Planting for winter

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Zasso Nouka
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Planting for winter

Post by Zasso Nouka » Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:08 am

Bit late with this thread, been a bit busy with recovering from typhoon #15 and getting ready for #19.

Now is a good time to be planting garlic, rakkyo and at the end of the month onion slips. If you like really punchy garlic and rakkyo then add some sulphur to the soil at planting time. Spring or bunching onions will also do well seeded now and give you a steady harvest through the winter months.

It's probably a bit late to seed cabbage and brussels now (our winter plantings were destroyed by typhoon 15 :doh: ) but you can still get various kale's in the ground if you haven't already started some. They will be slow to start off but should start to grow more quickly once we come out of the persephone months and give a good harvest in very early spring.

There are still plenty of other winter vegetables that can be seeded now including all sorts of salad crops to give you a continuous harvest of fresh leaves through the winter. Now that temps have dropped is the perfect time to seed mâche (corn salad) as the seeds will go dormant if the soil temp gets above 21C. Plant loads as it will be quite slow to start off with but will provide a steady supply of nutritious tasty leaves through the winter and into spring before it flowers in May.

It's also an ideal time to plant chingensai, although we prefer to grow mini varieties as you can harvest them earlier and we find them somewhat easier to use than the larger varieties. You can always leave a few to get larger if you don't use all the smaller ones. Nabana will also do well if planted at this time of year and turnips seeded now will have the best flavour when harvested later after they've been sweetened up by colder nights and a bit of frost. Daikon are another good winter crop as they taste much better when grow in in the colder weather.

If your winters are too harsh you can also seed all sorts of pea crops for an early spring harvest.

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Re: Planting for winter

Post by farmingnoob » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:36 am

Well, we just got our first frost last night :mad: :mad: :mad:

I wish I had planted more last month. Are there any seeds that can sprout after first frost?

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Re: Planting for winter

Post by Zasso Nouka » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:22 am

You can still plant spinach, broad beans and most leafy salad type vegetables (lettuce, mizuna, arugula, komatsuna, etc), specially if you can give them some protection like agricultural fleece and tunneling later. Although it's a bit late you could still plant garlic bulbs and onion slips, although most onion slips available at home centres now probably aren't in good condition.

If you are planning on growing potatoes next year now is a good time to start getting your beds ready for them, give the winter weeds plenty of time to sprout and then rake the top of the beds over on a sunny day to kill them off.

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Re: Planting for winter

Post by farmingnoob » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:24 am

I'll have to figure out that agricultural fleece.

Are you supposed to lay it on top of the plants or do you need a gap?

Also, what's it called in Japanese? :oops:

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Re: Planting for winter

Post by Zasso Nouka » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:15 pm

It's called べたがけ in Japanese, you can find plenty of different types here at Nihon Nougyou System they are the online retail site for Shinshin. You can buy smaller amounts from home centres but the quality isn't as good, it's doesn't insulate as well or last as long.

At the start of the winter I lay it over a bed of plants so it's in contact with the leaves and bury the edges down the sides of the rows/beds making sure to leave enough slack to allow the plant to push it up as they grow. Then you don't get plants bowed over and not able to grow properly. As the winter gets colder those beds will get tunneled over and either covered with another layer of fleece if the plants inside need good airflow or covered in plastic film if airflow isn't so critical or higher daytime temperatures are required.

If you get a lot of snow in your area you'll probably want to have things finished before then or plants will get crushed under the fleece and snow and tunnels will get collapsed in a heavy snowfall. If you don't get heavy snow then your tunnels can go right through the winter and tolerate a centimetre of snow or two without issue. Look and see what vegetable farmers around you are doing with their tunnels to get an idea. If you decide to go with tunnels then Cainz Home sell fibre glass poles that are quite good, you can see a variety of different tunnelling options here at NNS. The resin poles there are the ones Cainz Home sells. I use the 240cm poles (8.5mm width) with 210cm wide sheeting, don't bother with the thinner ones if you get any snow as they will be crushed under even fairly light amounts. If you make your own poles from split bamboo they can take quite heavy snowfalls without being crushed.