Annual Garden Calendar
We have tons of silverbeet through the winter, and this recipe comes in handy to whip up quickly for a healthy side dish or as part of a tasty winter weekend brunch.
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
4 rashers bacon
1 onion or small leek, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
8 to 10 large silverbeet leaves roughly chopped
In a large frying pan lightly fry bacon over medium heat until just cooked. Melt butter into pan and saute onion and garlic until soft. Add silverbeet and toss over heat until semi-wilted and well coated in the garlicky onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
In the heart of winter it can be slow growing in your garden. This is because until the soil warms up you won’t see much activity in your vege patch. I find myself dreaming of my summer garden and doing a bit of planning for spring.
July Planting & Sowing
July is a good time to start sprouting new season seed potatoes ready for planting in August or September. I recommend certified seed potatoes, as these are specifically selected to grow well at home and will be free of viruses and pests that affect potatoes. I leave the seed potatoes somewhere warm like on the kitchen bench for their tubers to grow and plant them once tubers are around 2cm long.
Strawberry plants can also be planted from June to September each year. Choose a sunny spot with free draining soil.
There's always something to sow and plant for continual crops.
Seeds you can sow
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mesclun, parsley, peas, onions, radish, silverbeet, rocket. (As a general rule, allow eight weeks to seedling stage).
Seedlings you can plant
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mesclun, peas, onions, radish, silverbeet, spinach. (A good handful of blood and bone on planting will benefit your leafy seedlings).
July 'can do' Garden Tasks
This time of year can be a good time to sharpen and clean all your gardening tools ready for spring.
Prepare potato beds ready for planting by gently digging over the soil to a depth of 30cm, adding plenty of compost.
If you’re planning for strawberries, preparing your strawberry bed will go a long way to producing delicious red berries in summer. Prepare your soil at least two weeks before planting by adding a layer of compost and a light layer of fertiliser. I tend to use sheep pellets. Dig them lightly into the soil to a depth of about 20cm. Water the soil well and allow the area to sit for a couple of weeks before planting.
Stake your broad beans as they grow to keep them stable.
Top feed your brassicas with blood and bone to keep them healthy.
July sees more citrus fruit ripen such as orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime, and mandarins. In the vege patch we’ve been enjoying fresh silverbeet, along with beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, celery, kale, lettuce, mesclun, parsnip, radish, rocket, spinach and turnips.