Top 5 – Most Successful Winter Crops 2013

I feel like I’ve posted on a lot of negative things lately.  The things that have failed, the things that I don’t know and the things that just haven’t worked (the less said about my attempts to grow tomatoes over Melbourne’s winter the better……).  So today I seek to redress the balance.  Today I start bring you the good stuff: the best of my Winter crops 2013 and next week I will highlight the best Spring ones.

Eggs – My most exciting harvest this winter was our first egg.  We bought our 3 chickens as day old chicks in February.   They grew over Autumn and they began laying at the end of June.  Initially eggs were a little sporadic but we are now regularly getting 2-3 eggs  each day.


Celeriac – I grew celeriac for the first time this year and was really pleased I did.  Whilst it took a long time to develop (well over 6 months), I had it in a spot that is difficult to access so I was happy to just let it do its thing.  The variety I grew was called Giant Of Prague and I wrote a Saturday Spotlight on it in July.


Celery- I always seem to forget to photograph the celery for my Harvest Monday posts, but I was able to harvest half a dozen lovely stalks each week all thorough our winter.  I like being self sufficient in celery.  I use it regularly but not in huge quantities and so if I buy it it invariably ends up wilting before I use the whole head.  Growing it allows me to harvest it stem by stem meaning it is always fresh, on hand and delicious.


Parsley – Regular readers of this blog will know that I am something of a parsley lover.  I use parsley liberally and enthusiastically in everything from stocks and stews, to pasta and dips.  Fortunately parsley generally grows very well in my climate and this year was no exception.


Turnips – Interestingly only one of my best winter performers this year was a brassica, and even then the prize didn’t go to one of the glamour brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, romanesco or cabbage), instead it went to the humble turnip.  I suspect this is, at least in part, because this was my first year growing them so the excitement of something new pushed them over the line.  Thanks to L at 500m2 in Sydney for the seed.


Those were my Top 5 winter performers for 2013.  Next week I will bring you Spring’s as we finally move into Summer.


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15 Responses to Top 5 – Most Successful Winter Crops 2013

  1. Celery and celeriac – my two betes noire, Just can’t get a harvest out of them after trying and trying and …

  2. marisa says:

    What a pretty brown egg. I can’t remember if I told you this already, but in winter I grew broccoli from the seeds you sent me and it was fantastic! This will definitely be a regular winter vegetable for me. I had no success with celery, and the beetroots I planted were hopeless – but parsley is still growing in abundance all around our garden, and it’s probably the most useful crop of all (I especially love it with garlic and chilli and tossed through pasta – delicious).

    • Liz says:

      Really pleased it did well for you. I absolutely agree with you regarding parsley – and I too love it with garlic and chilli on pasta.

  3. michelle says:

    Three of your Five are top performers in my winter garden as well, and it might have been Five of Five if I had chickens or liked turnips (meh). You seem to be better at growing parsley year round, I always have a parsley gap in spring and summer after the winter parsley bolts and before I can get a new patch growing.

    • Liz says:

      I am just able to harvest from the new plants now so I reckon the gap I had was about a month between the old plants becoming unusable and the new plants producing. They aren’t producing in great quantities yet but hopefully they will soon – my mint is going really well so I want to make tabouleh.

  4. I tried celeriac once in a particularly rainy period and it rotted, despite OK drainage. I must try again, because it really does look pretty cool. I forgot to plant turnips this year – something that I will rectify in Autumn. Your celery always looks so good!

  5. Sarah says:

    Someone told me that celery was hard to grow, so I’ve never even tried… what do you think, is it worth a go or am I setting myself up to fail? I love your speckled egg nestled in the straw, it looks like an illustration from a book.

    • Liz says:

      I would have thought it would be worth a go. If you got it to germinate in early Spring I would have thought the conditions would be right for it as it is at its best here in our winter and early Spring.

  6. Dave says:

    Hurray for those eggs! And for the humble and often maligned turnip. I too love being able to harvest celery as needed. It won’t make it through the winter here though so there will be a big gap before I have any next spring. I’m a parsley fan too. I have a few plants in the greenhouse so I can harvest all winter. Love those great photos too!

  7. Nina says:

    Did your chooks lay right through winter? Mine didn’t but they are churning out the eggs, now.

    My best winter crops were carrots, parsnip, parsley (of course) and broccoli (or was that in spring?). Spinach is probably in there, too – harvests seem to overlap the seasons around here.

    • Liz says:

      Yes they did – I think that is probably because they were just starting to lay – I suspect next year they might rest during the cooler months.

  8. Louise says:

    They are GREAT things to have had success with! Look at that celeriac monster and those ever so cute turnips! My parsley was fab over winter too, but with the crazy weather and no rain all my plants have gone to seed even though they are supposed to live for 2 years they only lasted 1.

    • Liz says:

      I find that parsley always bolts in Spring here – I’ve never had it get much past a year old and only then if I time the sowing exactly right. Perhaps it’s a variety thing.

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