May in the Vegie Patch

Kumara Provided you haven’t been bashed by storms you’ll be picking broccoli, kale and cabbage; all sorts of saladings; carrots and beetroot; celery, coriander and parsley and perennial leeks (mine are still intact so lovely). We’re still enjoying tomatoes and peppers from the greenhouse. All that forward planning and extra effort in summer is paying off – pat yourself on the back!

I’m really pushing it with my kumara harvest this year, I still don’t have them up. How long do I have before the first frosts I wonder? I’ve had a wee peek and it looks like a fine crop, so best I get onto it. Don’t leave yours to get wrecked by the frosts.

Are you ready to plant your garlic? Those of you on heavy soils need to aerate your soils and make raised rows to plant your garlic in. Please don’t grow your garlic after a heavy feeder, the poor things will starve all winter. Give them a fighting chance and grow them after a greencrop, recycling the greencrop back onto the bed as a lovely mulch.

For those of you with cloches or other winter cover – get another lot of saladings underway. The cooler weather suits leafy greens best. Rocket, coriander, kale, endive, puha – lots of nutritious zingy leaves to keep your pecker up over winter.

Companion flowers to sow now for spring flowering are poppies, anchusa, snap dragons, borage, calendula and heartsease. As important as the food crops people.

Share the love and give everything a feed of seaweed this month.

Winter Greencrops

green crop oats
Sow your broadbeans this month. If you don’t like eating broadbeans you must sow some anyway – they are magic for dirt: aerating your soil over winter, providing lots of fodder for bees in early spring, grabbing all that nitrogen in the atmosphere and fixing it in your soils as well as providing a huge amount of biomass for your spring compost heaps. There is no better preface to a great crop of tomatoes than broadbeans.

Other green crops to sow now are oats (pictured) to integrate calcium and for loads of biomass; wheat for soil building and biomass; lupin for biomass and nitrogen fixation; mustard for biomass, soil cleanse and beneficial insects.