July in the Veggie Patch

Tasks to do in July

The wonderful crisp frosts these last few mornings really made getting out into the garden early in the morning a real challenge. However, it is certainly worth taking a few quick trips around your garden when the frost is thick on the ground to check out the areas where the frost is thickest and to locate those areas of your garden which are relatively well protected from the frost. This will be exceptionally useful information when you are next selecting a site for new plants.
Of course, there is nothing like some digging, raking or wheeling a few barrows full of compost around to invigorate you – it can really get the circulation going and leave you with a marvelous sense of achievement! So out of that comfy armchair and out into the vegie patch!!!

The “to do” list:
• Continue to feed brassicas, lettuces, Chinese greens etc. fortnightly with liquid manure and seaweed emulsion to keep them growing quickly
• Plant broad beans, beetroot, lettuce seeds or onions in raised beds with a cloche for winter warmth.
• Purchase your seed potatoes now and store until ready to plant. If you leave it too late, most of the interesting varieties could be sold out.
• Keep a close eye on your stone-fruit trees and spray with lime-sulphur at first signs of bud swell and again a fortnight later to prevent leaf curl. Prevention is the only cure for this problem.
• Break up clumps of chives and shallots and replant offsets – I have plenty of chives for anyone wanting to start a clump.

Kale Chips
If you have some extra Kale growing; consider baking some Kale chips as a very healthy treat for everyone.
1. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Place on an oven tray covered with baking paper.
2. Bake in a moderate oven until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Happy gardening everyone!

Advertisements

July in the Vegie Patch

July in the Vegie Patch

Some may view winter as a time of dreary days, freezing temps and plenty of rain (hopefully)– but gardeners see it as an exciting and perfect time for preparing garden beds for spring and winter crops. This is the time to prepare new beds and especially important for establishing new asparagus beds,rhubarb plants and bare-rooted fruit trees.
Asparagus crowns can be planted now but, as they can remain in-situ for decades, it is critical that the site is thoroughly prepared beforehandasparagus shoots
Many people have never seen Asparagus growing but it is dead easy.
Asparagus likes deep, friable, rich soil. If you’ve got heavy, clay soil, you’ll need to mound the plants up or dig in plenty of organic matter so that it becomes nice and well drained. They love soil with a pH of about 6.5 to 7 so add plenty of lime. Dig a deep trench, about 75 cm, for the long roots – the deeper the better. Then add organic matter. Asparagus is very hungry and needs plenty of organic matter such as cow manure, sheep manure, or old chook poo. Scatter it thickly down the bottom of the trench because they will absolutely lap that up. Harvesting should be very light for the first 1-2 years.
Asparagus is high in potassium, great for fibre, low in salt, and a terrific, healthy vegetable to grow. There is nothing nicer than growing your own crop and taking it fresh to the table.
Existing crowns should have any remaining ferny growth removed and be covered in a rich layer of blood and bone, compost and manure and then mulched with straw or autumn leaves.
We find that our crowns need to be protected by a cloche during September and October to prevent the shoots from frost damage.cloche
The “to do” list:
• Continue to feed brassicas, lettuces, Chinese greens etc fortnightly with liquid manure and seaweed emulsion to keep them growing quickly
• Plant broad beans, beetroot, lettuce seeds or cauliflower and broccoli plants in raised beds with a cloche for winter warmth
• Break up clumps of chives and shallots and replant offsets – I have plenty of chives for anyone wanting to start a clump.
• Sprinkle and water-in a small handful of complete fertilizer around herbs such as oregano, marjoram, sage and lemon balm. Dissolve a tablespoon of sulphate of ammonia in half a watering-can of water and sprinkle around parsley plants to promote lots of green leaves.oregano
• Cover empty garden beds with some lime, a layer of manure and compost and then some mulch. This will keep the “no dig” layer replenished and ensure healthy crops for next season. Alternatively plant green manure crops for digging-in early in the summer.
• Purchase your seed potatoes now and store until ready to plant. If you leave it too late, most of the interesting varieties could be sold out.
• Keep a close eye on your stone-fruit trees and spray with lime-sulphur at first signs of bud swell and again a fortnight later to prevent leaf curl. Prevention is the only cure for this problem.

kale chipsIf you have some extra Kale growing; consider baking some Kale chips as a very healthy treat for everyone.
1. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Place on an oven tray covered with baking paper.
2. Bake in a moderate oven until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes. Enjoy!
Happy Gardening. Mary Prowse