My summer crops are coming to an end in my little vegie patch and I'm starting to think about planting for Autumn. I decided this season to try out some heirloom seeds after reading a bit about them. An heirloom seed is one that has been grown to be passed on to future generations and is open-pollinated and not genetically modified or hybrid. I'm hoping that it'll increase my yield and give us better tasting vegies. I let you know the results of my experiment in a few months time but so far, so good ... here's a pic of my peas so far!
Prepare first ...
Clear your vegie patch of harvested crops and throw them on the compost pile, then replace the nutrients in the soil with sheep manure/pellets, vegetable food or blood and bone with a lovely organic compost and water in well.
What to plant ...
I shared a blog from Garden NZ the other day on Healthy in Hawkes Bay facebook page that covered this perfectly. Here's an excerpt,
"Principal veggie seeds to sow now are quick growing crops such as lettuce, spinach, silver beet, mizuna, rocket and bok choy. All other autumn crops are best planted as seedlings to save on growing time."
"Plant out a soup bed, crops including: beetroot, broccoli, carrots, celery, cabbage, cauliflower, silver beet, spinach, spring onions, coriander, parsley, mint, thyme and rosemary, if planted soon, will be ready for harvest over winter and perfect for the pot!"
My favourite way of organically protecting my crops from snails and slugs is by setting beer traps. Half bury glasses of beer in the ground and let the smell of fermenting beer attract them and they will drown in the liquid. Old coffee granules can be sprinkled around the plants to try and ward off the slimy enemies.