Annual Garden Calendar
Roasted chickpea and kale salad
Here’s a really good salad base recipe. It’s one you can whip up quickly, and it’s easily jazzed up by adding extra ingredients.
2 to 3 Cups Chopped Kale
2 Tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds
¼ to ½ Cup Roasted Chickpeas
Chopped roasted pumpkin, bacon, mandarin and avocado to taste
Drizzle of tahini dressing
2 Tablespoons tahini
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 Teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Water to reach desired consistency
Raw kale can be a bit intense, so to soften it up and reduce any bitterness before adding in the salad, I hand mix it with a little olive oil and fresh lemon juice.
Drain a 400ml tin of chickpeas and rinse well.Dry with a cloth or paper towel.(There’s no need to remove the skins, but if some come off don’t worry).
Spread out on a lined baking tray along with ½ Teaspoon of olive oil, and a sprinkling of your choice of spices.I like a combo of paprika, turmeric, cumin, and salt and pepper.
Roast at 200 degrees until crispy.(Usually takes around 10 minutes).
Add kale, roasted chickpeas, sunflower seeds and your choice of roasted pumpkin, bacon, chopped mandarins and avocado to a large salad bowl.
Toss lightly to mix through.
Drizzle with tahini dressing, or your favourite home-made dressing.
The air has cooled and the days are shorter, and it's a great time to enjoy the slower pace in the garden with the change of season. It’s a welcome reprieve after a busy summer! There are some delicious autumn fruit coming on, and lots of fresh herbs, and around now is usually when I have the time and space to think about my autumn and winter garden.
April Planting & Sowing
As it’s near the end of the white butterfly season now is a good time to plant brassica seedlings such as broccoli and cauliflower. It can pay to sow your seeds into trays or punnets first, then plant out when seedlings have at least a couple of pairs of leaves. Sometimes I like to protect the very fragile seedlings with plastic bottles as covers for a few weeks. This gives them extra protection from the weather and pesky slugs.
Seeds you can sow
Broad Beans, bok choy, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, celery, florence fennel, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mesclun, parsley, peas, tatsoi, turnips, onions, radish, silverbeet, rocket, turnip. (As a general rule, allow eight weeks to seedling stage).
Seedlings you can plant
Beans, beetroot, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, corriander, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mesclun, tatsoi, onions, radish, silverbeet, spinach, rocket. (A good handful of blood and bone on planting will benefit your leafy seedlings).
April 'can do' Garden Tasks
Beds that have been cleared after a crop has finished can benefit from an application of lime which is a real benefit to many leaf crops like spinach, kale, and silver beet..
Feed your citrus and fruit trees this time of year with a layer of compost such as sheep pellets or seaweed and water in.
It’s a good time to turn compost and add extra dry matter such as leaves, which are starting to fall in the garden.
Try thinning out any beds of carrots, lettuce and spinach seedlings that have come up from seed. It’s easy to pull out smaller seedlings that have come up early on, and create space for the remaining seedlings to grow.
Depending on your space and what you've planted you can be harvesting basil, beetroot, beans, carrots, capsicum, chilli, kale, lettuce, pumpkin, squash, silverbeet, spring onion, and the last of your summer tomatoes.
Tips for harvesting pumpkin and squash
It can be tempting to include your pumpkins and winter squash when you're clearing your autumn garden. Wait! There's not harm in leaving them for a little longer. This way you're sure they'll be completely ready. Pumpkins are ready to harvest when the vine dies back and the tendrils closest to the hardened pumpkin turn brown.