A tip…….to avoid a surplus with plants you can’t keep or preserve, stagger your planting every 5 weeks.
The Winter Garden
Just because it’s cooler, doesn’t mean the winter months are less incline to produce a good harvest. If you continue to follow the mantra of planting in season for the area in which you live you will still reap the rewards of a hearty kitchen garden.
Again remember to replenish your soil with a good fertilizer and additional soil if your beds are look a little low. Always turn your soil over well before planting your next crop and pull out any un wanted and left over root systems from your last harvest. You will need to give your veggies a feed approximately once a month.
Good fertilizers to use are Blood and Bone, Miracle Grow Organic Choice or Seasol.
Here’s your suggested Winter planting guide
Based on areas of sub-tropical and some temperate areas of australia.
Silverbeet / Swiss Chard
A tip…… to prevent transplant shock when re-planting a citrus tree, soak the root ball in seasol solution while you prep your new pot or garden bed.
The Autumn Garden
Very soon there will be a change in the air. The nights will become cool and the mornings crisp. The leaves on the trees change colour, the sky becomes clearer, the sun on your skin feels warm and pleasant. Autumn, while a season in itself, reaches no extremes. It sits comfortably in between.
Planting in sub-tropical and Temperate Australia during this time is still abundant, so many fruits, vegetable and herbs flourish during the Autumn months. It’s the time when you can think about planting the the produce you want for winter. The ground is still warm from the summer months and proves perfect to promote root growth before the colder weather sets in. Meanwhile you are starting the reap the benefits from the produce that needs long slow ripening over the warmer as they come in their own. Watermelons and Rockmelons are plentiful, tomatoes are still in abundance (a perfect time for preserving them) Pumpkins are ready and so are eggplants. The nut trees have blossomed and are ready for picking. All in all Autumn is pretty special.
Now into the planting……… It is important though at the end of each season to replenish your garden beds or pots with some fresh soil and a good dose of fertiliser. You really need to mix it through the bed thoroughly. I always use an organic soil mix and fertilise with blood and bone or organic Miracle Grow. Then you need regular feeds to your seedlings and plants, i like to use seasol or a product like it.
Here is your suggested Autumn planting guide for sub-tropical and temperate areas of Australia
Broadbeans (only in colder climates- use bush beans in sub-tropical climates)
Broccoli – temperate climates only
Chilli / Chives / Parsley / Oregano
Climbing and Dwarf bean varities
Mustard Greens / Gar Choy
Great reference sites to help you further with your planting : www.gardenate.com
or for people in Victoria there is a wonderful blog www.yummygardens.com.au
Here is a food wheel planting guide by regional zones in Australia.
Seasonal availability for food around Australia
The Summer Garden
My good friend Oliver recently introduced my to the Little Veggie Patch Co. You really must check them out. Two gents, Fabian Capomolla and Mat Pember, installers of edible veggie patches have designed and set up a pop up veggie patch for rent. You can lease your own box on top of a building in federation square in melbourne and grown your own edible plants. What an amazing idea. Visit their website www.littleveggiepatch.com.au and find out more about what they are up to. You can also buy their book ‘Little Veggie Patch Co – how to grow food in small places’ available online.
Whether it be a few potted herbs, some tomatoes or a raised vegetable bed you still need to plant for the seasons.
Summer is here and hopefully most of us have sown our summer crops for during the spring months. If you haven’t it’s not too late to start.
Many find the thought of growing your own food overwhelming but you needn’t. Start your kitchen garden with a couple of pots of herbs, some rocket or tomatoes. Trust me there is nothing better than being able to walk outside and pick something to eat.
In hotter areas, namely SE QLD start to look on your seed packets for the more heat loving varieties to plant. Brisbane is humid and some plants may be a little intolerant to that. Veggies like Sweetcorn, Eggplant, Capsicums, Chillies, Pumpkins and Melons are all good. Check your herb Varieties too. I always find Basil, Parsley, Oregano, Mint, Rosemary and Sage go very well in our climate in the hotter months. It makes sense really as they are the Mediterranean herbs and look at their climate, very similar the Australia’s in particularly SE QLD.
A few tips to get you started.
Pots – if you choose terra-cotta pots, they will absorb a little moisture so you will need to water a little more often. Especially in the warmer months
Do a little bit of research on what grows best in your area. There are a lot of good sites that will give you great tips. Brisbane Organic Growers INC has a wonderful site- www.bogi.com.au . Apart from your plant shops, don’t hesitate to speak to growers at your local farmers markets or good produce stores in your area. They are a fountain of knowledge and will gladly share it with you.
Soil – buy a good quality well fertilised organic soil mix. Leafy plants like nitrogen in their feed and flowering veggies like a little potassium boost. Both of these are common in most good soil mixes. Give them a little feed about once a month to maintain the healthiest plant possible.
Take the time to read each plant / herbs planting instructions and ideal position.
After you plant, water well for the first couple of weeks.
Don’t fear using them, most plants especially herbs and salad leaves flourish with regular picking.
Cut back dead leaves and stalks. Your plant will continue to feed it and try to nourish it taking precious nutrients from the healthier stems.
Always remember – talk to your plants!
(my grandmother had the most amazing green thumb and she swears by it)