Make the most of the longer days at the moment and get into your garden.
Preparing your garden for spring planting is best done now as the soil is warming up and things are coming to life after winter
It’s time to clear out weeds and give your soil a good turning over. Dig in compost and sheep pallets to fertilise your soil. (check out ZooDoo for delivery bagged garden products)
Plant new season veges like lettuce, spinach and silverbeet. Plan for where you will be putting your spring varieties like cucumbers, peas and zucchini. Most of these should become available over the next month.
Continue to stagger your planting (adding some every few weeks to ensure continual supply) of our seedlings that thrive all year round. Such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beetroot, celery , most leafy salad greens and rhubarb.
If you want to plant some onions get them in now. We have Pukekohe brown longkeeper onions and also pearl drops (a white cocktail onion). It’s also the right timing now for spring onions, and the delicious looking spring red onion.
You can also now start planting some tomatoes. If it’s still a bit cold try planting some in pots. Stake and tie them once they develop some height.
Apply a 10cm layer of mulch to protect your new plants from the cooler weather. Once the mulch starts to break down dig it into the soil.
Protect any sensitive seedlings you may have in from any late frosts. Recycle plastic milk bottles by cutting the bottom off and placing over the top of the seedlings. Even the new deeper plastic meat trays from Countdown work well on small seedlings. But there is still plenty of time for spring planting so don’t feel rushed this weekend.
Keen for some beans and some peas? Runner beans and sugar snap peas can also be planted right now. Both are idea for pots (just add a stake frame) and once ready can be eaten straight from the garden.
Your broad beans should also be ready now. If you’ve got too many how about freezing some. Blanch your broad beans first before freezing to prevent little spots appearing on them when frozen. How do you blanch? Put them in a pot of boiling water for a couple minutes, then quickly drain and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.
As always, turn over your compost and dig it in to your garden if it’s ready. How do you know when it’s ready? It should look like potting mix.
What to try something new this month? How about making your own compost? Compost is a great nutrient rich food for your soil that reduces the need for additional fertilisers.
Finally, plant any strawberry runners that you’ve still got left. And it’s not too late to start now, we have a few strawberry plants left to accompany your Christmas day pavlova.