This month will be your last chance to sow some summer crops for autumn harvest, so slip, slop, slap and all that and get stuck in. Let's face it though, it's starting to get fairly hot so if you do plant seeds direct into your patch and seedlings think: cool spots and shade tents.
What to plant...
There is still a whole heap of things you can pop in the patch at this time of year including basil, parsley, watercress, sage and dill, spring onions, leeks, lettuces and zucchini
- A second planting of the ever versatile silverbeet will give you extra plants to see you through the winter when production slows right down.
- If you see cucumbers or zucchinis that are growing unevenly and withering at the end (they will have a wonderful trombone-like shape), try a dose of wood ashes to supply potash.
- Add some beauty to your backyard with verbena or ageratum.
- Don't forget to pop in some sunflower seeds this month. Find a sunny spot where you would like to see some happy sunflowers later in the year and push seeds in to double the seed size. Cover lightly with dirt and you'll soon be harvesting seeds.
- Don't hesitate to give your mulch a top up - especially if you are heading away from home for a holiday. Mulch after watering to a depth of about 7cm but be careful to keep mulch clear of plant stems, especially young seedlings, to avoid stem-rot.
- Consider constructing a couple of shade cloth tents. You don't need to be a chippy to construct one, any simple, moveable structure that you can pop over the top of some of the sun sensitive veggies (like leafy greens and beans) as the heat becomes more intense will do. Install on high UV days, windy days, and while away from your patch.
- Going away? Why not consider installing a drip irrigation system in your patch before you leave? VEG can help with more advice and full installation of these warm weather garden lifesavers.
- As your plants grow and fill in the space between each other, it’s time to weed between them. There’s usually no reason to pull the weeds out before that though. They protect the soil, and many are tasty and more nutritious than spinach. Come along to one of Adam's Edible Weeds Walks if you don't believe us!
- Water smarter at this time of year. Water first thing in the morning, and remember a deep drink a couple of times a week is far more beneficial than light watering.
In the Orchard
- Plums are now coming online as are peaches - good times ahead what with eating fresh, preserving, and all the rest. Don't get us started on berries - our lips are red and blue all over from excessive consumption!
With the Chooks
- Make sure the ladies have heaps of water at all times and access to plenty of fresh green pick. A great idea is to throw them the spinach and whatnot now going to seed in your garden (leaving a few for seed though). Don't forget chook need continuous access to large bit of grit what with their high calcium demand.