Seasons

Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. 

Each season brings something new to cook, do and plant. Slow Food Berry to Jervis Bay offers plenty to do for each season, whether it be a  planting a summer vegetable garden  or taking a spin on winter’s classic pumpkin soup.  Take a look at our garden maintenance tips or our seasonal activities for this season!

Soil, Mulch and Compost

If your soil is too acidic or too alkaline your plants won’t be able to get all the nutrients they need, no matter how much fertiliser you add. Ph testing kits are widely available from nurseries and hardware stores. Test your soil pH to ensure your soil is between 6 and 7.

Too Acidic? – if your soil test indicates that your soil pH is too low or too acidic (which applies to most Australian soils) the solution is to add agricultural lime or dolomite. You can also use poultry manure.

Too Alkaline? – if your soil is alkaline, it means it has a high pH. You can increase the acidity of your soil by adding things like compost and manures, leaf litter and mulch. Iron chelates work too. In extreme situations, you can use powdered sulphur – one handful per square metre, once a year. Sulphur works very slowly and you won’t notice a change in your pH for about 6 months.

Mulch is organic material that covers your soil to stifle weed growth, while retaining nutrients and moisture in the soil. It promotes biological activity, such as worms and good microbes, which promotes growth. Late winter is a good time to mulch, before the onset of spring and summer weeds.

RECYCLED GARDEN MULCH

Mulch can be made from organic matter from your garden and kitchen and there are various ways to use mulch in your garden.

Compost is wonderful for your vegetable garden, decaying quickly, providing trace elements and nutrients to your plants and soil.

Garden Prunings are one of the easiest ways to add mulch to your garden if you have a garden shredder.

Grass clippings high in nitrogen they rot down quickly and are very beneficial to seedlings.

Lawn Clippings feed and insulate and can be used for mulching around vegetable gardens. 

Leaves are a free mulch which provide fibrous organic materials to the soil.

Newspaper can be used as an alternative to commercial mulch.

Seaweed is a beneficial mulch because it doesn’t transfer plant disease, is high in minerals and is free of seeds.

Straw can be used as a mulch around vegetable gardens and seedlings.

(Courtesy of ABC’s Gardening Show)

Whether using a bin, tumbler or open bay, the theory is the same. Perfect compost depends on maintaining a good balance of carbon-containing ingredients and nitrogen-containing ingredients. An easy way of remembering which products contain carbon and which contain nitrogen is to simply think ‘brown’ ingredients are carbons and ‘green’ ingredients are nitrogen.

Carbons

– Autumn leaves, pea straw, lucerne hay, sugarcane mulch, moistened cardboard, shredded newspaper (not glossy paper).

Nitrogen

– Lawn clippings, garden prunings, green leaves, kitchen scraps, citrus peel, egg shells, tea bags and coffee grounds.
A ratio of about 60% “green” material to 40% “brown” material is ideal, but not essential. Large material should be cut up as small as possible: the smaller things are, the quicker they break down. Animal manure will also speed up the process.
If making a heap or bay, build it directly onto the ground, rather than on concrete or paving, as this allows worms, bacteria, fungi and other beneficial organisms to get into the compost.

Layer the materials like a lasagne – brown, manure, green, manure etc
Water after each manure layer with molasses tea to feed the compost microbes. Mix 2 tablespoons of molasses in a 9 litre watering can.
Turn the heap every two weeks for oxygenation – the microbes that break things down quickest need oxygen.This compost will be ready to use in about three months.

Seed companies selling open pollinated seeds.

Open pollinated seeds are preferable as they are less prone to pests and diseases.

Natural Remedies for your Garden

SOAPY WATER SPRAY

Acts as a suffocant for soft bodied insects like aphids and hatchling caterpillars.

Simply rub a tablet of vegetable soap in your hands until the water is the colour of diluted milk.

This is far safer and more economical than using laundry soap flakes, where often too much is used and end up harming foliage and earthworms, as well as pests.

caterpillar hairy - Seasons

RHUBARB SPRAY

to help with unwanted pests

1kg rhubarb leaves

2 lit. water

Bring to boil and let seep till cold.

This is then the syrup.

Add 1part syrup to 10 parts water.


TICK REPELLANT

 – for humans (do not use on pets!)

10-25 drops rose geranium oil

2 tablespoons almond oil

Combine in a dark glass jar, shake and dab on skin and clothes.

NATURAL WEED KILLER

4 Litres Vinegar

2 cups Epsom Salts

1⁄4 cup Detergent.

Use 1part syrup to 10 parts water

WHITE OIL

– for scale, leaf miners

1 part dishwasher liquid4 parts sunflower oil

4 parts sunflower oil

Then use 1 tablespoon to l litre of water.

 

Herbal Teas to Grow at Home

  • Alfalfa – seed
  • Angelica – seed
  • Bergamot – seed or cutting
  • Elderberry – cutting
  • English Chamomile – seed and root division
  • Fennel – seed
  • Fenugreek – seed
  • Ginger – root division
  • German Chamomile – seed
  • Green Tea – cutting
  • Hibiscus – seed
blur close up dark 227908 300x300 - Seasons
  • Lavender – Cutting
  • Lemon Balm – seed or cutting
  • Lemon Grass – root division
  • Lemon Myrtle – cutting
  • Lemon Verbena – cutting
  • Juniper – cutting
  • Peppermint – root division or cutting
  • Pineapple Sage – cutting
  • Raspberry Leaf – cutting or root division
  • Rosehips – cutting
  • Sage – seed or cutting
  • Spearmint – cutting or root division

Autumn

baked pumpkin - Seasons

Autumn Eating

As the days get cooler, it’s time to dive into those warming, comfort foods. Turn on your ovens and break out your pots, it's time to start cooking warming up with these Autumn dishes.

cabbage - Seasons

Autumn Planting

There's still plenty of crops that can be planted in Autumn. The soil is still warm , so bring out your gloves and trowels and let's plant some seeds.

watering greens with watering can - Seasons

Autumn To Do

As the days cool down, it's a lovely time to be in the garden, collecting seeds to dry out for next years crops, digging in green crops to enrich your soil, and planting new crops.

  • Amaranth
  • Asparagus Pea
  • Basil
  • Beans – Climbing
  • Beans – Dwarf
  • Beetroot
  • Borage
  • Burdock
  • Cape Gooseberry
  • Capsicum
  • Carrot
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Chilli Peppers
  • Chives
  • Choko / Chayote
  • Cowpeas (Black Eye peas)
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • French Tarragon
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Luffa (aka Loofa, plant sponge)
  • Marrow
  • Mustard Greens
  • Okra
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Rockmelon
  • Rosella
  • Rutabaga
  • Salsify
  • Sage
  • Silverbeet
  • Squash
  • Sunflower
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Marjoram
  • Tomato
  • Turnip
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini
  • Artichoke
  • Asian Greens
  • Asparagus Crowns
  • Beetroot
  • Broad Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Coriander
  • Daikon/Radish
  • Dill
  • Endive
  • English Spinach
  • Garlic
  • Herbs, Mediterranean
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leek
  • Lettuce
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Parsnip
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Rocket
  • Silver beet
  • Spring Onion
  • Strawberry Plants
  • Swede
  • Turnip

Planting

As the weather cools down it is the perfect time to plant perennials and trees. The cooler weather gives them time to settle in without the summer heat drying them out, or the winter frosts damaging or even killing them.  So get planting to give your new additions some time to get roots settled, before it gets cold, and they’ll be strong enough to thrive.

You can find a list of seeds to plant, and online companies to purchase seeds from on our Autumn Planting post.

Save your seeds

Save all the open pollinated seed from any vegetables that have gone to seed.  Cut and put in a paper bag, with the name and date of the seeds on it, and store in an airy place to dry.

Winter

bowl vegetable soup - Seasons

Winter Eating

Now it's colder and the days are shorter, let's to dive into some soul warming foods. It's time to bring out those hearty vegetables, some sweet citrus and of course the crock pot.

group of seedlings in pots - Seasons

Winter Planting

Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean it's too cold for your seeds. Get out in to the garden and start planting something wonderful

agriculture botanical conservatory 1084540 - Seasons

Winter To Do

Now that the summer heat has gone, it's a lovely time to be in the garden. Winter is the perfect time to collect seeds and prune our trees towards the end of the season.

  • Artichoke
  • Asian Greens
  • Asparagus Crowns
  • Beetroot
  • Broad Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Coriander
  • Daikon/Radish
  • Dill
  • Endive
  • English Spinach
  • Garlic
  • Herbs, Mediterranean
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leek
  • Lettuce
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Parsnip
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Rocket
  • Silver beet
  • Spring Onion
  • Strawberry Plants
  • Swede
  • Turnip
  • Asian Greens
  • Asparagus Crowns
  • Broad Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Celeriac
  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Endive
  • English Spinach
  • Garlic
  • Globe Artichoke 
  • Herbs, Mediterranean
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Mint
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Potatoes (Late Winter)
  • Radish
  • Rocket
  • Silver beet
  • Spring Onion
  • Strawberry Plants

Pruning

Winter is the time for pruning fruit trees and grape vines. Avoid pruning in Autumn or early winter, as this is when fruit tree’s branch growth is at a minimum. The tree won’t have the energy to heal any wounds caused by pruning.

Pruning in late winter is ideal, as the tree’s are about to rev up again for spring growth, so will recover more quickly than at the start of the cooler months.

Spring

asparagus - Seasons

Spring Eating

Spring has sprung! This the perfect time to bring back some food from the warmer months, keep some of our winter favourites, or even combine some.

cactus terracotta pot - Seasons

Spring Planting

Spring is the perfect time for plants. Everything blooms, the skyline rejuvenates and we welcome back the warmth we missed. Bounce back into the garden as it bounces with you.

Journal800px - Seasons

Spring To Do

Be sure to get a head start for the rapid growing season coming up. Plan for this season, by organising a garden diary or a garden mood board.

  • Asian Greens
  • Asparagus Crowns
  • Broad Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Celeriac
  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Endive
  • English Spinach
  • Garlic
  • Globe Artichoke 
  • Herbs, Mediterranean
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Mint
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Potatoes (Late Winter)
  • Radish
  • Rocket
  • Silver beet
  • Spring Onion
  • Strawberry
  • Amaranth
  • Basils
  • Beans, Bush and Climbing
  • Bitter Melon
  • Burdock
  • Capsicum
  • Carrot
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Chilli
  • Chives
  • Coriander
  • Corn – til January
  • Cucumber
  • Dill
  • Eggplant
  • Florence Fennel
  • Globe Artichoke
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Luffa
  • Malabar Spinach
  • Melon
  • Parsley
  • Parsnip
  • Perpetual Spinach
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Okra
  • Rocket
  • Rosella
  • Salsify
  • Snow Peas
  • Spring Onion
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potato Varieties
  • Tomato
  • Zucchini

GARDENING DIARY

Spring is a great time to start a Garden Diary. It’s a great way to keep track of your plants progress.

Keeping notes of things like what you’ve planted, when and where, what pest issues and solutions you may have  will be a great reference for you, and a record to help you to remember lots of things you may otherwise forget. They also make great gifts for gardening friends!

Summer

peaches on white packground - Seasons

Summer Eating

Bring out your barbecue, prepare the mocktails and mix the salad, Summer is here. Summer in an incredible time for friends, fun and food.

seed planting in soil - Seasons

Summer Planting

Summer is here, and your garden will flourish with new plants. Be sure to care for them well and watch them prosper this summer.

watering can - Seasons

Summer To Do

Nothing like summer for a garden party, be a host and show your guests your magnificent garden, and maybe teach a little.

  • Amaranth
  • Basils
  • Beans, Bush and Climbing
  • Bitter Melon
  • Burdock
  • Capsicum
  • Carrot
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Chilli
  • Chives
  • Coriander
  • Corn – til January
  • Cucumber
  • Dill
  • Eggplant
  • Florence Fennel
  • Globe Artichoke
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Luffa
  • Malabar Spinach
  • Melon
  • Parsley
  • Parsnip
  • Perpetual Spinach
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Okra
  • Rocket
  • Rosella
  • Salsify
  • Snow Peas
  • Spring Onion
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potato Varieties
  • Tomato
  • Zucchini
  • Amaranth
  • Asparagus Pea
  • Basil
  • Beans – Climbing
  • Beans – Dwarf
  • Beetroot
  • Borage
  • Burdock
  • Cape Gooseberry
  • Capsicum
  • Carrot
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Chilli Peppers
  • Chives
  • Choko / Chayote
  • Cowpeas (Black Eye peas)
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • French Tarragon
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Luffa (aka Loofa, plant sponge)
  • Marrow
  • Mustard Greens
  • Okra
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Rockmelon
  • Rosella
  • Rutabaga
  • Salsify
  • Sage
  • Silverbeet
  • Squash
  • Sunflower
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Marjoram
  • Tomato
  • Turnip
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini
SEEDS AND SEEDLINGS

Get in early when planting seeds and seedlings to avoid having them dry out to quickly as the day heats up. Don’t plant seedlings out if it’s over 30 Degrees Celsius, it puts too much stress on them.

Water your seedlings with a liquid plant food to give their roots a good foundation.

LAWN CARE

Lawns need to be as healthy as the rest of your garden, so your whole garden is as weed and pest free as possible. Keep an eye out for any weeds, and pull them out as fast as they com up to stop them spreading their seeds.

Raising the height of the mower leaves the grass longer, preventing moisture loss. Leaving grass cuttings on the lawn, rather than using a catcher, creates an insulating layer on the grass.

FEED YOUR GARDEN

All plants can benefit from a boost with a liquid fertiliser. Worm Tea or Worm Pee is a fantastic natural feed for all plants, just be sure what you use is diluted.

Locally, if you don’t have your own worm farm, you can find locals selling Worm Tea or Pee quite cheaply on Facebook.

Garden Clinics

Every Season, Members of Slow Food Berry to Jervis Bay holds a Garden Clinic (Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring), where you can get some great gardening help and advice, for example…

  • How to sow healthy seed into punnet
  • How to take cuttings
  • How to propagate
  • Garden maintenance for the season
  • Includes a Q&A session, and at the end of the day you will go home with a great start for your vegetable patch in starter tubs and pots.

Attendee’s will need to bring with them,

  • Seeds you want sown
  • Secateurs
  • Notepad and Pen
  • Lunch
  • Hat

To see if there is a seasonal Garden Clinic planned, please check our events page.

Garden Clinics are open to Slow Food Berry to Jervis Bay Members only.

To become a member, please click here.

Registration is essential, for more information about the next Clinic, please contact:

Phone: Marilyn on 0416 018 977

or  Email: slowfoodberry2jb@gmail.com