AS the days are slowly getting cooler, I hope you are all finding your gardening groove again.
Unfortunately, we have to keep up the watering until we get some decent rain.
It is a really good time to get your vegetable garden ready for the autumn and winter planting.
If, like me, you can’t pull out the tomato plants until they really look quite “tired”, but are still producing, pick the green ones and make green tomato pickles – well worth sacrificing those last red tomatoes for!
Your soil will need some work before you start planting.
Compost, well broken down manure and fertilisers wil help to replenish the soil ready for your next crop.
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and kale are just a few of the crops that can be planted.
Brussel sprouts need quite a long growing season, so get them in now.
The important thing to keep an eye out for is the dreaded cabbage moth.
They lay their eggs on your brassica plants and the green caterpillars that hatch can decimate your seedlings very quickly! If you have the time, remove the caterpillars by hand. If not, dust with derris dust, or cover your plants with netting to protect them.
These pests don’t just lay eggs on young plants, so keep checking for these pests throughout the season.
Some of you may have decided to “rest” your vegetable garden for the autumn and winter.
You can plant a green manure crop instead of edibles.
Just a few of the benefits of doing this are providing organic matter, nutrient replacement in the soil and improving soil structure.
The green manure crop protects the surface of the soil, helps prevent erosion and assists with weed control.
At the end of the season, you simply dig the crop back through the garden.
You can buy green manure crop seeds at the nursery now.
Enjoy your autumn gardening.
GREEN THUMB: Broccoli is one of the vegetable crops you can plant now.