Melbourne seasonal veggie garden guides and tasks
In a small garden we may be restricted by some plant sizes by numbers of plants. Planting diverse crops with consideration to crop rotation and companion planting we can access what is growing well and document growth and seasons for optimal success in following years.
Prepare Garden Beds
Remove any old plants from garden bed and prune as necessary. Consider plant choices, preferences and numbers that can fit into garden space. Research the plant type you are growing to know the preferred method of planting. Often this information is on the packet or plant ID label.
Gather information for what is suitable in your area for the season. Design plantings according to seasonal choice, size restrictions, sun and shade, specific microclimates, garden position, weather variations, water, netting needed, potential pest prevention, etc.
See seasons below to assess a seasonal guide to print and personalize use.
Planting consideration includes planting a light feeder after a heavy feeder to assist with soil health.
Within a small space we can consider following a planting with another plant from the different family and following light then heavy feeders and preparing garden bed for the heavy feeders.
See Rotating crop reference: Sustainable Gardening Association: http://www.sgaonline.org.au/crop-rotation/)
Add flowers: French Marigold, Pansy, Viola, Alyssum, Calendula, Cornflower, Wild Primrose. These flowers have some companion planting benefits such as attracting beneficial insects/pollinators and some are edible. More from Sustainable Gardening Australia and The Permaculture Research Institute
Ensure soil is healthy as plants resist pests, grow much better and provide you with more nutrition. Soil should contain well-rotted compost and manures to add minerals, nutrients and increase microbial activity.
Check pH levels if plants are not growing as expected. Most veggies prefer soil pH between 6-7.5. Soil pH measures soil acidity or alkalinity. Acidic soils have a low pH value under 5.5. Alkaline soils have a pH value over 8.0. Soils with a neutral pH are in between these values. You can correct soil pH imbalances by adding trace minerals and rockdust, biochar, compost, manures and worm castings and amendments. For acidic soils, add horticultural lime or Dolomite powder gently and slowly over time. Add wood ash which also feeds the soil with potassium and other essential minerals. For alkaline soils, you may add add aluminium sulphate or iron sulphate. Always factor in time to allow soil to rebalance and retest in a few months.
Seeds need to be kept damp and warm to germinate and seedlings watered regularly even in a wicking garden. Spray gently with hose after sun has gone in afternoons, mornings also if a hot day. Seedlings need regular attention.
Gather information for what is suitable in your area for the season and your soil type. Design plantings according to seasonal choice, size restrictions, sun and shade, specific microclimates, garden position, weather variations, etc.
See seasons tabs to assess a seasonal guide to print and personalize use.
© Deborah Punton
© Deborah Punton