The smell of jasmine and apple blossoms are now upon us. Spring is here!
What to plant…
You can put in beetroot, borage, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, coriander, cress, rocket, dill, fennel, daikon, spring onions, parsley, parsnip (which coincidentally was the subject of the western world’s first ever printed gardening book in the 1600’s – the parsnip being very trendy at the time, the Euro’s just couldn’t get enough of the stuff).
Potatoes can still go in as tubers, rhubarb, silverbeet – again all year round, strawberry runners (love strawberries in the garden nearly as much as little kids, my mum used to get my sister and I to go out and pick them for ourselves whenever we wanted, which meant she hardly got any, except of course the “trophies” – the huge ones, we would have to show her in our pride at finding them. Ahh the simple joys of gardening and childhood rolled into one beatific piece of personal nostalgia).AND… maybe … towards the end of the month — as long as the frosts have finished in your area … but who really knows? — you can start putting in those summer crops: climbing beans, dwarf beans, basil, tomatoes, eggplant, capsicum, cucumber, zucchini, pumpkin, sunflowers, sweet corn, watermelon and zucchini, just to name the basics.It’s not too late peruse the mail order seed catalogues for those plants and get them growing in a little greenhouse. Check out the heirloom varieties through Eden Seeds or Diggers or Phoenix Seeds or the seed savers networks. There you will find all manner of earthly delights. Peach coloured, pear-shaped tomatoes, red eggplants, yellow zucchini’s and radishes with stripes. We are not lying ladies and gentlemen. There are mysteries to be discovered. Why a little while back we were at Bulleen Art and Garden when we noticed a yellow tomato covered in fine hairs, pinched one (had to) tasted it (delicious) and asked of it’s origin. We hear it came from a back yard in Western Australia and know no more…If you’re planting out summer crop seeds now you may need to start them off somewhere warm, like on top of the hot water service.
- Fruit: It’s time to plant citrus, blueberries, passionfruit, citrus, feijoas, guavas and if you’ve got a taste for the exotic, babaco (a type of paw paw which grows well in Melbourne.) And although there’s no longer any bareroot stock, you can still plant all your favourite deciduous fruit trees too.
Fertilising, mulching and watering
- In early spring we can consider raking up mulch to expose the dark soil, allowing it to warm up under the day’s sunshine. However be sure to return it by mid spring or if it looks like the soil is drying out.
- Before you put in all those wonderful spring planted vegetables, prepare your beds. Everything will appreciate some well made compost, a dash of dynamic lifter, finished off of course with some straw mulch.