5 October 2018

5 October 2018


There’s been a big change in the weather. The ground is drying out and the temperatures seem warmer than usual. We’re a few degrees colder than the city however, as we experience valley conditions, but it looks like the frost and cold nights are over for the winter season.

With daylight saving started, there’s time to get out into the garden in the evenings. Weeds seem to grow overnight and it’s best to pull them out before they go to seed. It’s quite therapeutic weeding a small patch each night!

When planting a garden bed after winter, it’s important to aerate the soil. This is best done with a fork. If the ground has compacted (as it does after lots of rain), add a good amount of organic material. Compost (especially home-made compost) is best.


A dressing of rock dust and some animal manures are a great addition. They’re good for soil structure and put nutrients back into the soil. Heavy winter feeders like broccoli and kale take a lot out during their growing season.

As a general rule, we like to wait till Labour Weekend (end of October) for planting out the heat-loving crops. But there are a lot of vegetables that can be planted now.

We’ve just planted out one bed with crops that take about the same time to mature. They’ll be ready in about 6-8 weeks and we can then replace them with cucumbers. As we’re planting several different vegetables in this one bed, we’ve chosen crops that like the same conditions – in this case, ones that don’t require too much nitrogen.


They include beetroot and fennel, and beans which have the ability to fix their own nitrogen. We’ve added some mesclun greens, spring onions and a few alyssum plants for feeding our beneficial insects.


When planting in spring, remember little and often, rather than a whole lot at once.

Where we are, there’s a good 5 months of planting time and all our crops can be staggered so we have a constant supply of food until autumn. We’ll plant zucchinis 4 times over the summer months, rather than have a glut or even worse, marrows.


And lastly, mulching is the answer to keeping crops strong and healthy over the warmer months. Plants don’t like the soil drying out. They become stressed, and our very important earthworms head deeper for cooler conditions.


(Avocado flowers setting while we’re still picking the last of the fruit).

Happy gardening!

From Rob, Jan and the Team at OEG!

4 Responses

  1. Hi
    I hope this isn’t a silly question. I’ve not seen rock dust sold in garden centers & you mention it alot. Why is it good and where do you get it from??
    Thanks for your help Paul

  2. Hi Paul Volcanic rock dust is sold in some garden centres as Natures Organic Fertiliser. We sell it on our site too… https://organicediblegarden.co.nz/shop/organic-fertiliser/
    The reason we like it so much is that it is fairly even in NPK. Many products like blood and bone only have N and P, no K (potassium) which is essential for fruiting vegetables. Not only that but it has 70 minerals and vitamins included. We think it’s a great addition to soil to ensure your vegetables are nutrient-dense.

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