Winter: July In The Garden – Chasing Crusoe.

July – Winter

Location: North Island, New Zealand

Climate: Temperate with Frosts

Winter is definitely upon us. We have had several frosts so far, that always leave me uneasy, wondering how my garden will cope. So far, so good!

To plant this month:

Asparagus, broccoli, carrots, fruit trees (apple, citrus, feijoa…), garlic, lettuce, onions, pak choy, peas, radishes, strawberries, silver beet, spinach…

My top 5 in the garden for July are…

1)Citrus Trees.

It’s the perfect time for planting citrus trees. Plant them in a sunny spot in healthy free draining soil and be sure to water frequently if we aren’t getting regular rain.

If you are in a frost prone area like us, it’s advisable to protect with frost cloth at night while trees are young, so keep an eye on the weather forecast.

I have recently added 4 Washington Navels and 1 Meyer Lemon to our orchard. I try to take note of what we need to buy in and then try to grow this for ourselves for the future, heading in the direction of self-sufficiency on the food front.

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2)Garlic.

It’s still a perfectly good time to pop in some garlic even though we are past the shortest day which is the traditional day for garlic planting. Select a sunny area with healthy free draining soil. You might like to read more about planting garlic here.

3)Pak Choy/Bok Choi.

I’m absolutely loving the speed at which pak choy/bok choi (Chinese cabbage) grows. It’s literally garden to plate in just over a month which makes a welcome change to how slow growth is for most vegetables now that the temperature has really dropped.

Just pop them in a sunny spot in healthy free draining soil and in little over a month you will be enjoying them.

4)Pansies.

Pansies love the cool of winter and thrive in it. They are easy to grow in a sunny or partially sunny spot, in healthy free-draining soil.

They provide enchanting pops of colour throughout the garden, as they come in all different colours.

The petals are edible and make beautiful garnishes on cupcakes, cakes, salads and perfectly jazz up soups on cold blah days.

I grow flowers throughout my vegetable garden and love seeing pops of colour amidst the greenery.

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5)Strawberries

Plant now in a sunny spot with free draining soil. They thrive when kick started in the cool winter, ensuring you have a larger crop. If you like, you can pull off any flowers that develop until late August or so, to put the growth into your plants, then fruiting will take place a few months after that, perfectly in time for summer and Christmas.

Strawberries are big feeders and need plenty of food and water so be sure to keep this up throughout the season. Tui is my go-to for great products to help keep your strawberries growing optimally. You can find their website here.

You may want to consider bird netting as strawberries are ripening as birds will love to feast on these, but make sure that bees can still have access for pollination.

River and I have been working sooooo hard finishing off a new garden area ready to plant out in bulk strawberry seedlings which we are pretty excited about! Here it is in the initial early stages – we’ll show you the finished result soon. Roll on beautiful spray free strawberries!

Happy gardening and I’d love to hear what you are growing this month or what plans you have. 🙂

~Rebecca

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