NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Garden Tasks This Week -

Win­ter is the only sea­son when, for most of us, the vege gar­den “to do” list fo­cuses on what’s com­ing out of the gar­den rather than what’s go­ing into it. There’s very lit­tle that can be sown suc­cess­fully in cold, wet soil and trans­plant­ing tiny seedlings can seem equally fu­tile, given how slowly these baby plants grow without the ben­e­fit of a plas­tic cloche. What will still ger­mi­nate if sown di­rect this month? Broad beans and peas of all types. Pro­vided your soil isn’t frozen or so sat­u­rated that the seeds rot be­fore they sprout, peas will ger­mi­nate within 2-3 weeks and grow through­out win­ter, crop­ping in early spring. For a con­tin­u­ous sup­ply, plant a se­lec­tion of early, mid and late sea­son va­ri­eties. For ex­am­ple, the dwarf va­ri­ety ‘Wil­liam Massey’ is a clas­sic early sea­son gar­den pea, ma­tur­ing in 70-80 days. ‘Green­feast’ is also dwarf, but it’s a mid-sea­son va­ri­ety, ma­tur­ing in 80-85 days. ‘Gi­ant Al­der­man’ is tall grow­ing (2-3m) and late ma­tur­ing – up to 100 days. This pop­u­lar heirloom’s pods con­tain up to 11 peas. For climbers, use the same stakes as you use for run­ner beans in sum­mer, but keep in mind that peas will need ty­ing for a leg-up early in the sea­son. Pro­tect your trenches with chicken mesh, bits of bracken fern or small twigs from hungry birds who will oth­er­wise scratch the seeds out as soon as they pop up.

This is a pe­riod of low vi­tail­ity where growth is min­i­mal and sap run is low. Weed­ing is the best use of a gar­dener’s time. Gar­den­ing by the moon Plant root crops. Last quar­ter

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