WHAT TO HARVEST
Brussel Sprouts, Celeriac, Fennel, Grapefruit, Leeks, Lemons, Limes, Parsnips, Pomegranates, Strawberries
PLANT OF THE MONTH
Botanical name: Lavandula
Lavenders are great for water-wise gardeners. They thrive in well-drained parts of the garden, and only require minimal watering. Lavenders cope well in exposed, sunny, open positions and grow to one-metre, bun-shaped balls. They flower prolifically in winter, they respond well to pruning and can grow abnormally tall due to lack of light. Prune well twice a year after flowering to cut back, followed by a fertiliser, to encourage quick re-growth.
NEWS FROM THE FARM
Most of the Australian Asparagus ferns are grown under temperate climate conditions of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria both to the local Australian market and for overseas to Japan, China, Korea and Singapore.
Asparagus seeds are planted in the nursery in September. Each seed creates about three crowns, which are split in May and dipped in fungicides and refrigerated and then are planted out in September.
The second year of growth sees a small quantity of asparagus harvested, but full production is in the third year, for about 10 weeks in spring, finishing in mid-December.
Organic pellets are incorporated at this point at the end of the season at bed forming. Alternatively organic pellets are also applied in June through mid-growth in form of side dressing.
WHAT TO PLANT
Tropical – alyssum, begonia, calendula, carnation, cosmos, everlasting daisy, petunia, marigold, phlox, portulaca, salvia, sunflower.
Sub Tropical – cornflower, dianthus, foxglove, lobelia, marigold, nasturtium, nemesia, pansy, petunia, snapdragon, strawflower, viola.
Cool/Temperate – dianthus, lobelia, marigold, portulaca, candytuft, delphinium, godetia, hollyhock, lupin, nigella, poppy, schizanthus, sweet pea.
SOIL AND LAWN UPDATE
Love your lawn in winter!!
During July your lawn needs as much sunlight as possible. Make sure that leaves dropped from deciduous trees and lawn clippings are kept to an absolute minimum. During the cooler months, grass grows much slower, so it’s a good idea to raise your cutting height a little so as not to damage it, and to keep soil warm. Fertilise with a light dose of Ec88s and Qld Organics Dolomite, water in well.
PROGRESS IN YOUR VEGGIE PATCH
Winter is really the only time of the year when the garden actually hits cruise control. There is little watering to do, or pests to bother your veggies, it is simply nature and your garden infrastructure playing pivotal roles.
The cool season in Australia rarely brings damaging frosts and snow and in fact, some vegetables don’t mind a little crispness in the air. Our climate means that at any moment you can pick up a container, fill it up with good quality potting mix and plonk in a few salad greens. A month later and you’re picking fresh salads, rather than from a plastic bucket at the supermarket. Root vegetables actually develop their flavour in the winter air. Frosty nights and cool crisp days help to convert starches into sugars, turning earthy lumps of nutrition, into beautiful sweet tasting earthy lumps of nutrition. So, what are you waiting for?!