It’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labour, literally! After all your diligent care, watering, weeding and feeding your seedlings, a bumper summer harvest of fresh vegetables is ready for picking!
You’ve got so far, don’t let your delicious salad mix go to waste. Check out our tips on maximising your well-deserved summer harvest. (In early summer there’s still time to sow some varieties, start planting with our beginner gardening advice.)
● Don’t stop watering now. It’s hot and your vege mates are thirsty. Water in the morning, avoiding midday so you don’t damage your plants’ foliage. The morning is a more efficient use of water during summer as well. Our garden beds come with a built-in irrigation system for systematic, measured watering. Perfect for busy families or beginner gardeners with a lot of passion but little time.
● Mulch your garden to hold moisture and keep your younger plants safe from the summer heat.
● Be patient, capsicums and chillies need at least six hours of sun a day to change colour, they will get there, we promise.
● Cut your veges with decent, sharp secateurs, don’t pull your veges off their vines if you can avoid it as it damages the stems.
● Harvest as soon as your fruit and veges are ready. Frequent harvesting will encourage new growth. For example, the more strawberries you pick the more will grow. So don’t be afraid to dig in the moment those beautiful berries ripen.
● Chillies can be frozen and then popped straight into meals without defrosting or made into chilli jam for a spicy hit year-round.
● An abundance of tomatoes is perfect for homemade passatas and flavoursome tomato sauce. Freeze individual portions of homemade passata for quick on-the-go meals and pizza bases. Add homemade basil!
● Don’t wait until your veges are huge. Supersized cucumbers and zucchinis might seem like a credit to your gardening prowess, but they begin to lack serious flavour when left in the garden too long.
● Harvest in the morning for the freshest crop.
Now you’ve successfully planted and harvested a bunch of fresh veges, it’s time to start thinking about what to plant next.
From April to September growth slows dramatically as the cooler weather sets in. Start to think about which winter seedlings you’d like to start planting now, so they have time to enjoy the last of the summer warmth.
Broccoli, celeriac, cabbages and cauliflower are slow-growing, taking months to mature, so it’s time to get them in the ground and established before Easter.
Add some ‘season-shouldering’ seedlings like spinach, radishes and rocket to keep your burgeoning garden going between seasons.
Now you have a handle on planting seedlings, try your hand at succession planting with easy growers like spinach or lettuces. Succession planting means planting a few seedlings and then a few more 2-3 weeks later for ongoing green goodness!
A note on pests.
Remember, our garden beds include covered canopies, protecting your crops from pests, birds and curious cats and dogs.