Sunday, September 9, 2012

Spring Garden 2012





Blogging has taken a back seat for the last few weeks all thanks to the business of the season.

I've received a lot of questions about beginning the season so now is a great time to answer all that I can.

Starting Spring brings the clearance of old crops, bringing in the harvests, buying up new plants as well as ordering in the other garden and house renovation necessities. I'm do ALL of them, so expect lots of updates to come.

My garden looks a little emptier this week as I have begun removing the spent crops. The capsicums have had their longest run ever this year. I still have another plant that is fruiting abundantly.

Gone are the Savoy Cabbages, Baby Spinach, Capsicums, and Turnips.
The harvest continues of Leeks, Curly Kale, Capsicums, Dill, Fennel, Spring Onions and Snow Peas.
Going to seed are Curly Kale, Coriander and Flat Leaf Parsley
Still growing are the Potatoes, Spinach, Curly Kale, Pak Choy, Chilis, Rocket and Garlic.
Flowering now are Broad Beans, Peas and Strawberries (and all my neighbours'stone fruit trees)

Many of the garden beds are resting - refreshed with blood and bone, lime and manures.

I have begun the first bed of carrots. This year I am testing a different variety against the Top Weight, they are called Manchester Table. The Top Weight variety has always been my favourite and best performer, but I am inspired to try any new varieties I can get my hands on.

Due to the popularity of carrots in my family I am going to start carrot crops at different times to stagger the harvest length.

The kids have requested Sweet Corn, so I have set aside one small bed just for them. Sweet Corn do need a lot of water and very consistent water. Where ever possible drip lines should be used to grow corn, but I prefer to hand-water as I see to my garden daily. Growing Early Extra Sweet F1.

My tomato plants are going in now. I have already planted my favourite cherry tomato, Pink Pearl. The large standard tomato plant I will be planting soon is a variety called Beef Steak.


Trying New Plants

I have to try a few new challenges every year.
This year I will attempt to grow Lemon Grass, Mesculun greens, Watercress and Echincea.


Fertilising

The first month of Spring means fertilise just about everything. I say that with exception on particular plants such as succulents and Australian natives. They do need care but not of the general fertiliser type.

Feed the fruit trees now.
Use well-rotted chicken or cow manures, pellet types (such as Dynamic Lifter) or control release fertiliser granules. Fork through lightly around the base of the trees to help with the up-take, and follow with a watering.

Do not fertilise plants that are currently in flower such as broad beans and peas at this stage. Giving them a drink of Seasol (seaweed solution) will be sufficient as it will not over stimulate the growth during this period. Adding strong fertiliser during flowering time will force the plant to take the energy away from the creating the flowers to fruit and put it back into growing more leaves.

Lawns.
They need a good feed and weed right now before the weeds get any stronger. Select days that are sunny for up to 3 days in a row with mild conditions.

Alternatively, hand scatter some Blood and Bone over the lawn and water in immediately. Failure to water will cause the grass to burn, so please do not rely on the weather forecast of showers to be adequate.


Spring Transplanting

Need to rescue your strawberries and place them in a larger barrel?
The first month of Spring is the perfect month to do it.
Yes, they may be already in flower, but they can take the transplanting at this stage.
Make sure they are well watered in and all dead leaf matter is removed at the time of planting.




Cuttings

Spring is the month when the sap rises as is the perfect time for taking cuttings. I hope to post more soon about propagation of cuttings to all those who have enquired lately.


Can't wait to get sowing♥

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