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Autumn… just in time for winter!


Greetings veggie growers and food lovers,

Some moons have passed since I last posted, and some big changes have taken place for us here on the South coast. Previously I was growing at a property just out of Bodalla, and commuting from our home everyday. In December my partner and I were offered a place to rent, which included a quaint old farm house and plenty of space to grow veggies! The place was rented by another local grower, who has since moved on, grew some delicious produce here, so it was a no-brainer. It ticks all the boxes for small scale food production, fertile soil, irrigation, water and some basic infrastructure including sheds, and seed raising and composting areas, and, an abode.

Conveniently enough, it is just 5km North of the other garden so the move was quite seamless and efficient. This also reduced disruption in my growing program, and after some busy times a few months ago, I am now seeing the fruits of my labour. The garden is producing very well.

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We have had a very dry autumn, and unseasonably warm and windy. This has been challenging not only as a gardener, but also as an ocean lover as Autumn is a great time for surfing. Nevertheless, the show goes on and there is plenty to keep me busy as the garden becomes less demanding.

The later part of Autumn, and early winter months are a great time for catching up on neglected things, or preparing for the busy season that is Spring and Summer. Composting is an ideal activity, particularly if there are deciduous trees around your place. This year I will be building several compost heaps in autumn/winter, ready for addition to the garden in spring. As opposed to my previous techniques of hot composting, I am trialing zero-turn composting. The theory is good, and turning compost is, well, something I can live without.

These cooler months are also a great time for maintaining my tools and eqiupment. Tool handles can be fixed or oiled, and all my machinery and equipment gets serviced. The mower, whippersnipper, waterpump all receive their overdue attention, so to does the tractor. Oh yea, I have a tractor now. Only a little one, but wow its has really improved production for me. Keeping equipment in good condition comes back ten fold, so its also a good investment.

Fencing is another activity I need to carry out ASAP! The local wallabies are enjoying a very diverse diet since discovering the garden here, much to my frustration. Fencing and/or securing the food growing area ensures you get the most bang for your buck. Whether its the local wild life, or pets, its a good practice to keep the unwanted out. Another activity that can be done this time of year, in preparation for the next summer growing season.

Lastly, but most importantly, is green manuring or cover crops. The growing of particular plants, which will not only harvest nitrogen from the air and put it into the soil, but will be cut down and returned to the soil, for food to the good guys and girls of the garden..microbes and worms. These crops usually consist of a mixture of oats, peas, lupins, vetch and many others. Definitely worth doing in a sizeable veggie garden. It saves me time and money on fertilizers. You can find plenty of reading on the net about it,or click here to read what the Canberra Organic Growers Society Inc say about it.

If you are still keen to get some plants in the ground you may wish to consider transplanting, broccoli, cabbage, kale, leeks, english spinach, silverbeet, lettuce, mizuna, asian greens and peas.20160528_130942

From seed you could plant, lettuce, radish, broadbeans, onions, garlic, rocket and turnips. For winter growing a sunny position is key to success as the daylight hours are short, plants will appreciate all the warm winter sun your site can offer. For more specific crop planting advice have a look at gardenates website for some ideas.

If you prefer to shop for veggies this time of year, my market stall consists of cauliflowers, bloccoli, sprouting broccoli, cabbage (including chinese cabbage/wombok), silverbeet, kale, leeks, turnips, radish.These and other goodies should be around for the next couple of months.

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The much anticipated, Cauliflower

That’s all from me and my little patch on the planet, I hope you and your garden is healthy and you are enjoying some delicious home grown goodness.

 

Catch ya later

 

Kyle