Winter is a fabulous season in the sub-tropical garden. Nights are cool and mornings are brisk – refreshing the body and the revitalizing soul. The days can be reasonably warm but not too hot to wilt you or the garden. Low humidity and a little rain… Ahhh, just perfect!
It’s a busy time of year. Ideal time for many crops that can’t be grown in colder parts of the country such as tomatoes, eggplants, chillies and capsicums (a lot of the Solanaceae family I just noticed) as well as carrots and zucchini; though the zucchini has recently given up the ghost. Perhaps I was a bit optimistic there. These veg ripen a little slower in the winter but hey, that’s ok. I must say the best thing of all is, unlike summer, we don’t have to battle with fruit fly. Hooray!! How good is that!
The usual winter crops are also going great guns. Snow peas and snap peas climbing their frames, broccoli heads developing, asparagus making an appearance and garlic and potatoes hopefully doing their thing underground.
I love this season for the fruit as well. There is nothing better that picking a mandarin from the tree and wandering around the rest of the garden with bursts of sweet juice filling your mouth and dribbling down your chin, chucking peel recklessly and spittin’ pips.
Also it’s passionfruit time and it’s been a bumper crop this year thanks to earlier rain. The possums love our passionfruit almost as much as I do. Thankfully, flickering solar powered Christmas lights draped over the vine help keep the possums away (this works with the tomatoes as well). Note: you do however have to be quick to beat those possums to any fallen fruit.
Winter in the sub-tropical garden is certainly relaxing and productive.