WHAT TO HARVEST
Apricots, Beetroot, Blueberries, Broccoli, Celery, Egg Plants, Mangoes, Peaches, Strawberries, Watermelons
PLANT OF THE MONTH
Botanical name: Euphorbia pulcherrima
Poinsettias are perfectly Christmassy with their flaming red blooms. They make the perfect festive season centrepiece and can be planted out when festivities are over. Poinsettias do bloom in other colours other than the traditional red and green, including white, pink, purple, orange and yellow. A perennial shrub, poinsettias can grow up to about 4m when they are planted out in the garden.
Poinsettias grow best in the warmer climates of Australia but will also grow in cooler areas, as long as they are positioned in a warm, protected spot away from frost and strong winds. Poinsettias require half to full sun and fertilised, well drained soils. Poinsettias can also be kept indoors in a warm spot that receives at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight.
Tip: Cuttings from summer pruning can be used to propagate new plants to grow indoors. Take 300mm stem cuttings, dip the ends in water and insert into potting mix. Keep moist for a few weeks until they take root.
NEWS FROM THE FARM
Moisture Holding Capacity vs. OX & OB
Soil recommended for plants has a mixture of sand, silt, clay and 5% Organic Matter or Humus. Most weathered Australian soils fall below 0.5% SOM. (Soil Organic Matter)
In drought effected regions Organic Matter act as a sponge to help the soil profile to capture water and is referred to as the soil’s Moisture Holding Capacity.
As both Organic Xtra (OX) and Organic Booster (OB) contain around 40% of Organic Carbon equating to around 68% of Organic Matter are directly applied into the root zone to increase Moisture Holding Capacity. On commercial small crop farms, in drought stricken North QLD regions where application rates of OX and OB are at 1500kg per hectare – this alone resulted in additional crop yields of around 20 – 25%.
WHAT TO PLANT
Tropical – Capsicum, Cucumber, Eggplant, Radish, Snake Bean, Sweet Potato, Cherry Tomato, Zucchini, Rockmelon, Rosella, Black Eye Peas, Watermelon
Sub Tropical – Zucchini, Choko, Okra, Pumpkin, Beetroot, Luffa, Squash, Watermelon, Chilli Peppers, Chives, Capsicum, Cucumber.
Cool/Temperate – Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Celery, Beans, Onion, Potato, Pumpkin, Silverbeet, Squash, Sweet Corn, Lettuce, Chilli Peppers.
SOIL AND LAWN UPDATE
Tis the season to be weeding! Larger weeds compete with your garden beauties for water and nutrients from the soil. Pulling up the weeds may damage the roots of your productive plants, so be careful. Collect the weeds in a bucket and feed to your chickens, they will love you for it!
Merry mulching! A nice thick layer of fresh mulch on your soil will avoid precious moisture loss, cover and give your gardens a neat, finished look to impress your guests. For Christmas give your soil the gift of nutrients – toss around a generous dose of Organic Xtra, wait for rain and watch your garden glow!
PROGRESS IN YOUR VEGGIE PATCH
Consider interplanting a festive carpet of flowers in your veggie patch. This will pretty up your patch to impress the visitors and will be great at attracting pollinators and beneficial insects.
It might be best to put part of your veggie garden to sleep under a good layer of mulch or a cover crop to wait out the heat, humidity, pests and disease of the season. The easiest cover crop is bird seed from the supermarket. It should grow like mad and will help capture valuable soil nutrients that would otherwise leach away with the rains.