Growing and gardening in winter is such a delight in the subtropics. Its cooler and much more pleasant to be out in the garden.

Here are some of my favourites for winter planting

winter flowers

Winter Planting

Peas of all types. My faves this year are Purple Podded peas and Snow peas in bush form, but you can also put in field peas for shelling, Sugar Snaps and Telephone Climbing peas.

The Cabbage Family They all seem to love cool weather, from Pak choy to drumhead, Broccoli and broccolini to Cauliflower. This year I’m growing mini cauliflowers, red cabbages, broccolini, broccoli, Gai Lan Asian broccoli, a little heritage cabbage, tatsoi, and then the beautiful Kale, and Kohl rabi. My I love that vegetable!

kohl rabi

Beans are beaut! Great for protein, but also good for the soil Grow broad beans in winter and dig in the stems and leaves after harvest to improve your soil. Also try Purple King Climbing beans, and Scarlet Runners if you live in a cooler climate.

Garlic By now, your garlic will be growing well. Ours went in first week of March and was off to a ripper of a start in under a fortnight. It doesn’t mind the cold, and in fact, it sets better bulbs if it experiences a chill.

elephant garlic

Onions. Gladalan Brown and Red Salads, Spring onions/Shallots and bunching Welsh onions are favourites with us. Remember to prize the tiny plants apart for all onions and planting them separately along a shallow ditch that you back fill after planting. Add a little sulphur at planting time to enhance the flavour.

Beetroot If your summer was hot and harsh, and if you don’t experience frosts, try beetroot seedlings now

Lettuce and coriander. These are always a success in winter and rather challenging to grow in summer.

Celery and celeriac hate drought, so keep the water up to them for wonderful results.  (The picture at right show celery growing with pretty pink impatiens, an edible flower) I have a video on how to grow these on the Ecobotanica You Tube page.

celery growing with edible impatiens

Edible flowers: Violets, violas and pansies, hollyhocks, New Guinea impatiens in protected areas, Evening Primrose, Love in a mist, chamomile in warm areas – from seed now, cornflowers, pentas, bare rooted roses (mine are coming from Treloars next week), gladioli bulbs, calendula, freesia bulbs, alyssum, cowslips and primroses if you live in cool areas, phlox, dianthus, stocks and snapdragons.

edible flowers