Kath Irvine

September in the Organic Food Garden

By Kath Irvine

excerpt taken from “Organic Garden Calendar” by Kath Irvine

The garden is getting into full swing and if you want to eat out of your garden you need to get up and get going too!

In the Vegie Patch:

Once your soils start warming up and drying out, it’s time to prepare all your beds. Add a good layer of your own compost, a sprinkle of rock dust (and worm castings if you have them.)

Take care of your perennials now – flowers, herbs, berries and rhubarb – by feeding and mulching them.

Feed your roses – add compost, a banana skin or two and seaweed, and mulch.

Put your cloches up to start warming your soil. Cloches are a wonderfully easy way to give your crops a good head start by protecting them from the inconsistent Spring weather.

This can be a difficult time of year to have a good supply from your food garden – Winter crops are ending and Summer harvests are yet to begin. If you were organised in Autumn you can have lots of salad greens going as well as silverbeet, spinach, broad beans, young artichokes, sorrel, parsley, broccoli shoots, cabbage, rocket, mache, young asparagus, corn salad and miner’s lettuce, as well as all the many delicious, nutritious Spring weeds!

Don’t be in a hurry to get your plants in… I was horrified to see Bean seedlings for sale in the supermarket the other day. It is only September – we can still only plant cool weather crops (unless you have a greenhouse).

Seed to sow

salad greens (remember to sow a little every month so you have a continuous supply) – lettuces, spinach, miners lettuce, Asian greens, mizuna, corn salad, cress,

herbs – parsley, coriander

vegies – early tomato, cucumber (for under cloches), zucchini (for under cloches), silverbeet, cabbage, artichokes (globe or Jerusalem), spring onions, welsh bunching onions, leeks, dwarf beans (for under cloches)

vegies for direct sowing – carrots (choose an early variety), onions, beetroot, rocket, parsnip, radishes

edible flowers and companion plants: nasturtium, calendula, marigold, borage, cleome, sweet pea, alyssum (very important companion to entice parasitic wasps), snapdragon, aquilegia, cornflower, carnation, cosmos, delphinium, viola, petunia wallflower, zinnia, larkspur, lupin, hollyhock

In the Home Orchard:

  • A good time to plant Citrus trees
  • Feed citrus trees and lightly prune out wind/ frost damaged branches
  • Liquid feed your orchard 3 days before or after the full moon
  • Begin monthly foliar sprays in orchard.
  • Spray copper if you suffer blackspot, leafcurl, fungus (you can mix copper and seaweed together and spray at the same time)
  • Plant out your living mulch beneath your fruit trees or clean up your existing ones
  • Mulch your trees
  • Prune your passionfruits once the frosts are over and feed lightly