Springtime moves so fast! And seems to go in all directions at once – wind from everywhere and then nowhere at all – hot, cold, wet, dry – and suddenly everything is blooming and seeding and exploding and chirping and laying and swooping. It’s all wild and colourful.
Eggs are back on the menu. The willy wagtail has been returning to direct traffic when we’re working in the garden. And the wattlebirds have started feasting on the burgeoning population of bees, who in turn have been foraging on all the flowers.
Leaves are bursting forth on Mum’s almond grafts (shown here on a white peach tree)… but alas, not on my early attempts at grafting. More practice needed there!
We’re gobbling salads before the lettuces bolt to seed, and stir-frying snowpeas in between packing them into lunchboxes.
And… running behind as always with some seasonal tasks. Having beefed up our raised garden bed soil over winter, and then getting our winter veg in late, we’ve only just finished improving the irrigation supply – in the process finding a leak deep under one of the beds that was quite a job to unearth and fix! That’s my fault for being a bit gung-ho about digging in the goodies without checking where the pipes ran (um, again) : /
Still on my to-do list for this spring:
- Really Truly Finish spreading the compost and mulch that arrived in July. Just that last bit.
- Get busy with fertiliser around the citrus and passionfruit – regularly through the warm months. Including the pee-in-a-watering-can type contributions (the trouble with having your lemon tree on a street corner is that folks in the family are reluctant to use the direct approach).
- Get the very last of the grass out of the road verge and feed it to the chooks before it all goes to seed.
- And as I thin out the lettuces, start filling the gaps with spring-summer veg etc!
Such as… basil, beans*, beetroot, cabbage, capsicum, carrot*, celery, chilli, chives, chicory, coriander*, daikon, dill, eggplant, endive, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, melons, mizuna, mustard, pak choi, parsley, parsnips*, potatoes*, pumpkin*, radish, rocket, silverbeet, spring onions, tomatoes, turnips and zucchini*! Yay, it’s spring and almost anything goes in!!
(Those with * are best sown as seed direct into the beds. Sow small potatoes whole or large potatoes cut into pieces each with an ‘eye’, and hill up the soil around them as the plants grow. For tomatoes, capsicum, eggplant and chilli, go with seedlings rather than seed at this stage if you want reasonably early crops. And for all of these Solanaceae plants, try to put them in a bed that didn’t have any of the same family growing in it last year. See this basic guide to crop rotation if you’re unsure.)
I have to stop myself from planting more trees. We are pretty much at capacity. But it’s just about the time to be planting citrus and subtropical fruits, as well as giving them a light pruning and supporting their spring-summer growth with that regular light fertilising I mentioned earlier. When the ground is invitingly warm to the touch, that’s subtropical planting time. Make sure your soil is well prepared beforehand – lots of organic matter, good drainage, reliable irrigation, and some shelter while they get established. And for existing citrus, keep on top of citrus gall wasps now.
Workshop & presentation season is in full swing too. Next up – my Growing Sensational Citrus talk at Tonsley on Oct 11 (tickets at EventBrite) and Mum’s Citrus and Subtropical Grafting workshop at Glenelg North Community Garden on Nov 17 (email Sally for bookings at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Meanwhile, see you at Organic Corner Store market tomorrow 🙂