Seasonal Garden Guide: Spring time in Aotearoa
Longer, warmer days, bulbs flowering, baby lambs in the fields, and the perfect time of year to sort out the garden in preparation for the warmer months to come, who doesn't love spring time!
So dust off those gardening tools, buff up those gardening shoes, and let's get our hands in some soil.
Dig in some compost and manure for healthy, fertile soil, and don't forget to add a top layer of mulch. Mulching helps your garden to retain moisture, meaning you need to water it less, and reduces weeds. A 5cm layer of leaves, grass clippings, straw or bark will do just the trick!
A good indication of healthy soil, is plenty of happy worms making their home in your garden, as well as a rich dark colour, a crumbly texture, and organic earthy scent.
What to Grow
Now you have your healthy soil, it's time to grow! Here are a few guidelines to help you decide what to plant this spring.
Grow what you like to eat. Make a list of veggies & herbs (and maybe even some fruits!) you enjoy, use your grocery list as a good indicator, and consider what you use most often.
Consider why you're growing food. If it is to save money, you might consider growing more expensive produce, if it is to be self sufficient, you might consider productive vegetables such as tomatoes, green beans, kale, courgettes and salad greens. Maybe you're goal is to eat organic, look into which crops test for the highest levels of pesticides when sold commercially.
Think about what will grow well in your space.If you have a humble garden size, you might want to maximise vertical space (with good climbers!), planter boxes and hanging baskets. If you have a garden which gets a limited amount of sunlight, you might consider focusing on shade tolerant herbs and veggies.
Our fave things to plant in September - November;
Beans - a great option if you're short on garden beds and want to make the most of your vertical space.
Carrots - can be directly sown
Lettuce - there are so many varieties! They grow well in planter boxes and pots.
Marigolds - so easy to grow and add a lovely vibrant pop of colour to your space.
Potatoes - grow well in buckets of hessian sacks if you have a smaller garden to work with.
Spinach - grows well in slightly shadier areas of the garden (or in the shade of some of your larger crops).
Tomatoes - Best grown in the later end of the season, depending on where you are in New Zealand, and tray sown.