October in My Green Garden
What a great month to get planting in Melbourne. Spring is definitely here, the ground is nicely wet after some rain and warming up, ready to get those summer veg in.
In the meantime:
- Harvest some of the winter-sown vegies, such as snow peas, peas and start on the broadbeans. When they are done, I’ll make the most of the nitrogen-fixing power of those nodules on the roots and just leave them to rot in the soil. So rather than pull them up, I’ll cut the plants to the ground. The stalks will compost nicely.
- Continue to keep water up to the garlic which should be doing its thing and fattening up its underground bulb. As the days get longer this is the time that the developing bulb gets bigger, so a little bit of blood and bone or other organic fertiliser won’t go astray either.
- Other alliums, such as spring onions and leeks will soon be going to flower. I’ll leave one or two so I can collect seed from them, but the rest will go to the kitchen to be used. In the meantime, I continue to sow spring onion seeds to get a continuous crop of this indispensable onion.
- Potatoes are growing in 3 different areas of the garden, just because I love growing these subterranean treasures. One lot is growing above ground in my vertical mesh space-saving planter. I changed the way I planted them this year and so I am hoping for a better harvest. Instead of adding more and more straw and compost as they grow up, I planted 3 distinct layers and covered them all up. Now I have the lower 2 layers growing sideways from the tower.
- Get cracking on getting the soil prepared for summer annuals. Some of the tomatoes will go in throughout the month as they get to a good growth stage so I want to make sure the soil is rich and ready to go. First sowings of cucumbers, zucchini and pumpkins will start going in.
- In the meantime, I will keep up my seed-sowing in my little greenhouse. I give them a heat boost in my hot compost bin and as soon as they show signs of growth, they come out into my little greenhouse. This provides temperatures warm enough to keep them growing and then they get covered up in the evening to protect them from still cool nights.
- Finish putting mulch down around the fruit trees. I also need to put a protective cover over the mulch, in the way of mesh, to stop those pesky hens of mine digging it over.
- Speaking of pesky hens, I need to reinforce the extension on their run. Some of them keep managing to find gaps to sneak through and although I love seeing them cavorting around the garden, my vegies aren’t adequately protected just yet to let the chooks free range at will.
- Continue to eat, eat, eat my way through the garden with loads of greens (silverbeet, mustard greens, cavolo nero etc), carrots going in the kids' lunchboxes, salad greens (including the beetroot which has healthy top growth but little underneath!), still bountiful asparagus and the legumes. No fruit at the moment but plenty to look forward to!