July in the Vegie Patch

calendula and poppiesWinter is shed cleaning season. There’ll be no time in spring (or summer or autumn for that matter), so spend a Sunday in July doing useful things like taking twine off stakes; sorting cloches and birdnetting; and cleaning and sharpening your tools. Sharp tools are dreamy ease, their blunt cousins make you work too hard. Take your cleaned cutting tools, spades and shovels to the local sharpener guy. Give your back a present.

Divide herbs and perennials and spread them far and wide throughout your garden to increase your biodiversity, your homemade mulch supply and bee fodder.

Create new gardens by laying cardboard and a big pile of mulchy stuff a top. Come spring they’ll be ready for planting.

Sort your seed stocks and make sure you have plenty of greencrops, flowers, greenhouse crops and spring crops because next month we get back into seed sowing.

Prune roses, berries and fruit trees.

Plant horseradish, rhubarb, globe artichokes, garlic, asparagus, salads (under cover), kale, deciduous fruit trees and berries.

Direct Sow peas, sno peas, broadbeans, spinach, mustard, radish and poppies. Legume greencrops can be sown after brassicas.

Get out your hoe (as long as your soil is not soggy) to weed and aerate. Winter soil looses it’s omph, translating to plants loosing their oomph. Air brings life, it does wonders.

Load up on manure, seaweed and other OM delights. Get ready to set some stunning soil in motion come spring.

A Beginners Guide to Pruning Fruit Trees. $15.00

Here’s a little book I wrote for novice pruners. Pruning texts are often cumbersome and lofty. I wanted to create something that covered the basics in plain English and provided a clear sense of direction. A book you could put in your pocket when you went out to prune, a book that would start you on your pruning journey with a strong, confident spring in your step.

Helpful sketches by Steve assist the descriptions because a picture says 1000 words. I cover deciduous fruit trees only, from the first pruning at planting and onward.

To order your copy email me here with your name and address, and I’ll be in touch. We’ll perform an old fashioned transaction that ends with you receiving a hard copy in your letterbox (hurrah for nice mail!). $15 includes postage.


  1. Linda Parker says

    Hi Kathy – you mention going locally to the tool sharpening guy. The business I used to use in Hokio Beach Road no longer does gardener type tools and I have asked around if anyone does but with no success. I do like to have my tools professionally sharpened once yearly, keeping them going myself after that. Do you know of someone who will do secateurs, hedge clippers etc? I live in Levin.


    • Hi Linda

      My husband does mine so I’m not in the know.
      He has some ideas for places you could try – Levin Sawmakers in Tirotiro Rd or try Andersons Outdoor and also apparently there used to be an old fella on north end of TiroTiro Rd with a sign poked into his lawn who sharpened mower blades and things

      Good luck with your search – love to know how you get on!
      regards Kath

  2. Felicity says

    Hi Kath, Any leads on best place to source asparagus crowns to plant? Thanks