The mid-summer garden Part 1

  • During summer rhubarb has a tendency to go to seed.
  • It’s important to break off these seed heads, otherwise the energy of the plant goes into them. Take care not to pull the whole plant out.
  • Remove yellowing leaves and spindly stalks and add to the compost pile. If you have plenty of other organic matter in your compost heap, the oxalic acid of the rhubarb leaves won’t cause any harm.
  • Thin carrot seedlings to about 2-3 cms apart.
  • Hill them up either by hand or with a niwashi. This supports the plants and helps avoid green shoulder on your carrots.
  • Our parsnips look ready but we’ll leave them in the ground until the first frost, as that makes them much sweeter.
  • Due to the heavy foliage the ground is quite dry, so make sure you keep the watering up on your parsnips.
Main season potatoes
  • Any time from now on you can plant your main season potatoes. We’ve planted Agria – our favourite. See here for how to plant potatoes.
  • As it’s hot and dry now, make sure you keep the watering of this bed up too.
Summer insectary
  • An insectary at any time of the year is so important in the organic garden, because it attracts hoverflies and parasitic wasps which keep the bad bug population down.
  • Great flowering plants to have in the ground now are cosmos, zinnia, cornflower and bergamot.
  • These flowers provide nectar for the monarch butterfly as well. The caterpillars of the monarch feed on the swan plant, but the butterfly needs its own food source.
Cucumbers and melons
  • We put barley mulch on this bed which has kept the soil at an even temperature and moisture content. It’s started to sprout which is to be expected.
  • Gently move the mulch around and without too much disturbance the roots of the sprouts dislodge. Make sure you get them out before they grow too large and start taking nutrients away from the plants themselves.
Solanum bed
  • Eggplant and capsicum plants have heavy fruit and the plants need staking. We use stakes the height of the bush and set 3 or 4 round each plant, slanting into the plant for the best support. There’s no need for twine.
  • We won’t stake our tomatillo plants as they have more of a sprawling habit.
  • While not a solanum we had also planted some okra in this bed. They’re not doing as well as the other plants because the temperatures are not warm enough for them yet. There are fruits forming so we just need to be patient.


Camera: Jarod Murray
Editor: Thomas Asche
Production equipment and post-production services provided by The Black Forest Breathes