Loads of rain around at the moment but the warmth we experienced in September has got things going in the garden.
In this Full Moon phase we’re planting our Jersey Benne potatoes. I have Swift and Cliffs Kidney seed potatoes too, but will put those in at the end of the month. We’re not great potato eaters, so our early ones are destined for Christmas Day and the festive season.
Give them a last soaking in liquid seaweed before planting out.
We’re pretty tight space-wise in the garden, as I sowed and planted more brassicas than usual, which means we’ve got plenty of veges in what can be a lean time, but not much room for the next crops ready to be planted out.
Veges coming on stream…
There’s a spot where our perpetual spinach is going to seed, so I’m doing a last harvest of the good leaves (many of the lower ones now have a bit of rust, so no good) before I pull these plants out and put them on the heap ready for the next hot compost.
Make sure you chop your spent crops up at the time of lifting, as they’re easier to work with when fresh.
So I add some commercial compost to the soil first to add a little bit of goodness back that the spinach would have taken out, make trenches for the potatoes, mounding the soil up on each side. We have comfrey coming along nicely so that goes in, then neem granules to ward off psyllids and condition the soil, then the seed potatoes. Cover them over lightly, apply some of our Morganics fertiliser (which has NPK and many more minerals) and water in.
Now you may notice above, that the potato planting is next door to the parsnip seed-sowing done last Full Moon. At this stage I can see one parsnip seedling, and I’ve decided that the seeds were probably not fresh enough, so I’ve done another sowing! Didn’t take our own advice to always use fresh seed!
Our climbing peas (sugar snaps) are in. I find them a bit tricky to get going. The birds love them as do snails and slugs, and they take a while to get growing up your support structures. You also have to take great care when planting so as not to snap them. We have wire screens for them to eventually grow up, but I’ve put stakes in in the meantime until they’re long enough to reach. I’ve popped a few seeds in among the seedlings which will hopefully bulk the planting up.
The other delicate plants to get going at our place are the sunflowers. They’re leggy things which need lots of care until they beef up a bit. A few of our swan plants survived the winter, so the sunflowers have gone in with them. Each plant is in its own good soil, and I put grass clippings around them all, to deter the kikuyu grass which is such big competition for plants.
I’ve pulled up our green manure lupins and given them a chop, just as flower heads were starting to appear. Leave it too long and the plants can start to get woody.
Our elemental sulphur finally arrived, so as this bed is destined for tomatoes, it was the first one to get its application. I didn’t touch any beds that have crops from the brassica family, but as the veges come out, the beds will get a dose.
To prep this bed even further for the tomatoes, I’m applying some Morganics fertiliser and a bag of chicken manure and will cover it, so that it should be nice and mulched down and rich for planting into at the end of the month.
We have seeds for our first plants of zucchini and cucumber in. These seeds can go directly into bigger pots because the plants are so big when they germinate by comparison to tomatoes etc. No action there yet, but I might exercise patience in this instance!
And our hero crop this month is the asparagus. Only one spear there to see as the rest have been eaten! It’s an easy to grow and rewarding crop, if you have the room that is.
Happy Spring planting!
From Jan and Rob