Any spring month is a busy time for the vegetable gardener. It is time to sow summer vegetables. This month the sun really makes an appearance and it will seem like the seedlings are growing before your eyes.
Vegetable Gardener's Diary
The weather is heating up and there are more daylight hours. Transplant all the seedlings, plant the last of the summer seeds, stake up heavy fruit-bearing plants and tidy garden edges to keep away bugs.
Enjoy the festive season by harvesting and using fresh crops from the garden. Sprigs of mint brighten up salads, drinks and, of course, new potatoes, which will be ready for Christmas if they were planted in early spring.
With the new year and associated new beginnings, numerous crops will be ready to harvest. If time and inclination permit, there are also a few routine jobs to do in the garden.
Being one of the hottest months of the year, February is all about reaping what you have sown; it's one of the main harvest periods. Keep feeding your plants with a fertiliser like NovaTec Premium.
Autumn is here and the growing season is slowing. March is a major harvesting period. The garden will be laden with crops like tomatoes, beans, sweetcorn and beetroot, all ready to be picked, bottled, preserved, and prepared for use over the colder months. Mushrooms may also start popping up.
Tomatoes, capsicums and chillies will be coming to an end in cooler parts of the country, where the nights are beginning to draw in and the earliest frosts may start to appear. In warm regions, these crops will last another couple of months.
Winter is on its way. There are two main things to do in the garden now: clean up the last of the summer and autumn crops; and plant some new winter vegetables, or clear the decks and put up the 'closed' sign until spring.
June is a wonderful time to begin thinking about the next season and working out which crops you may want to grow and harvest. Arm yourself with seed catalogues or trawl through online seed sites to see what's new and interesting.
In warmer areas of the country, the first lots of vegetable seeds can be started under glass, but do not sow outside as the soil is probably still too cold and damp. In cooler areas, try growing a few leafy green crops such as spinach, silverbeet or kale in pots and containers close to home.
Many keen gardeners will be tempted to get out into their vegetable patch. In cold areas, however, it's still best to wait until the soils warm up and the worst of the frosts have finished.
The garden has begun to spring back into life. It's time to remove the last of the winter crops from the vegetable patch to make room for the new season's plants. In the coldest parts of the country there isn't a lot you can do outside yet. In warm regions, get planting!