Sunday, 28 September 2014

How to Grow Vegetable Crops

A bit of info about why I garden  the way I do  ..... I live in a cold climate so grow both Summer & Winter vegetables at the same time except for garlic which grows through winter months :)

CROPS GROWN - Corn, Tomatoes, Capsicum, Beans, Peas, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery, Cabbage, Carrots, Onions, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Watermelon, Strawberries, Parsley, Rosemary, Basil, Thyme, Garlic

FRUIT GROWN - Apricots, Plums, Apples, Persimmons, Peach

STORING PRODUCE - I use a number of different preserving methods such as Freezing, Blanching, Bottling, Storing, Drying, & Cold Storage.

SOIL PROFILE - Naturally occurring deep sandy/loam top soil with white then red clay sub soil.

MY GROWING SEASON - Australia - Cold Climate  - Spring through to Autumn  - August  to April (first onion seeds set to last pumpkin harvested) except for garlic which is grown through winter from March and harvested in early summer to December (depending on variety)

RESTING BEDS - Through winter my garden beds may "look bare" but in reality they are covered in a 10cm layer of cow/sheep/goat chook poo, leaves, garden waste (No kitchen waste as it encourages rats) etc which is allowed to break down over the colder months..... I use the beds, while they are resting, like a compost  ... saves on double handling plus feeds the soil & free range worms all at the same time (I do not need to use a “Captive Worm Farm”)

GREEN MANURE CROPS - I do not want to use Green manure crops because I don't like the idea of digging them in (too much manual labour for me)   ..... I find using animal manures a far easier, less hassle-free way of increasing the soil structure and fertility of the soil

MULCH - I only mulch my garden during the winter months when the garden beds are empty. I do not mulch the plants at all during their growing season because it can encourage molds to flourish. I plant the seedlings very close together ….as they grow they create their own shadow on the ground excluding and out growing weeds etc.

GROUND LEVEL BEDS - I keep the beds as close to the ground as I can to reduce water drainage & fluctuation of soil temperature. My soils are a naturally occurring sandy/loam with good drainage so no need to raise the beds. The higher the garden bed is raised the faster water will drain from it especially if it is built on top of an already sandy soil

WEEDS - If I see long tap rooted weeds then I know my soil is not fertile enough (so I add more manure) ... If I see grass growing then I know my soil is fertile enough  ....... If I see a weed growing its not the end of the world ... I just walk up to it, crouch down and remove it ... simple ...

WATERING – I water my garden mid-morning and try to water it deeply once a week which encourages the roots to grow down into the soil where the temperature is stable. … short sprinkles of water every day can cause  roots to come to the surface and run the risk of expose to summer sun and hot soil temperatures  Watering at night can cause powdery mildew.

Below are some photos of food we grow year after year


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