June in the Vegie Patch and Gardening Smarter (Not harder)

frostycabbageGreetings all,

Even though its chilly out, thoughts of hibernation couldn’t be further from my mind! Take away the the intensive gardening and harvesting of spring through autumn, and I’m freed up to play. Winter provides a window in which I can indulge the improvements I’ve been marinating on over summer.

The big one, the one that’ll keep me warmest, and the one I’m most excited about is downsizing the orchard. We’re about to set forth on some tough tree love – survival of the fittest, the tastiest and most useful. It’s a bid to preserve my sanity via lessening my load. The truth is we grow loads more fruit than we eat.

I fell prey to the very trap I warn you about. The trap of having land. It’s too easy to spread out, to be enticed with the delusion of easy care fruit trees, and this oft held thought “if you’re going to plant a tree – make it edible.”

Sustainability is all very well, but is this all sustainable for you?! Smart design is about being gentle on you, as well as the planet.

So, before you go mad with fruit tree shopping think hard about how much fruit you need. How are you going to store all that fruit? And most importantly how much time/ energy do you have? Every autumn I’m a nervous wreck – keeping up with the harvesting, the preserving and the storing; as well as getting the vegie patch sorted for winter eating. What I realise is a productive winter garden is more valuable to me than excess fruit is.

The newly freed up space will go to low maintenance companion trees and shrubs, and grazing for the neighbour’s cows (hurrah for more glorious cow do’s at home.)

Indulge yourself. Re-organise your patch, give those improvements wings while there is sod all to do in the vegie patch.

Garlic, Peas, Snopeas and Broadbeans can go in this month if you like. Mustard or lupin greencrops too, and if you have a greenhouse or cloche you can plant salads out. Choose big, beaudacious seedlings, a modest two or three leaf-er may not fare well. Warm the soil by creating ridges to plant into and using nature’s heaters like seaweed and grass clippings.

Deciduous fruit trees, natives and shelter trees (all carefully chosen!), do best planted over the next few months – it gets them nicely settled before the sun comes back.

Oh happy days, garden playing! Have fun!

Yours in the earth,


  1. And how! Loving these short days which totally removes any option for working late…