Wally Richards – Autumn gardens

Autumn is a great time for planting out gardens. Besides the planting of vegetables and flowering plants, there is also a wide range of shrubs and trees you can add to your garden.or different parts of the garden, depending on what you are planting.

It is still a bit early for new seasons deciduous fruit, ornamental trees or roses – but orders can be placed at your garden centre now for collection in winter. There are different gardening considerations for different parts of the garden depending on what you’re planting.


The vegetable garden

Silverbeet is one of my favourite winter plants. There are two main types available: the original dark green variety such as ‘Fordhook’; and the newer, coloured silverbeet – called ‘Bright Lights’. The latter has a milder flavour, so if you don’t like the flavour of the dark green variety, you may well like the sweeter taste of the more colourful plants.

When you buy silverbeet to eat, you find that you are generally buying the whole plant (minus the roots), as this is the way the commercial growers harvest the crop. In the home garden there is no need at all to harvest the whole plant – instead just remove the outer leaves and the plant will continue to produce till it goes to seed. Rust or pests should not be a problem through the winter, so no extra work or spraying is necessary. For planting at this time of year, it is best to buy the seedlings, as seed-raising will take longer and delay harvest.

Broad beans can be grown from seed, and if you like these versatile, iron-rich vegetables then go ahead and plant a row. Snowpeas are another good winter seed-grown crop, and are ideal for stir-fried meals. All the brassicas do well during winter and you should have no problems with caterpillars. For those with bigger vegetable gardens, you can also sow seeds or plant seedlings of Chinese cabbage, cress, leeks, winter lettuce, mustard, onions, radish, shallots, spinach and turnips. Continue reading