Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Summer Gardening

Well finally it seems summer has arrived, albeit probably a month late.

Here is the latest Summer Gardening Blog addition from "The Veggie Lady" Toni Salter.

Summer is a really busy time of the year in the productive garden for temperate regions. Not only are you harvesting your first fruits of the season, but you’re also looking ahead to sowing some cool season crops (yes already!).  This is the time of year that pests and disease are at their worst, so keeping on top of this as well as maintaining consistent watering during hot weather can all get a bit heavy going.  This is the time to be most alert but in reality, the opposite generally happens for most of us especially when we decide to take some holidays.  Here’s a few tips to keep it all together.

What to sow

Start sowing your winter crops this month in temperate and cold regions. This includes all of your cabbage family plants like cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and Chinese vegetables. By the time they’re a reasonable size for planting out, the weather should be starting to cool down. Carrots, beetroot, parsley, celery, leek and silverbeet are all winter crops so they can be sown now too. Special care of seedlings needs to happen over the next few months to make sure they survive the heat. Be vigilant with daily watering in really hot weather. I plant my seedlings out with cardboard milk cartons around them. This gives them a bit more protection from critters and gives a bit of extra shade. 

Harvest time

Nothing like home grown tomatoes,
Tigerella and Siberia pictured.
You should be able to harvest a few "new" potatoes now if you can't wait. New potatoes are the young ones just under the surface, simply forage around under the top layer of soil and pick a few off. The bigger ones can be dug up all at once after the tops die off later on.

Tomatoes start to come on from now also. They'll stay green until the weather is consistently warm to ripen the fruit. If you got in some early plants then you'll have some lush red tomatoes for Christmas lunch. Mulch around the tomatoes and corn to give them consistent water and nutrients. Keep picking things like cucumber, zucchini and leafy vegetables to encourage more cropping. You can almost watch zucchinis growing before your eyes!!

Succession planting & maintaining your patch

Squash and Zucchini

Succession planting means planting out seedlings every month to get a continual supply of veggies. So even if you have a few plants producing a crop now, still sow what ever you can to extend the harvest for a few months more. An easy way of getting another tomato plant quickly is to take a cutting by snipping of one of the "laterals" (or side shoots) with a clean cut, dip it in some rooting powder, stick it in a small pot of seed raising mix, tie a plastic bag over it after giving it some water and wait for about a week. Roots develop quickly and you'll have a new plant ready for the garden in a short time. Pinch out growing tips of cucumbers, pumpkins and squash to encourage side shoots. These side shoots produce more flowers and keep the plant contained. Give regular liquid fertiliser to all of your veggies especially leafy crops. Steep some chicken manure in water and use that for your leafy crops since it is full of nitrogen. But remember to dilute it to the colour of weak tea and apply it only after you've watered the garden, otherwise you risk burning the roots.

If you'd like more info about growing vegetables at home or in a community garden plot then join The Veggie Club ... it's free! Just register at and join us for daily discussions on Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...