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Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Edible Gardens From Crop Rotation and Companion Planting to Maintenance

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Edible Gardens Series Part 3 and part 4 and 5

Part 3 is selecting and buying the seeds and plants.
Probably the most enjoyable part of the edible garden process.
So which seeds or plants and where to buy and what about crop rotation?
Let’s find out…
I'm talking with Glenice Buck, landscape designer and consulting arborist.

You don't have to go to a store, because every type of vegetable is available online, either as a seed, or seedlings.
You can buy advanced seedlings as an example, from a mail order company in Gippsland, Victoria if it‘s getting a bit late to sow or plant your winter crop. www.diggers.com.au 
They call them speedings, because they’re at least a month ahead of where you would be if you started them from seeds.
Diggers seeds speeding collection
Seeds are of course much cheaper but they could be 6-8 weeks behind seedlings, especially cabbages and other brassicas which are quite slow growing.The other issue if you plant out winter crops too late, so that when they're maturing, the season is too warm. Warm weather can bring with it more fungal problems and a horde of insects to infest your crop.
  • Crop Rotation Is Important
Crop rotation is important of course so that you don't have a build of pests of diseases with a particular crop.
If you understand which group the vegetable your growing belongs to, then you can understand what to plant next once a certain crop is finished. Never grow the same crop more than once in the same bed.
curtesy Margaret Mossakowska
Fabacea or Legume family: peas, beans
Asteraceae or Daisy Family: Leafy crops: spinach, lettuces, chicory.
Solanaceae or Potato family:-tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, capsicum
Apiaceae or Carrot family-carrots, parsnip, parsley, dill, celeriac
Brassicaceae or Cabbage family: broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, radish
Amaranthaceae or beetroot family: beetroot, spinach, swiss chard
Cucurbitaceae or Marrow family-cucumber, zucchini, squash, marrow, melon

If you have any questions of course, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville 

Edible Gardens part 4 Companion Planting
This series is about edible gardens from start to finish.
So far we’ve covered, site selection, soil preparation and selection of plants or seeds for your garden Part 4 is about companion planting,
So what is it?
.Let’s find out…
I'm talking Glenice Buck, landscape designer and consulting arborist.

If you’re dubious about companion planting at the very least, plant out some flowering annuals close to your veggie garden to attract pollinating insects.

Marigolds and alyssum attract not only pollinators but beneficial insects as well.

Some proven successful combinations of plant species are: 
  • Marigolds (Stinking Rogers) planted out in veggie beds will repel a number of bugs with their somewhat smelly foliage and are proven to kill nematodes in the soil.
  • Chives, thyme and catnip planted with roses will deter aphids and other typical rose diseases.
  • Basil works well with tomatoes by repelling flies and mosquitoes.
  • Dill, chervil and coriander growing in between carrots will help to deter insects.
  • Alternating leeks and carrots in rows will protect each other from insect attack. 
  • Beetroot, onions, silverbeet, lettuce, cabbage and dwarf beans all work in combination with each other to create a mini ecosystem and will battle through insect attack well together.
  • Chervil and coriander are good to plant amongst carrots.

Edible Gardens part 5

Ongoing Maintenance
So what’s on the list? Mulching, fertilising, pruning, weeding but what else?
I'm talking wiht Glenice Buck, landscape designer and consulting arborist.
.Let’s find out…

Top of the list is watering your garden, especially the veggie garden.
Glenice recommends hand watering so you can monitor the needs of the veggies.
Fertilising is not far behind as well as using seaweed liquid every 10 days to 2 weeks.
  • Once the plants are in and growing, you need to be aware of the soil moisture conditions. Autumn showers are always beneficial for the vegetable garden, there is nothing like rain to push along the garden. 
  • You will need to supplement this rain with hand watering. Whenever possible, I would encourage gardeners to water their vegetable garden by hand as you can assess the water needs of plants individually, however if this is not possible an irrigation system which is monitored regularly is fine but make sure in times of rain it is switched off. 
  • The biggest destroyer of vegetables through the winter months is over watering, which can cause fungal diseases.

 After the plantings have been in for about a week or so, I would recommend fortnightly applications of seaweed emulsions such as Eco – Seaweed from organic crop protectants. This is not a fertiliser as such, it is a root revitaliser that will help stimulate good plant health and condition along with many other benefits.

Applying fertiliser to the vegetable garden is best completed with a liquid fertiliser such as Eco amino– Gro, Yates Nature’s Way or Amgrow’s Harvest. This can be done once a fortnight or as per packet directions. You can also use your home-made compost tea on your veggies whilst they are growing.

If you have any questions of course, why not email realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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