Sow this month: Radishes, Beetroot, Carrot, Spring Onion, Corn, Zucchini, Cucumber, Lettuce, Silverbeet, Beans
Plant from Seedlings: Chillis, Capsicum, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Cucumbers
It’s getting warmer but it’s still wet. This time last year there was a drought going on and some parts of the country already had water restrictions in place.
This summer is still meant to be a hot one and it’s good to be prepared for future water restrictions and heat waves by mulching well.
Keep that mulch piled on! This will help keep the soil damp for the days you can’t water.
For a thirsty plant, dig a small container of some sort (that has holes in the bottom), into the soil next to the plant’s roots. Now when you water, the water will go straight to the plant’s roots and avoids water wastage. This also helps plants like tomatoes and zucchini that don’t like their leaves getting wet, as this can spread diseases.
Certain things will be ready to harvest now. If you have some beans, cucumbers, tomatoes or zucchini ready, pick them to encourage the plant to produce more flowers.
Take extra care of your tomatoes. Pinch off the laterals to ensure good airflow and encourage the plant to produce more flowers instead of leaf. Keep a close eye on them to watch for any diseases or pests.
Keep on sowing lettuce, radish, carrots, beets, and spring onion your summer salads. Keep in mind that if you are direct sowing, you have to keep the seeds moist or they won’t germinate. Covering the seeds with a sheet of damp newspaper or a thin layer of mulch can help. Make sure that if you are using newspaper, you remove it once the seedlings emerge from the soil.
Pests and Diseases
Keep an eye on pests and diseases. Catch bad bugs before they get out of hand and learn to distinguish between the bad and the beneficial insects.
A healthy garden is less likely to fall victim to insect attack so feed and nourish your vegetables. If you do have an infestation of bad bugs on your plants, here are 6 natural controls for pests and fungal disease you can make at home.
Keep up the liquid feeding, about every two weeks to encourage healthy growth. A homemade comfrey tea is great for all plants where you are harvesting the fruit, not the leaves. A seaweed fertiliser or a weedy tea is a great general liquid feed suitable for all vegetables and fruit. A manure based liquid feed is good for all your leafy greens.
Remove the dead heads from your spring flowers so they put their energy into the next growth spurt. Sow annual flowers in any bare spaces you have. Keep attracting those beneficial bees and bugs to create a healthy ecosystem in your garden.
It’s hot, so your compost will be breaking down faster than usual. Keep topping it up with layers of greens and browns (nitrogen and carbon) and give it a good turn over to add in some oxygen.
If your compost is full, start a new pile. Cover the old pile with a burlap sack or tarpaulin and let it sit and break down over summer and autumn, ready to be added to your garden beds next winter.
Once the hot summer sun gets going, gardening in the middle of the day is no fun for you or your seedlings! So, enjoy slow relaxing evenings with a beer in hand, where it’s perfectly acceptable to garden until 9 pm!