Enjoy the garden! Long evenings and early dawns are made for being outside. A few minutes of planting or watering make great stress relief over the silly season.
It’s still peak growing season, through until midsummer solstice on Dec 22. After that, days start shortening and plants put less energy into lush foliage, and more into making flowers and fruit.
Early summer in the garden:
- Keep planting summer vegetables like tomatoes, beans, cucumber, zucchini and pumpkins. Things are still growing fast. Plant another round of zucchini and beans in midsummer to extend your harvest into late autumn. Lay soak hoses and watering bottles through beds at planting time too – it gets harder later.
- Mulch as you plant, to keep weeds away and stop plant roots from drying out. It’s good to cover the soil surface – whether through mulch, close planting, or infilling with sprinklings of seeds such as phacelia and calendula. As well as stopping soil drying out, this means less weeding over summer.
- Fruit trees will drop their young fruit if the roots dry out. This is the crucial time of year to water them for a good crop (If they dry out later in summer, fruits will be smaller and have a more concentrated flavour - but if they dry out now it will reduce the crop.) Water well then mulch deeply around fruit tree roots, keeping mulch away from the trunk itself
- If you can’t get around all the weeds, slash down those that are going to seed. Slashed annual weeds can be smothered with newspaper/ cardboard and mulch.
- Make liquid feed by soaking comfrey or seaweed in a bucket of water. Water it on every week or so; you’ll notice a big difference in the health of your plants.
- Keep making compost – even if you never get around to turning it, it will be ready for autumn plantings.
Plant out: Tomatoes, cucumber, beans, peas, potatoes, corn, lettuce, silver beet, pumpkin, squash, red onions, leeks (for winter), basil and other herbs.
Sow seeds: Salad greens, carrots, beetroot, radish, zucchini, pumpkin, cucumber, corn, beans, peas, silver beet, sunflowers.