Annual Garden Calendar
I love grilled carrots. Here's an easy combo with a citrus twist. This can be thrown together quickly as a side for your mid week meal, or jazzed up if you want something a bit posh.
Grilled Carrot and Tangelo Salad
500g spring carrots, washed and heads trimmed
2 Tangelos, skinned and sliced into thin wedges
½ Cup fresh thyme or rosemary leaves chopped
1 T olive or grapeseed oil
Salt and pepper
1 T maple syrup
Sesame and cashew seeds to garnish
Pre head oven to 220 degrees on grill.
Place the carrots, herbs, salt and pepper on a shallow bake tray, and drizzle with oil.
Grill for 15-20 minutes in the middle to top of oven.
Remove from the oven and toss through with a drizzle of maple syrup and the tangelo wedges.
Serve garnished with cashews and sesame seeds.
October Garden Tasks
My peach and plum trees have just about finished their beautiful spring blossoms, and now the leaves are sprouting all over the trees. I’m adding some fertilizer at the base of the trees, at the drip line. I use an all-purpose granular fertilizer at this time of year. (I can’t wait to see all the fruit forming on the trees).
Our strawberries plants are bursting with flowers. I must remember to keep these watered so the fruit doesn’t dry out. They are bedded in quite free draining soil which they like when watered regularly.
It’s planting time, so let’s get going! Now that the first frosts will have passed, it’s time to get cracking planting all those tender vegetables from now on. Those seedlings you’ve been nurturing on a sunny windowsill can be set free and planted in your garden.
October Planting & Sowing
I’m getting set to plant my beans. I love that they are an easy vegetable to grow, and there’s such a huge variety to choose from.
To save on space in my garden, I use a trellis for beans and train cucumbers up as a vine. I find they form long uniform shaped crops this way.
Seeds you can sow
Beetroot, beans, carrots, coriander, kohlrabi, lettuce, mesclun, parsley, pumpkin, radish, spring onions and squash. In a warm space in trays sow corn, chilli, cucumber, tomatoes, eggplant, capsicum and zucchini. (As a general rule, allow eight weeks to seedling stage).
Seedlings you can plant
Asian spinach, beans, bok choy, broccoli, capsicum, cauliflower, chilli, coriander, cucumber, eggplant, kohlrabi, lettuce, mesclun, parsley, peas, potato tubers, spring onions, tomatoes, radish, and zucchini. (A good handful of blood and bone on planting will benefit your leafy seedlings).
Tomato Growing Tips!
Plant seedlings once frosts are gone and spring winds have died down, as tomatoes really need three months of warm weather to produce well.
Soil and Position: Tomatoes need plenty of sun. Free draining soil rich in organic matter is best. Tall varieties need protection from strong winds. Against a wall, fence or trellis works well. Prepare soil by adding compost such as blood and bone or sheep pellets.
Planting: Plant seedlings around 40cm apart. Plant in the soil about 2cm further up the stem than it was in the pot, without disturbing the roots.
Staking: Put in your supporting stakes at the time you plant your tomatoes. This way you won't damage their roots as they seedlings grow.
Removing laterals: So your plants can focus on developing their main leaf structure and fruit, remove laterals as soon as they appear. These appear between each leaf and the main stem. Do this by pinching them off when they are small. If you can, do this on a dry day so water won’t cause disease in the small stem wound. – Don’t panic if you miss these, you can trim them later successfully. Some tomatoes seem to almost double overnight when our backs are turned!
Watering: Tomatoes are thirsty and hungry as they really get going and grow fast. It’s important to water often in dry weather. Water the soil at the bottom of the plant, and not the leaves and stems, as water on the plants can encourage powdery mildew or early blight. Mulching is a great way to conserve moisture in summer too. You don’t want the soil to become too dry, and compost is ideal for this. As plants grow and become loaded with fruit their requirement for water will increase.
Feeding: When it comes to feeding, little and often is what works for me. While my plants are growing I top feed with blood and bone about once a week. Once the small fruit appears I add a weekly feed of a liquid fertilizer high in potassium for this stage of growth as this encourages more flowers (and more flowers equals more tomatoes!). If you use a dry potassium fertilizer water thoroughly after feeding.
We're really enjoying the fresh peas, florence fennel and carrots from our garden. Also ready to harvest in October are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, lettuce, mizuna, mesculn, radish, rocket, silverbeet, spinach and turnips.