I’ve written about autumn vegie and herb plantings in previous Green Thumb columns. But it is a great time to start a productive vegie patch. The scorching heat of summer is behind us, the soil is nice and warm so you will get good plant root establishment and growth before the shorter, frosty days of winter descend upon us.
Before talking about what to plant, it’s important to refresh the soil in your vegie gar- den at this time of year too. Scatter compost or aged animal manure across the soil and dig the soil deeply to incorporate the organic matter and nutrients from these great, natural products. Then throw some fertilizer out too. Again I favour organic fertilizers such as dynamic lifter, but there is a huge range of commercial garden fertilizers available in nurseries and rural supply stores.
When deciding what to plant where, remember to rotate your crops to minimise disease risk and nutrient deficiency in the soil. It’s particularly good to plant aggressive growing, nutrient hungry plants like broccoli and cabbage in areas where you have previously grown legume plants such as peas and beans that actually add nitrogen nutrient to the soil.
What to plant now? Vegie seedlings such as rocket, broccoli, lettuce, onions, spinach, cabbage, beetroot, cauliflower and leeks are ready to go! Garlic cloves and seeds of broad beans and peas are also good to plant now.
In the herb garden, seedlings of coriander, fennel, oregano, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and mint can all be planted now.
On the subject of planning for your garden, now is the right time to be thinking about what new deciduous trees (ornamental or fruiting) and roses you may want to plant in your garden in a few months time. Nurseries will be ordering their bare root trees and roses about now, so if you are likely to want some special ones, contact the nursery now to make sure they will be available.
Ian Rogan Millthorpe Garden Nursery