Autumn in the Garden- April to do List

Autumn in the Garden- April to do List

Welcome to month two of Autumn!

It’s getting cooler and the days are getting shorter. Less sunlight and warmth means our plants will slow down their growth, so a lot of what we plant in our garden now is really for spring.

This month is a great time for planting trees, shrubs and spring bulbs.

Seeds to sow now: lettuce, rocket, kale, broad beans, beetroot, carrots, bok choy, pak choy, tatsoi, peas, chard, silverbeet, coriander, turnips, swedes, radish

Plant from punnets now: cauliflower, kale, broccoli, cabbage,  lettuce, silverbeet, perpetual spinach, chardAutumn in the Garden- April to do List - Home Grown Happiness

In the Vegetable Patch

Annual summer crops are really coming to their end now. The days are too short and too cool to redden tomatoes or ripen eggplants and capsicums.

If you’re removing your tomato plants, let the green ones ripen in a warm place inside. If you have a greenhouse, you can try to overwinter your eggplants, chillis and capsicums by moving them inside there.

Late maturing pumpkins left on the vine will be ready to harvest soon. Wait until the vines have died back and the stalk starts to brown and harden. Leave about 6cm of stalk on when cutting pumpkins off the vine to help them store longterm.

Autumn in the Garden- April to do List - Home Grown Happiness

After the removing the summer crops, add some extra organic material to your soil to make up for nutrients lost and used up in the hot summer, things like aged manure, compost, worm castings, sheep pellets.

When removing old crops, cut them down as opposed to yanking them from the soil. Pulling them breaks up the carefully built soil networks underneath and removes the food source for the microorganisms in the soil. If you just chop them down at the root level, the roots will break down and return nutrients to the soil. This especially important for beans and peas which hold nitrogen in their roots. Once the roots break down, the nitrogen is returned back into the soil in a way that other plants can take it up.

It’s been raining a fair bit recently. Keep your soil covered to avoid nutrients being washed away. Mulches made up of things like straw, leaf mould, compost and chopped up seaweed will help keep the goodness in, plants warm and weeds at bay.

If you are only just planting out your broccoli and cauliflowers, you might not be eating those until late winter/early spring. Keep planting and sowing fast-growing salad greens to ensure you do have something to harvest in the winter. Early turnips and radishes are also quick growing and add a little more variety to your harvest.

When harvesting lettuces, picking the outer leaves as you need them, as opposed to harvesting the whole plant will allow you to stretch your harvest throughout winter.

Autumn in the Garden- April to do List - Home Grown Happiness

Spring Bulbs

It’s time to get those spring bulbs in the ground now if you want flowers for spring! Planting them sooner rather than later gives them time to establish and they will flower better in spring.

Choose a spot with good drainage so your bulbs don’t rot. Dig a hole as deep as the bulb is big and plant the bulb with the pointy bit facing up. Adding in a handful of Tui bulb food will help them along. 

Clean up

Have a clean up in your garden and get rid of any dead, diseased or spent plants. Weeding should be easier now too. The rain will have loosened the soil and the cooler air and less sun mean weed growth will be lessened. Deadhead your perennial flowers to allow the plant to use its energy for the next burst of blooms.

Happy Gardening!

Wanna a little garden tour of my vegetable garden? Then watch the video below and please subscribe to my channel. 🙂

A Perennial Patch- Plant Once, Eat For Years

A Perennial Patch- Plant Once, Eat For Years

Perennial vegetables are vegetables you only need to plant once and you are rewarded with years of harvesting. A perennial patch is a vegetable patch perfect for the lazy gardener. Actually, scratch that. It’s perfect for a smart gardener who wants to spend less time planting, more time eating.

Perennial patch
Globe Artichoke

Perennials are plants that produce for years.  We are all familiar with fruit trees providing us with fresh produce for years without us having to do much work, so why not also in the vegetable garden?

When you have a perennial patch, all you need to do is keep it mulched, fed, watered and keep harvesting! There are many positives to having some, if not many, perennials:

  • you’re not disturbing the soil by cultivating and resowing
  • there will always be something you can harvest.
  • if your garden is full, weeds will not have the space to grow.
  • perennials usually have deep roots so can reach water and nutrients further down, meaning they are more drought resistant and hardier than other plants.
  • The deep roots perennials have, mean they can also be way more nutritious and delicious than their annual comrades.

Read More

Sweet Pumpkin Brioche

Sweet Pumpkin Brioche

Who doesn’t love a brioche? Rich, tender and buttery, it’s no wonder this French bread is so popular.

Having quite a few pumpkins this year, and judging from some of the pictures posted on the Facebook group, many of you have an abundance of pumpkins too, so I thought why not combine sweet pumpkin and a hint of spice to this French classic.

It’s the butter and eggs in a brioche that makes it so delicious. It’s thought of more as a dessert bread because of the rich texture the butter and eggs give it, but a traditional brioche is not actually sweet.

This pumpkin brioche is sweet though. I added brown sugar and cinnamon. It’s a loose spin on a traditional brioche. Read More

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