|Rocket going to flower - seed pods form after flowers drop|
You're welcome to come along and share any surplus produce, seeds or cuttings that are growing well in your garden at this time of year or just soak up local knowledge to learn what to grow and how to seed save. Beginners, people new to the area and long distance visitors are all welcome.
It’s a great way for everyone to grow their garden for free. If the weather is kind and not wet or humid, we’ll process more seeds to share/swap.
What to do now in the garden:
The mild spring conditions over the past few weeks opened a window of opportunity to harvest seeds for saving and sow early spring crops. With warmer weather definitely here and typical hot wet (and sometimes very dry) summers, it's time to think about what crops you are going to grow and which are all in the 'too hard' basket!
Subtropical summers can make being outdoors both uncomfortable and often fruitless for many gardeners with an increase in hungry pests gobbling more of your grub than you do. Rather than sweating it out fighting nature, you may want to consider the benefits of growing at least some of your crops in containers. They offer you an easy, low-maintenance and low-energy alternative to garden beds.
Having your crops in portable planters over spring/summer also means you can move them in/out of the sun, heavy downpours, storms and super hot weather to reduce stress. They are far less likely to have greedy grasshoppers, fruit flies and other pest insects visit and you can easily net them for low cost.
If you haven't already, here are some things to do in your garden:
- Add a thick layer of mulch to all your garden beds and around fruit trees to retain moisture, reduce the need to water as frequently, prevent weeds and feed your soil.
- Sow cover crops or green manures if you decide you don't want to grow in a particular garden bed (a kind of living mulch you can chop and add organic matter back into your soil). Or try growing low maintenance sweet potatoes that provide a heavy green cover over the bed while providing you with nutritious food.
- Plant spring and summer flowers to attract beneficial insects so the good bug populations in your garden will keep the predator:pest balance in check as the weather warms up.
- Add a bird bath to your garden if you don't have one and make fresh water available daily. The birds will be attracted to bathe and drink and as a bonus help manage your pest insects by having a free feed.
- With grass and plants growing faster as the weather warms up, there will be more nitrogen-rich plant material to build your compost so add these to your compost system and create this valuable resource for your garden.
- As needed, replenish your soil with organic fertilisers, minerals, compost and organic matter.
- Tip prune your herbs regularly and start some cuttings for extra plants to grow or swap/share.
What to Plant in October
While we all have different microclimates in our gardens, there are always some general guidelines on what we can plant during this time of year. Check out these guides for what to plant now:
This month's Seed Savers Meeting
So as a courtesy please remember to at the very least order a tea/coffee or a yummy breakfast, to support the cafe. They have a delicious local and organic menu. Visit their website for more info @ http://www.sweetheartscafe.com.au/aboutus.html.
Venue: 2 Anzac Street (cnr Rosebed Street), Eudlo.
FREE to attend so bring a friend and carpool! Hope to see you soon.
By Anne Gibson