With the start of a new season comes the opportunity to reassess your veggie patch.  Productive growing through Autumn is enhanced when you first look at the quality of your soil?


soil health

Replenishing the soil is essential and the addition of fresh compost, manure and other nutrient packed products will ensure the best winter crop and reduce pests and diseases. If your soil is heavy then add some river sand and dig through thoroughly to open it up and allow for your plant’s roots to easily make their way deep into the soil. This allows your plantings to source more nutrients and moisture, ensuring they provide you with a bumper crop. It’s also essential for the success of your root vegetables like carrots and potatoes as open soil allows the vegetable to develop easily and without deformities like forking with carrots.  Now is a great time to empty the compost bin after benefiting from the heat of summer.  Compost is gold for you & your garden, providing a nutrient rich addition to your veggie patch for very little cost.

Flowers For Soil Health.




The addition of flowers to your garden can bring may benefits including attracting the pollinators of the insect world.  This will make your productive growing process a breeze.  It is well know the trouble our bees are in and providing a safe food source in your garden will not only help their survival but will aid in pollinating your plants too. Pumpkins will often need support and the process is really easy. Hand pollination using a male flower stamen on a female flower is all that is needed.

Planting corn in groups drastically increases large complete cobs but really the heros are the insects so having plenty of them in your garden helps in many ways. Consider Marigolds as your flower of choice as it not only attracts insects but also has positive benefits in reducing Nematodes in the soil increasing your productivity of your plants.


What Are Nematodes?


tomato-roots-rootknot 5017w

Roots affected by Nematodes


These microscopic worms (Nematode) will invade plant roots and cause deformities, reducing the plants ability to take up nutrients and thrive. It is believed that the nematode, once in the Marigold’s roots, are killed by the natural nematicides of the plant. This can be a slow ongoing process but more reason to always include large amounts of marigold plantings in your vegetable garden. If you are planning on sitting a season out from growing, then I would strongly suggest mass planting your veggie patch with marigolds for a thorough treatment.


Time To Plant.


Any time is a good time to grow food but for me I love growing through Autumn & Winter the most.  The heat of Summer brings obstacles that are unseen through other months & I am looking forward to planting and enjoying the cooler months in my productive garden. Consider planting all your winter vegetables now for long crops and don’t overlook the need for salad options though Autumn in warmer regions, so continue to plant lettuce, rocket and tomatoes now.  As the seasons change over, remove finished plantings and consider the layout of your future crops to enhance your productive growing.  

Protecting veggies in winter

Cold Frame

If you are located in the warmer regions, then prepare for the Cabbage Moth by erecting a structure over your Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower & Kale.  This will allow you to cover with netting to protect your planting from attack and definitely should be set up before planting.  A similar structure can be utilized for those who experience frosts, with the use of thicker materials to cover the structure when required.  Gardeners in frost prone regions should keep their eye on weather forecasts so crops can be covered before dusk.  For an easier option consider constructing a Cold Frame to safe guard your plantings against frosts and the colder weather in general.

Those of you lucky enough to find yourself in the warmer regions will enjoy the many fruits & vegetable that will grow through the cooler months.  Providing protection from the cold, if you’re in the cooler regions, will enable you to grow more.  Utilize the warmth that radiates from buildings & fences or create your own structure to mimic this.  Laying organic matter over the garden bed before temperatures drop will maintain the warmth in the soil no matter where you live throughout Australia.


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