Annual Garden Calendar
Perfect Peach Popsicles
Our beautiful golden peaches are ready, and they all come at once. I just can’t stand to waste even one of these beautiful fruit, so here’s a recipe I use for the very ripe and not so perfect ones.
4 large ripe peaches
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp sugar or honey
Peel and slice the peaches into large chunks, and place half aside. Blend half with the lemon juice and sugar/honey, and pour into popsicle trays. Place the remaining peach chunks down into the mixture and then freeze with sticks inserted.
They’re ready in 2-3 hours, and perfect for an afternoon treat.
In early Autumn it can feel like most of our waking thoughts are about picking, preserving and watering our produce, let alone feeding the soil and preparing for the next season, such a busy time even in a small urban garden! I've learned to just take my time, and with a spare 10 minutes here and there I work through the season.
March Planting & Sowing
Even though it can be hard to find the space in the 'changeover' season, I’m popping in seedlings as and when there's room once summer crops have finished.
Seeds you can sow
Broad Beans, bok choy, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, celery, florence fennel, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mesclun, parsley, peas, tatsoi, onions, radish, silverbeet, rocket, turnip. (As a general rule, allow eight weeks to seedling stage).
Seedlings you can plant
Beans, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, corriander, kale, lettuce, mesclun, parsnip, radish, silverbeet, spinach, rocket. (A good handful of blood and bone on planting will benefit your leafy seedlings).
March 'can do' Garden Tasks
If it’s a dry autumn it's helpful to add mulch around your crops. I’m going to use hay, and I heard a handy trick to halt the grass seeds growing. Water the soil, then add the hay mulch around your vegetables. Give a light water to the top of the hay. Once the little grass seedlings spring up, turn the hay over, exposing their roots to the sun, and they’ll wilt and not grow back.
Keep any tomatoes still in staked well, and remove old and decaying leaves as pests like to hide here.
Steak and tie up bean plants to protect them from the wind.
Thin out any carrot rows planted for larger more uniform shaped carrots. (The baby carrots you pick when you thin are delicious grilled on the bbq).
Continue to add manure like sheep pellets or horse manure to empty beds before autumn planting.
Make sure to add carbon materials to your compost in balanced quantities. You can use cardboard, or dried leaves from your garden. The carbon content will balance out the nitrogen green leafy material you'll be adding when you are clearing a lot of plants at the end of a season.
In March I recommend checking crops regularly and picking them daily or a few times a weel if you need to. At the end of the season my tomatoes are prone to late blight, so I’m checking and picking regularly. Also keep an eye on your cucumber and zucchini plants for hidden larger fruit that has been tucked away out of eyesight. A great harvest to keep in mind around this time is your garden herb seeds. Collect your own coriander, dill and fennel seeds for cooking as soon as the seed heads turn from yellow-green to brown. Snip off the whole seed head and place them upside down in a paper bag. Store until completely dry and then they’re ready to use in your cooking.