This year I am determined to have more than just silverbeet and broccoli to show for my winter veg. I know in reality there was a bit more going on than that last year, but that is how it felt at the time.
So this year I have been much more organised and have not only got some plants in the ground already I have another round with some new additions ready to pot on in the shade house.
I use the following method for growing from seed and it seems to work well for me.
Fill a polystyrene box with good quality seed raising mix and sow a row of each type of seed into it.
By using the polystyrene box I don't have to worry about my seeds drying out which I found I had a big issue with when I was trying to used home made news paper pots.
Because I am trying to plant a couple of rounds of each plant I try and plant out just a few seeds (about 6 - 8) of each plant at a time so that I don't get a complete glut of one thing all at once and none for the rest of the season. I vary from this with things like fennel where I plant a few more because I know that we can eat a number of fennel bulbs in one meal where as we are unlikely to eat a number of cabbage heads or cauliflower heads in one meal.
I also plant out a few more if I want to preserve some of them because then it is better to have them already at once and this year I have planted out an extra row of silverbeet so that I have plenty to give to the chooks over winter.
Once they have germinated and have their first set of leaves I use my mini trowel (also known as an old teaspoon) to gently dig them out of the seed raising mix and pot them on into bigger pots.
One thing that I thing you should always do is wash your plastic pots between uses to prevent any disease or bacteria building up. I wash mine in the laundry tub then leave them out to dry before reusing them. Some plants like tomato's need to 1 plant into each pot but others like rocket, leeks and herbs can have a number of plants in each pot because they do not mind being planted out a bit closer or being disturbed a bit.
Last year I forgot to count how many cloves I planted so this year I counted them, even the tiny ones which I have been told will grow a garlic bulb, just a very small one. I'm ok with that.
So this year I have replanted from my own garlic grown last year:
Australian White - 32 Cloves
Australian Cream - 37 Cloves
Oriental Purple - 30 Cloves
I got them into the ground on Easter Monday and some of them have already sent up shoots.
So what methods do you employ for spreading out your harvest?
Do you have a favourite cool season crop?