Spring organic gardening tips for your food garden
Author : My Food Garden
Spring organic gardening tips for southern hemisphere food gardeners. This is a time when nature begins to waken from its winter slumber and this certainly very obvious in temperate climates.
Though down in southern Australia, a mighty winter blast has held back the warmth this week and gone to deep freeze. But this will not last long and such an extreme presents a common challenge at change of season. Do I go with warmer season crops, get them in early or wait a bit until the season really changes. Tricky questions in the time of increasing variability with weather.
In my sub-tropical climate, spring it is often dry and warm to hot whilst in temperate climates, it is usually moist and mild to warm. These generalised climate definitions are helpful in defining major activities in the garden and, of course, there are always exceptions.
Here are spring organic gardening tips to help you have a productive food garden over the next 3 months – September to end of November.
- Vegie bed preparation – If you are finishing winter crops for your local climate, prepare your growing space, fertilise with the organic methods you normally work with, mulch lightly, put up climbing frames if you are growing climbing plants. I always tune up beds with biodynamic soil improvers and have recently been using palagonite rock dust to aid in the improvement process, its amazing stuff.
- Vegie planting – Choose the right crops for this time of the year for your local climate using a planting calendar. Use seedlings and seeds Plant at the ideal time of the day, make use of the planets for the optimum days and use your compost as the planting medium when planting into the beds. If you expect cold, cover your crops to reduce risk of frost damage and if its going to be extra hot shade your seedlings until the high heat passes and plants are more robust.
- Vegie garden care – For sub tropical climate growers, the main challenge is heat and lack of moisture so this means watering more often and doing all you can to help the soil hold moisture. The low humidity of spring for sub tropical growers open up many opportunities for crops that would otherwise be difficult in times when temperatures are similar but humidity high. For temperate growers, the cross-over of seasons can produce frost but after that risky times, the climate can be wonderful for a large number of crops and its really the prime time for your food garden before it gets too hot in summer.
- Fruit trees blooming – Spring is often a time of flowering for fruit trees. Avoid doing your pruning now; it should have been done in the dormancy period. As your fruit begin to set, increase watering to help with fattening of fruit. Use you organic brews to fertilise the soil around the fruit trees and don’t overdo it. Check out my tips on biodynamic management of fruit trees for more detailed information.
You should notice a lot more flowers coming out in and round your gardens now. The bees at our place are multiplying at an amazing rate. We have 1 native bee hive and 3 top bar hives for European bees and I can see the increase activity of the bees around our gardens with the warmth. It is beautiful to observe this transformation of life and to eat the incredible honey.
I work with those spring organic gardening tips in my gardens. I am planting fruiting crops such as cucumbers, beans, roma tomatoes, pumpkins, capsicums, zucchinis and eggplant. These will be a little slow to start because it is still cool at the night. I will also combine leafy crops that don’t mind the warmth, grow quickly and can be placed in the shade of climbing frames I create for some of the fruiting crops we grow.
Our spring seasonal workshop was a big success last weekend and our next seasonal workshop will be for summer. Its held on the December 2 and it follows our last 2 day biodynamic gardening workshop being held on 18-19 November. Register here.
We are getting busy with more food garden design and build projects as well as mentoring clients. Its a way I can bring these spring organic gardening tips into physical manifestation for our clients. Must be spring in the air. Have a look at our food garden build gallery we just put up on the site.
Authored by Peter Kearney – www.myfoodgarden.com.au