Spring Gardening in the Central Highlands Pt2

There is a definite gear change as the soil starts to warm up in spring. If you’ve got an asparagus bed, it will start to wake up usually in September, so if you haven’t already, it’s time to give it a really good feed with some good compost and a nice thick layer of mulch.

There are also loads of seeds that I sow in spring and don’t mollycoddle on fancy heat bed set ups! It’s a super busy time for propagation, not only are there seeds to sow, there are cuttings to pot on and ground to be prepared for the next round of plants. Things I start to sow either outside in punnets or directly in the garden in early September include; lettuce, kale, silverbeet, coriander, parsley, chives, spring onions, leeks, wombok and their cousins, kohl rabi, radish, beets, carrots,
fennel, peas and of course annual flowers like corn flower, poppy, sweetpea, sunflower, calendula, nasturtium, straw flowers and so many more!

In late spring (October/November) the soil starts to be warm enough to sow some of the warm season crops directly in the garden. Bush and climbing beans, corn, pumpkin, zucchini, cucumber and squash are all things that can be sown directly in the ground in late spring and early summer. If the seeds that you’ve sown inside have grown, you can transplant them out into the garden in late spring. If they haven’t worked though, its good to know that there is the back-up option of sowing the seed directly in the ground once it is warm enough.

If you haven’t already, early spring is a good time to dig in your winter green manure crop. This way it has plenty of time to decompose and settle before you’re ready to plant out your ‘heavy feeding’ summer crops, like tomatoes into that bed. Mid to late spring is also a good time to sow a warm season green manure crop in the beds where you want to plant your heavy feeding cool season crops, like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. Spring really needs to be a month or two longer so that we gardeners have enough time to tend to everything that needs doing.

Sas Allardice
Vegetable Expert


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