6 March 2020
Autumn is here! The nights are definitely cooler and the mornings darker, but there’s plenty of growing weather left.
This month we’re enjoying the last of the summer produce, planting some of the autumn-specific crops, and preparing for winter ones.
I’ve had good and bad luck with our watermelons. We had 4 in total grow on our one vine – one I picked too early, the second one was perfect weighing in at 7.5kg, and the two little latecomers were picked because the vine had shrivelled up, but they weren’t ready either! This big beautiful one made up for the mistakes, and I’ll know for next year 🙂
The kumara patch looks nice and healthy. The general wisdom is to cut back the runners, so that the plants put their energy into their roots, rather than the leaves.
The Agria potatoes are bursting with life. Time to do the first hill up. The hills on the side become the trenches and the trenches the hills.
Onions and leeks
My onions and leek seedlings all germinated well – this is what they looked liked after 5 days of sowing.
I kind of thought they were doing okay and left them in the laundry, and now they’re suffering from lack of light (too embarrassed to show you them now), so time to pay them some good attention so they’re ready for planting out at the end of this month. They’re out under the shadecloth now and have had a liquid seaweed feed – on Dr Rob’s instructions!
Even though beans are perennial and if I’d cut these spent vines off at the base they would grow again next summer, space is at a premium at our place. So I’ve pulled them out completely and sown climbing Sugar Snap peas ‘Carouby’ there instead. Rob says peas and beans aren’t fussy about being planted directly into the soil of a previous crop, but I did give the soil a boost. I cleared out a small amount of composted material from our Hungry Bin worm farm but, as the material is pretty ripe, I trenched it into the soil. Peas and beans need an alkaline soil to thrive, so I layer lime on top of the compost, then cover it with soil. I apply our favourite rock dust and in go the pea seeds directly, watered in well. The beans are doing nicely on the other side of the support structure.
I’ve also sown some kale seed to plant out at the end of the month. I like the cavolo nero variety of kale best.
And now it’s time to think about crop rotation. This is how our summer garden looked, and now I have to plan rotation for the winter garden.
This is my best solution I think. I had put the late season zucchini and cucumber in where the original plants were, but realised I needed a whole bed for onions and leeks, so quickly transplanted them into the late season bed which now has late sweetcorn in it too.
This is not a perfect plan, but you need to take into account what you’ve got growing in each bed currently, when it’s likely to come out versus what’s going to replace it, and when that will be ready to plant, and so on.
And lastly, loving our carrots which are ready to eat – these are the first ones I sowed – Laguna – we’ll enjoy these over autumn and winter. I’ll sow more in April ready for spring and summer.
Check out this yummy Carrot Salad recipe.
Enjoy the beginning of Autumn!
From Jan, Rob and the Team at OEG