Summer Vegetable Planting Guide

Title: Summer Vegetable Planting Guide


Summer Vegetable Planting Guide

Title: Summer Vegetable Planting Guide

Canberra Organic Growers' Society Inc.

Summer Vegetable Planting Guide

By Michelle Johnson

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In Summer, it is a good idea to mulch your garden to help keep the soil cool and moist. One experiment has shown that a 4cm layer of straw reduced evaporation by 73%! Be careful, however, not to lay down a thick layer of sawdust or lawn clippings which can pack down to form an impenetrable barrier to water.

Soil with lots of compost will contain all the nutrients your plants need for strong, healthy growth. In addition, it will retain water and act like a sponge to keep your plants moist through the dry summer days.

On days of extreme temperatures, your plants may need to be physically protected from the heat. This can be achieved by covering the plants with shade cloth secured on a frame, for example 'weldmesh' bent over to form a tunnel (secure the shadecloth with some pegs).

Try not to leave water on the leaves of plants which are susceptible to fungal diseases, for example tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, zucchinis. Preferably water with drippers, or if you must use overhead sprinklers, water in the cool of the morning so that the water can evaporate during the day.

Remember to leave space in your vege patch for those winter vegetables which must be planted in late summer - early autumn. Brassicas and other winter crops need time to mature before the extreme cold of winter sets in.

Keep those weeds down! They compete with your plants for food, water and sunlight. It is best to tackle them when they are small - before removing them becomes a back-breaking and exhausting exercise.

Pests can multiply rapidly over summer. Don't reach for the pesticides! Observe if there are natural predators present, remembering that there will be a delay between the appearance of the pest and the subsequent build-up of its predators. If you must spray, then use an environmentally benign spray. Reads books on this subject such as Jackie French's Natural Pest Control.

Make sure that you harvest your crop regularly - in most cases this will encourage your plants to continue cropping, and you get to eat your produce at its peak.

Summer Vegetable Planting Guide

French BeansSS
Brussel SproutsSTSTT
Chinese CabbageSS
Kohl RabiSTSTT
Silver BeetSTSTT
Swedes SS
Sweet CornSTT
Turnips SS

S = Seed sowing
T = Transplant

(1) This table is a guide only, please observe the seasonal weather patterns before deciding when to plant, as there will often be distinct differences in summer weather from one year to the next.
(2) Planting times will vary for different varieties of the one vegetable, for example, December plantings of Heading Lettuce should be successful; in February, plantings should be the Butterhead variety.

© 1995, Canberra Organic Growers' Society Inc.

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