Supplement starchy crops with crisp, fresh salads. Spuds – roasted, baked, fried and mashed – are the ultimate cold-weather comfort food, but you can tire of so much starch. Plant hearting lettuces, or hardy red-leafed ones, for a change. They won’t tolerate waterlogged soils, so if your vege patch turns to mud in autumn and winter, opt for pots. Sow ‘Cool Season Winguard’ (Egmont Seeds), an ’Iceberg’-style lettuce that’s favoured by commercial growers, ’Winter Triumph’ from Yates, and ’Passion di Brune’ (Italian Seeds Pronto), a butterhead type with green and burgundy leaves.
There’s no benefit to be gained by sprinkling granular slow-release fertilisers around your plants from now on. In late autumn and winter, plant roots can’t take up nutrients from the cold soil, so all you will succeed in doing is flushing your money away in the
rain. Instead, use organic fertilisers such as liquid compost, blood and bone or chook poo diluted in water, which are quick acting. The best time to apply slow-release fertilisers is mid-spring, once the soil has warmed up again, and midsummer.
Now’s the time to sow winter brassicas like cauliflowers and cabbage. Ornamental peas can be sown now as can broad beans. Don’t prune. Gardening by the moon First quarter