Tino Carnevale: Says sum­mer is a great time to veg out

Long sum­mer days mean you can get a lot of work done in the gar­den but TINO CARNEVALE re­minds us that it’s also a good time to sit back, re­lax and reap the re­wards of all the hard work you’ve done out­doors this year

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - News - with Tino Carnevale

Ilove the crops that ripen over sum­mer and the way pre­vi­ously sloth­like plants find their stride and push out rapid new growth. I love go­ing to the beach and lis­ten­ing to the sound of the bush in the heat as it be­comes al­most or­ches­tral. I love the warm evenings af­ter a day in the gar­den, when ev­ery liv­ing thing lets out a col­lec­tive sigh of re­lief as the orange sun sets over the hori­zon.

The seem­ingly end­less ger­mi­na­tion of weed seed and the ir­re­press­ible growth of the lawn that hap­pens over the spring should start to slow down now, so you can start to ease up on the con­stant main­te­nance and turn your at­ten­tion to tend­ing more in­ter­est­ing plants.

It seems like only yes­ter­day that I had plenty of space and only broad beans to plant, now I am of­ten search­ing for a spare patch of dirt to squeeze in an ever length­en­ing list of de­sir­able crops.

I will be putting my corn in this week but over the next month

Wa­ter is the most im­por­tant el­e­ment for your gar­den dur­ing sum­mer so be sure to give your plants reg­u­lar deep drinks

I will need space for pep­pers and chilli, cu­cum­bers and climb­ing beans, Brus­sel sprouts and egg­plant, et cetera, et cetera. I think you get the idea!

The great thing is soon one of my beds of gar­lic will be har­vested, cleaned, braided and hung giv­ing me a fresh can­vas to fill. The later va­ri­eties of gar­lic won’t be har­vested until the new year but I will have plenty to enjoy until then.

If you have planted pink eyes for Christ­mas then they will prob­a­bly need to be earthed up if you haven’t al­ready. I also added a layer of straw to mine to make sure the lit­tle taters are kept safe in the dark. If you are a true spud devo­tee you will be happy to know that a cheeky late crop of pota­toes can go in now. Throw­ing in a hand­ful of car­rot seed will mean that you’ll be get­ting a new batch ready while

har­vest­ing the cur­rent one.

The vegie gar­dener should not be with­out salad greens of some de­scrip­tion dur­ing the sum­mer. Once the seeds are in the ground and wa­tered you can go in­side, put the ket­tle on to make tea and when you come back to the patch your crops are al­most ready to har­vest … There’s a chance I’m ex­ag­ger­at­ing but it can some­times feel that quick.

It has been a re­ally good be­gin­ning of the sea­son for toma­toes with gen­er­ally warm weather con­di­tions. Al­though there were a cou­ple of cold patches that slowed growth a bit they gen­er­ally didn’t do much harm. You can start to train your lead­ers and tie them to their stakes or if you’re my Dad, to their sin­gu­lar stake.

All that en­ergy that has been ex­pended on spring growth will need to be re­plen­ished if it’s to con­tinue. I mix up sea­weed with fish fer­tiliser for my leafy plants like beets, bras­si­cas and salad greens but some­thing that is a bit slower to re­lease for my new plant­ing of corn and pep­pers like blood and bone or a com­plete or­ganic fer­tiliser. Potas­sium rich fer­tilis­ers like sul­phate of potash will work for my more ten­der fruit­ing plants like toma­toes and egg­plant.

Wa­ter is the most im­por­tant el­e­ment for your gar­den dur­ing sum­mer so be sure to give your plants reg­u­lar deep drinks, the fre­quency will de­pend on the type of crop and its po­si­tion. Al­ways wa­ter in the cooler parts of the day, ei­ther in the morn­ing or evening as it is more ef­fec­tive, ef­fi­cient and pleas­ant. I grew up throw­ing old sheets over plants to pro­tect them from the cold but now I find my­self do­ing the same thing to pro­tect them from them heat, es­pe­cially those large leaved plants like my rhubarb and even zuc­chini.

Long days mean we can get a lot of work done but make sure if you are out in the gar­den that you keep your­self well hy­drated and pro­tected from the harsh ul­tra vi­o­let rays but just as im­por­tantly, take time to sit back and enjoy your gar­den this sea­son.

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