Winter kitchen garden update

Gardener in garden setting.

Anita Rayner in the Vaucluse House Pleasure Garden. Photo © Katrina James for Sydney Living Museums

There are still plenty of plants to grow in the garden during winter. Here are just a couple of varieties growing in the kitchen garden at Vaucluse House right now. Maybe you might like to give them a go too?

Green Cos

There are so many different varieties of lettuce suitable for all temperature ranges, so you can grow them all year round.

Growing in the Vaucluse House kitchen garden right now we have Green Cos. One of the easiest to grow, just sprinkle the tiny seeds on the surface of a tray full of seed-raising mix, lightly cover and keep moist. Transplant into the garden or a pot when they're about 5cm high. You'll be eating them in about eight weeks.

Onions

An ancient vegetable that has been grown for thousands of years, onions are also listed as being cultivated in the Sydney Botanic Gardens as early as 1827.

These eight week old Gladalan Brown onion seedlings pictured below were planted in the Vaucluse House kitchen garden in March with a view to harvesting in October-November. It's incredible to think you can buy a kilo of onions relatively cheaply when they take six to eight months to mature.

There are many varieties that can be grown at different times in different parts of the country, however, one reason that a crop may fail is that the type may not be suited to your climate zone.

You can still sow onion seeds right up to July. Sow seeds in a tray and plant out in a sunny well drained spot when 8-10cm tall, about 10-15cm apart. The onion is a fabulous vegetable which is also a great insect-repelling companion plant, and stores well after harvest in a cool dry dark spot.

Pictured below are some onions from last season, which were our biggest ever!

  • Plants growing in kitchen garden.

    Green Cos growing in the kitchen garden at Vaucluse House.

    Photo Anita Rayner © Sydney Living Museums.

  • Plants growing in kitchen garden.

    Onion seedlings growing in the kitchen garden at Vaucluse House, photographed in March 2020.

    Photo Anita Rayner © Sydney Living Museums.

  • Gardener holding bunch of large onions.

    Anita Rayner holds onions from last year's harvest.

    Photo Anita Rayner © Sydney Living Museums.

About the author

Horticulturist Anita Rayner holding a melon in the kitchen garden at Vaucluse House

Anita Rayner

Horticulturist

At Vaucluse House, you’ll find Anita in the kitchen garden fuelling her love for growing heirloom melons, curly zucchinis and enormous pumpkins.