Wednesday, August 22, 2012

End of Winter Rotation


It's nearly the end of winter and this is when it all gets a little more exciting in the garden.

Broad beans and snow peas will be coming into pod.
Leeks, cabbages, lettuces, in fact all manner of leafy greens are ready to eat in abundance.
Peas are on their way.
Garlic has some time to go yet, but do check them for pests or diseases, right now.

Many of the vegetable crops should be nearing their end so that the garden beds can be turned over and prepared for the Spring sowing.

The soil towards the end of winter starts to warm up a little more which is great news for planting carrots, tomatoes and sweet corn amongst many others. Many plants need a soil temperature of 18C or more to start their germination.


Crop Rotation


Nitrogen

An example of crop rotation is never plant carrots where peas have grown as the last crop. The reason is that peas and beans put great nitrogen back into the soil. Too much nitrogen will cause carrots to fork; you know, those cute little legs and carrots that look like they are in an intertwined embrace. Cute but really tricky to peel and chop.

Health

Rotating crops also ensures that your crops stay healthy as pests and diseases can build up within the soil which can decrease your crops yield and health. By simply planting a different plant group in another season can help balance the soil and manage the soil's needs.

Very Small or Container Gardening

If crop rotation is not an option for your garden due to size, do not fear. Simply remove the top layer of soil and add so more potting mix and dig through. Set the removed top layer aside to sit for a season, preferably directly on the ground so that earth worms and other bug life can turn it over to help keep it healthy until it can be used again next season. The removed soil can also be added to the compost bin as the heat of composting can assist is killing off any issues within the soil.



Fruit Trees


The last month of winter is the best time to check your fruit trees' health.

Check citrus trees leaves for signs of paleness or yellowing.

Iron Deficiency

Leaves are pale with veins remaining green. Stems are green.
Treat with an application of Iron Chelate.
Fruit Tree Application: 45g per 10 litres - which is 9 spoons of 5g of Iron Chelate

Magnesium Deficiency

Stems yellow or pale first, older leaves yellow and show their veins, but new growth is green.
Magnesium is also important for sweetness of fruit.
Treat with Magnesium in the form of Epsom Salts.
Fruit Tree Application: 2 teaspoons per litre of water

Always water in well at the time of application.


Start gathering your seed packets! It's soon time to plant for the new season♥


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