Annual Garden Calendar
Last year I was given a simple lime marmalade recipe to try; and it makes a delicious marmalade. Here it is for you.
Six cups water
Six cups sugar
Peel and chop five limes and one orange into pieces. You want around 600gms of fruit once chopped. Soak overnight in six cups of water. Bring to the boil and simmer with a lid on for 20 minutes. Add six cups of sugar and boil rapidly without the lid. Once thickened, pour into a warmed glass jar and seal.
Isn’t it fascinating the way nature prepares what we need in season in the garden. In the heart of winter the vibrant and vitamin C filled citrus are ready to brighten us up and offer their nutrients in the colder months when we need them most.
August Planting & Sowing
August is a great time to think of planting fresh herbs for your garden. You can plant aromatic herbs like marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme.
I’m also about to start sowing seeds into my indoor seed trays to plant in spring. I’ll be planting capsicum, eggplant and tomato seeds. I always make sure these are in a warm position with access to full sun. I sow in seed raising mix and make sure the mix is well watered before I sow the seeds. It’s important to water fairly regularly as you don’t want your seedlings drying out.
Seeds you can sow
Asian spinach, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, lettuce, mesclun, parsley, peas, pumpkin, onions, radish, silverbeet, squash, rocket, tomatoes, eggplant, capsicum (in a warm space). (As a general rule, allow eight weeks to seedling stage).
Seedlings you can plant
Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mesclun, peas, onions, radish, silverbeet, spinach. (A good handful of blood and bone on planting will benefit your leafy seedlings).
August 'can do' Garden Tasks
If you planted cover crops like lupins or mustard to add nitrogen to your soil, now is a good time to cut them, and turn them over into the soil. Last year I grew lupins and they were ready to cut when the flower heads were just forming. (Any longer and the stems are hard and woody). We cut them, then left them to soften for a couple of weeks before turning into the soil.
Time to clear those warm windowsills to nurse your summer crop seeds! They're best started in a warm sunny space and your windowsill suits perfectly.
As the temperatures warm up it can be a the beginning of a growth spurt for your plants, including weeds! Keeping on top of weeds from now will save a bigger job later on.
All our citrus fruit are still ripening beautifully in August.
In the vege patch we’ve been enjoying fresh silverbeet, along with beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, celery, kale, lettuce, leeks, mesclun, parsnip, radish, rocket, spinach and turnips.
You could start picking the first of your avacados if you have a tree. Pick them while they are hard and ripen them in your fruit bowl.
It’s also time to haul up your yams if you planted these. When their clover-like top foliage dies down after the first frosts you know it’s time to harvest them. (I always grow these in a large barrel so their root system doesn’t take over the rest of the garden, as they are a type of oxalis).