The preserving season is coming to an end for another year, with only the late ripening Chillies slowly coming through for the Sweet Chilli Sauce. May not be a bumper harvest of Chillies this year, though the plants are laden with green fruit. However, with the cool summer and the return of true autumn weather to the Central Highlands, after a late burst of summer over the Easter weekend, we think many may simply not turn to the brilliant red we want. The Chillies are the only thing that likes a really hot summer and this year that just did not happen.
The tree are starting their change to magnificent autumn colour and we have lit the first fires over the past week and so we know it is almost winter.
The plantings now turn to the winter crops of brassicas and peas and of course, the garlic bulbs are planted for harvest around November/December 2021. Homegrown garlic is wonderfully flavoursome with the true strong garlic flavour and the bulbs, in the varieties I grow, are much larger than those you normally buy in the supermarket. But later in the year I will share photos of the harvest and you can see what one little bulb can produce. The garlic is used in the making of our Pasta Sauce and Sweet Chilli Sauces.
Normally I plant the garlic around the edge of all the raised beds, in the hope, that as a companion plant of the onion family, it will deter insects and pests. I have to admit that this is more a hope than a proven fact, as the beasties still seem to have no difficulty finding something they like to eat.
I have decided to plant a complete bed of garlic this year and if the harvest is good enough and more than I can use, or share, I might sell some at the local markets. I purchased my garlic bulbs from Diggers Club and have always had great success with their varieties. Here they are after just 2 weeks in the ground.
The bed has garlic in the centre with podded, sugar snap and snow peas on each side of the bed which will be supported once they grow tall enough, making the bed productive for the next few months during the winter.
Here the garlic is planted around the edge of the garden already planted with Capsicums and Chillies, to act as a companion plant to deter the insects and pests.
So whilst the garden goes into its winter hiatus in many places it springs to life others.