Very new gardener - preparing veggie bed for Spring?


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Hey there. I'm from central Gippsland in Victoria, Australia. We're going into Spring now. I have cauliflower, broccoli, winter herbs, and peas planted in my first veggie bed from early June. The peas are going gangbusters, flowering nicely and I should be harvesting soon. The cauliflower is all huge leaves and no head, and the broccoli really struggled (I think because we had so much rain and several hard frosts, plus I wasn't sure how to fertilise properly). My question: do I pull out the cauliflower and broccoli plants since they failed, to free up space for another go with some Spring planting? Or will they continue to grow and possibly form heads next winter?
 
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Hi, and welcome to the forum. It is really difficult for me to get my head round the Southern hemisphere seasons, but I would expect cauliflower mid to late Summer and broccoli a little later, then through to late Autumn, maybe give them a bit more of a chance.
Garden peas are great, but I find mangetout crop for longer and are more reliable. Peas can be 'gangbusters' one year and a bit disappointing the next for me. Of course what holds true on an Atlantic island may not do so in Northern Victoria.
 
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Hi, and welcome to the forum. It is really difficult for me to get my head round the Southern hemisphere seasons, but I would expect cauliflower mid to late Summer and broccoli a little later, then through to late Autumn, maybe give them a bit more of a chance.
Garden peas are great, but I find mangetout crop for longer and are more reliable. Peas can be 'gangbusters' one year and a bit disappointing the next for me. Of course what holds true on an Atlantic island may not do so in Northern Victoria.
That's very interesting. Here they are considered a winter crop. I don't know how well they will do in the heat of summer, but I can always wait and see!
 
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I suppose your winter equates to our summer. I guess you would have to get down to Tasmania before it ever freezes in winter :)
I don't know what your climate did this year, but in the south of England we had about 9% of our normal rainfall this summer, and it was hot. I even wore shorts some days (shock, horror).
That underwater volcano in Tonga that blasted huge masses of water vapour into the stratosphere is probably the cause. They reckon it will up temperatures globally for the next two or three years, but I reckon it may just accelerate global warming so things stay that way, especially the way governments everywhere are reneging on their promises to control output, or simply outsourcing it to elsewhere and saying "Look, we're clean."
Someone in another thread was talking about taking plants out because they hadn't flowered yet, having only just put them in, and there was a general chorus of 'Plants need time, patience is a virtue in the garden". I would say it depends whether you need the space, if not why not wait and see, what's to lose?
 

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... The cauliflower is all huge leaves and no head, and the broccoli really struggled (I think because we had so much rain and several hard frosts, plus I wasn't sure how to fertilise properly). My question: do I pull out the cauliflower and broccoli plants since they failed, to free up space for another go with some Spring planting? Or will they continue to grow and possibly form heads next winter?

Have you had a soil test? What did it show for boron? Boron is critical to brassicas such as cauliflower and broccoli. You need a minimum of 0.2 ppm of Boron in the soil that houses them.

If you are "winging" it, lightly sprinkle some borax powder around the base of your plants.

Many years ago (decades actually) I could not get cauliflower to head properly and after checking my soil test found my boron levels were extremely low. Fixing that has led to perfect cauliflower every time and beautiful 12-inch heads of broccoli.
 
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I suppose your winter equates to our summer. I guess you would have to get down to Tasmania before it ever freezes in winter :)
I don't know what your climate did this year, but in the south of England we had about 9% of our normal rainfall this summer, and it was hot. I even wore shorts some days (shock, horror).
That underwater volcano in Tonga that blasted huge masses of water vapour into the stratosphere is probably the cause. They reckon it will up temperatures globally for the next two or three years, but I reckon it may just accelerate global warming so things stay that way, especially the way governments everywhere are reneging on their promises to control output, or simply outsourcing it to elsewhere and saying "Look, we're clean."
Someone in another thread was talking about taking plants out because they hadn't flowered yet, having only just put them in, and there was a general chorus of 'Plants need time, patience is a virtue in the garden". I would say it depends whether you need the space, if not why not wait and see, what's to lose?
I could do with the space because I don't have another bed (I don't have a car, I ordered another bed weeks ago and never heard back from the supplier, even though I chased them up. Not sure what to do about that). I don't think this is that I "just put them in" - I put in decent sized seedlings in June and it is now mid September. Other gardeners who did the same have had crops. I suspect it has more to do with soil pH and fertility. As I said, I am a new gardener and still learning. I know the community garden is pulling out the last of their winter crops to make way fro Spring crops, and I wondered if this is the thing to do. I also wonder if the brassicas will even survive 40+ degree temperatures if I leave them in over summer, if it is worth trying for another winter crop from them
 
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Have you had a soil test? What did it show for boron? Boron is critical to brassicas such as cauliflower and broccoli. You need a minimum of 0.2 ppm of Boron in the soil that houses them.

If you are "winging" it, lightly sprinkle some borax powder around the base of your plants.

Many years ago (decades actually) I could not get cauliflower to head properly and after checking my soil test found my boron levels were extremely low. Fixing that has led to perfect cauliflower every time and beautiful 12-inch heads of broccoli.
No, I haven't tested the Boron. I tested for pH when I set up the bed and it was ok, fairly neutral although on the higher pH side. That may have changed since, what with plants being put in and environmental changes. I'll do another test and include Boron.
 
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I could do with the space because I don't have another bed (I don't have a car, I ordered another bed weeks ago and never heard back from the supplier, even though I chased them up. Not sure what to do about that). I don't think this is that I "just put them in" - I put in decent sized seedlings in June and it is now mid September. Other gardeners who did the same have had crops. I suspect it has more to do with soil pH and fertility. As I said, I am a new gardener and still learning. I know the community garden is pulling out the last of their winter crops to make way fro Spring crops, and I wondered if this is the thing to do. I also wonder if the brassicas will even survive 40+ degree temperatures if I leave them in over summer, if it is worth trying for another winter crop from them
Sounds as though they are due to go. We had somewhere reach 40 degrees this summer and it was a record, I think the previous one was 38 degrees. Check out that boron, there is always next year.
 

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