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How to increase harvests from a seasonal vegetable garden

Garden Share Collective July 2016

 

winter vegepod container garden

This post is my monthly garden update as part of The Garden Share Collective. A group of productive gardeners who get together each month to share the progress of their vegetable garden. You can join in by linking your post below on the last Monday of each month, or via my co-hosts page Rosehips and Rhubarb

This month’s theme is seasonal. Three quarters of the way through winter the usual suspects are in my vegetable garden – broccoli, kale, cabbage, some fennel still growing well from autumn. I still have a wonderful abundance of rocket, and lettuce too, plenty to add to meals daily. It is these plants that are not “strictly” winter plants that are going into our family meals regularly. My winter plants are coming along so slowly that they will not be harvested until spring.

cabbage

In hindsight I probably should have planted them earlier in autumn but it was too warm so I waited until I thought it was cool enough to do so.

This got me thinking about seasonal food. For me if it is ready to collect and eat from my garden it is seasonal. It is very specifically seasonal to our climate and growing conditions. It is common for us to have tomatoes and summer produce still being harvested right through summer and also autumn. The seasons become a little stretched. They can differ somewhat from what is considered seasonal in the market. There may be climate changes at play impacting on this also, thus altering how and what we will plant in the future.  I skipped a winter planted a few years ago and simply put in a green manure crop, and then replanted in spring.

Increase your garden harvests over the slow growth period of winter by planting those vegetables and herbs that are suited to any/most of the seasons here in Australia. This will provide you with fresh produce over the winter period while the sluggish growth of the traditional winter plants continues.

Plant these vegetables every 4-6 weeks :

  • lettuce
  • beetroot
  • carrot

fresh home grown lettuce

Herbs such as rosemary, sage, vietnamese mint and thyme will flourish all year around.

Simply cut the plant back after flowering to promote new growth the following season. They will provide a fresh boost of flavour for meals regularly.

Plants with a fast growth cycle such as radish can be replanted every 3 weeks while they are in their primary growing season (spring). They will grow across most of the year also – depending on the climate.

Rocket and spinach will also grow through all of the months of the year except for summer.

rosemary

carrots

Planting now:

I have just planted a new round of seeds, including

  • Carrot
  • Chives
  • Coriander
  • Beetroot
  • Bok Choy
  • Lettuce
  • Radish

I will wait a few weeks more until I add beans.

Harvesting now:

  • Broccolini
  • Carrot
  • Fennel
  • Herbs: Coriander, parsely, rosemary, sage, oregano,
  • Kale leaves
  • Lettuce
  • Rocket
  • Spinach

Jobs in the garden:

The only thing that needs to be finished this month is replenishing of the soil in all of the garden pots around the vegetable beds. The mint below has been removed, trimmed back and small pieces replanted with new soil and compost added to the pot.

It is important to replenish the soil in pots regularly if you want them to produce wonderful fresh produce for you. The soil quickly depletes in the small space. I wrote more container gardening tips recently that you can read here.

repotting pots

One month to go! I am looking forward to the end of winter and the new growth of spring. How is your garden growing at the moment?

fruit trees end winter

Kyrstie


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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Jan July 26, 2016, 5:56 pm

    I think everyone in the southern part of Australia is experiencing slow growth rates this year, I certainly am. Thanks for the reminder to replace the soil in pots, it’s one job that is easy to overlook.

  • Kate August 14, 2016, 9:28 pm

    I’m looking forward to spring too. We’re just starting to see the first blossoms on our almond and plum trees. When do you plant out your summer veg? In Melbourne I planted tomatoes on Cup Day but here in Adelaide they say to get them in around the equinox.

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