Midsummer sowings

Dwarf BeansA mid summer sown row of dwarf beans and a zucchini are just what the doctor ordered to keep your garden ticking over. They’ll both be ready in a few months time – give or take – to land you with a most useful March harvest.

Broccoli, sown now, is also useful come Autumn. Tray sow a few now, and a few more each fortnight or month, until mid Autumn. The amount will depend on how many mouths you are feeding. One hurrah for this rubbish summer – it’s too cold for cabbage whites, leaving brassicas’ to grow hole free.

Though summer looks likely to skip our corner of the world, don’t let the despair stop you gardening. That steady supply of fresh vegetables to your kitchen is one of the most important jobs you do.


  1. Louise Clark says

    We’ve had the opposite of your weather in Central Hawke’s Bay lots of wind then hot dry days now an early autumn so plenty of zucchini, corn and heaps of cucumbers. I would love some advice on starting a new veg garden of raised beds (500mm height) and I’m really worried about them draining too much and becoming too dry, any suggestions to stop this happening would be great. I wont have the problem with being too wet with that depth.
    Your blog and newsletters are a fabulous inspiration, thanks so much.

    • Hi Louise

      Nice to hear from you! My first question is – do you need that raised bed? In dry areas raised beds do exactly what you worry about – dry out! Far better to be at ground level for water retention. However, should the raised bed be just the thing you need in your situation heres how to create an awesome, moisture retentive soil. First aerate the ground beneath if needed. Then build a compost pile. Mix together a heap of raw organic matter – hay, manure, seaweed, grass clippings, small garden prunings, as many herbal prunings as you can muster (comfrey, yarrow, borage etc), weeds (no runner roots or nasty seedheads) and pile it up to at least twice the level of the bed. Water and perhaps liquid feed it if you have some handy. Cover it (sacks, carpet or the like) and let it rot into deliciousness. It will need watering if there is no rain as keeping it moist keeps it active. Late winter sow a pea and oat greencrop (kings seeds). Give it 2 or 3 months, chop it down and you are ready to plant using the chopped greencrop as mulch.
      All the best