April in the Vegie Patch

20 April 2014
Written by Kath Irvine | Images by Kath Irvine
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Are you scratching your head wondering what to plant in your Autumn vegie garden?  Well you're in luck as Kath lists 10 essential plants for a happy garden  


Sometimes I dream of having a cute-as-pie little vegie patch. Every square inch crammed with food and flowers - growing up the walls and over the sheds. Oh the free time for knitting and baking and helping my friends in their gardens. At the moment I can spread out and play with all manner of crops because I have so much room, but what say I didn't? What would I choose if my space was limited? Here's a list of the 10 essential plants I'd grow in my small space fantasy patch this April. 

  • Broccoli: Each plant will give you one lovely big head followed by 3 or so medium sized heads, followed by many mini heads. Kilos and kilos of produce from one plant followed by fragrant flowers to feed the bees and beneficials. Such a great value plant!
  • Perpetual spinach: Perfect for those of you for whom silverbeet is just far too silverbeety, but just as easy to grow. For fresh green leaves winter, spring and well into summer. Beneficient.
  • Miners lettuce: Scatter some seed around today and you'll be picking sweet, heart shaped salad leaves all winter/ spring long. Let it flower and go to seed and it will arrive every year as the weather cools to grace your salad bowl. We love self seeders!
  • Salads: Of all varieties. Rouge d'hiver, Devils Ear, Drunken Woman, Iceberg - all the cooler loving greens as well as microgreens. A salad a day keeps the doctor away.
  • Calendula: Yes you can eat the flowers, but more importantly so can the beneficial insects. Direct sow very soon.
  • Italian flat leaf parsley: This is my best of all herbs. Jamming with nutrition and such a fresh reviving taste for cold winter days. Grow lots and eats lots and live to 100.
  • Snow Peas: Only growing to 80cm high, so no need for a towering structure to accomodate. They'll boost your soils at the same time as providing you with a magnificent addition to salads, stir fries and magical afternoon antipasto plates.
  • Carrots: Scarlet Nantes are a must. A lot of carrots fit in a small space. Can you imagine a carrot-less kitchen? No, me neither.
  • Greencrops: Rest and revive your soils this winter. Give all those beds that grew hungry demanding crops a break! Get some lupin, mustard, wheats, oats or barley in today.
  • Sweetpeas: No I can't eat them and no one else does either, however it's not all pragmatic in the vegie patch. Make your day beautiful and fragrant.

  • Plant out lots of salad greens, celery, brassicas, parsley, perpetual beet or silverbeet
  • Direct sow peas, snowpeas, broadbeans, corn salad, miners lettuce, cold weather salads, spinach, coriander, rocket; carrots, beetroot, parsnip,turnip, florence fennel and lots of good companion flowers like larkspur, calendula, snapdragons, stocks, sweet peas, chamomile.
  • Tray sow globe artichokes.

Keep your broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages growing fast with weekly liquid feeding, cabbage white control, good watering and by piling up extra mulch around the stalks. Include some rotten poo or juicy seaweed in this mulch for a lovely booster (they'll peg new roots down in this mulch giving them extra resilience). Look after your pumpkins as you wait for them to mature by popping some dry mulch under their bums. The stalks need to dry fully on the vine before you pick them. At this stage the flesh is fully sweet and ripe and they'll store well. Enjoy making a great big autumn compost pile for your spring garden.

See how the job list has shrunk! We've reached the end of the March my friends. Good effort.

In the Orchard    |    In the Kitchen




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