Winter in the Garden- July To Do List

To sow this month: broad beans, broccoli, cauliflower,peas, snow peas, radish, rocket, onions, lettuce, swedes, turnips, silverbeet, perpetual spinach, carrots

To plant from seedlings this month: asparagus, Chinese cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, lettuce, onions

If you’re keen on the idea of homegrown fruit, it’s still a great time to get some fruit trees planted. Here’s a link to Edible Backyard’s post on fruit tree planting. It’s brilliant and straightforward. One day I hope to have the space Kath has to plant fruit trees galore but in the meantime, I just live vicariously through those posts.

Consider planting comfrey underneath your fruit trees as these provide mulch when their old leaves drop off. Comfrey leaves are packed with nutrients as comfrey’s long tap roots bring up nutrients from deep in the soil and into their leaves. As the leaves break down around the tree, the tree will receive these nutrients. There is a Russian variety called called ‘bocking 14’ that only multiplies via root division, so if you’re worried about comfrey self seeding everywhere, try this one.

It’s getting to that time to plant potatoes. You can start chitting them now, to force seed potatoes to sprout. This takes about 4 weeks. Place them in a single layer in a cool light place, but not in any direct sunlight. Once the sprouts have long and strong shoots, keep the strongest 3-4 shoots and rub off the rest. Then they can be planted out.

It’s still time to plant strawberries! They can be planted all the way up to spring but planting them sooner rather than later will ensure larger roots grow and a strong plant means more strawberries! Read more on growing strawberries here.

It’s been cold, wet, raining and even in some cases hailing so our soils are taking a beating. Keep them well mulched to retain those nutrients. I find deep mulching my vegetable patch also stops it from turning into a bog as the rain can be soaked up by the thick layers of mulch.

It’s still cold out there but start sowing peas and broad bean seeds if you haven’t done so already. They’ll slowly establish their roots now and then as the weather warms up and the flowers appear, the bees will come and pollinate the flowers. Add in some quick growing crops such as baby turnips, radishes and more lettuce for something fresh to eat late winter/early spring. Onions can be sown now too, inside in trays or directly onto a prepared bed, as they need about half a year of growing time. 

What’s going on in your winter wonderland?

Happy gardening!

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