The very tasty Romanesco BroccoliA change of season is always a thrill – welcome to autumn everybody! Surely the busiest season in the edible gardener’s year. How are your winter preparations coming along? At the risk of putting you under extra pressure, I do hope you are cracking on with your bed preparations and seed sowing et al. There really is no time to waste if you want to be eating fresh out of your garden this winter.

If you are at a loss with what needs to be done then come along to  the Autumn in the Vegie Patch workshop. Details are:

Autumn in the Vegie Patch

Date: Saturday 9th March
Time: 9.30 – 12.30
Price: $65.00

Autumn Diary: Wander the vegie patch and potager and see what I’m up to; how to do an autumn clean up and get your beds ready for winter.

Know your crops: The art of celery; growing good garlic; the importance of broadbeans; winter brassicas; salads through winter; companion flowers for winter/ spring.

Autumn pests: Organic solutions for cabbage white butterflies and tomato looper caterpillar.

It can be tricky getting a new seasons crop in the ground while in the midst of the last seasons abundance. Of course the more seasons you have under your belt the better you get at it! (planning really is the key ) Meantime here’s some ideas:

  • Sow seed or transplant seedlings directly beneath summer crops (corn or beans or tomatoes), pruning off the lower leaves and spent branches will allow light and water in. When the nurse crops are done don’t pull them out – cut them off at the roots.
  • Tomatoes can be pulled out to give you more room, and hung upside down in an airy spot to finish ripening.
  • Cucumber vines can be picked up and draped over a structure to free up some room.
  • New seedlings can be transplanted amongst pumpkin vines. Prune foliage back for light and place a can with its bottom cut out over the new seedling to stop it getting squashed by the squash!
  • You can keep pricking brassicas on into bigger trays (15cm deep) until they are quite big – about 6 leaves. This hopefully gives your current crops time to finish up. A bigger seedling will cope better with slugs.
  • You can always cultivate a new bit of lawn and make another bed!