MULCH RHUBARB & ASPARAGUS CROWNS
WEED & FEED STRAWBERRIES
The first strawberries will be ripe in a few weeks, so spend some time this weekend tidying up established strawberry beds. Weed (carefully) around your plants. Do this with a hand-held trowel or fork rather than a push hoe or spade, as strawberries have wide spreading roots that are easily damaged Winter-dormant perennial crops of asparagus and rhubarb may not be showing any signs of life yet, but they will at least be thinking about it! (Even though the first locally grown asparagus spears are available in shops already, my first spears don’t emerge until early October.) Remove any weed growth around both of these crops and mulch them well to stop another rash of weed seeds germinating in spring. No weeds also means no place for slugs and snails to hide, while mulching also helps insulate the soil, warming it up just a notch.
SOW OR TRANSPLANT SPINACH
Although it’s officially spring, we have a wee way to go yet before our vege gardens are back into harvest mode. Bridge the gap between the last winter brassicas and the first summer salad greens with spinach, silverbeet or colourful Swiss chard. Plant a row of spinach (or the mild ‘Perpetual’ variety of silverbeet) under a cloche or plastic-covered grow tunnel to cut the growing time from plot to plate.
PRESERVE LIMES WHILE THEY ARE IN SEASON
Tahitian limes will be turning yellow by now, a sign they are fully ripe and will soon drop off the branch. If you have more than you need, freeze whole fruit in freezer-safe plastic bags. When thawed, there’s no noticeable drop in quality of either the zest or the juice. Limes are cheap and plentiful right now so put a few on ice for summer; in the lead up to Christmas, they cost as much as $39.99/kg.