April is nearly here and it’s a perfect time of year to be out planting. The weather is cooling down and we may even start to see some rain. I’m betting on a wet winter this year where I am living-an old farmer once told me that if the bark is shedding off the gum trees then we are in for a wet winter and my trees are certainly shedding their bark right now which is perfect for the fire season.
So I’ve got my winter garden established and I’ve planted an abundance of vegetable seeds and seedlings, but I’m keen to get my hands dirty and plant some more so Let’s get into it……
Why Plant A Vegetable Garden.
The feeling you get when you realise you can feed your family from your backyard is dangerously freeing. When you can walk out your back door, pick some food and come inside and prepare it for your family you will get a feeling of achievement and a sense of freedom like no other, maybe we don’t need the supermarket that much, (well this is how I feel every time anyway). I do my basic grocery shopping at the local supermarket now but the bulk of it comes from my own backyard, I can’t wait to get chickens and really kick it up a notch with my own meat and egg production. It’s on the cards but iv’e had a really hard time convincing my partner who is absolutely terrified of chickens.
But maybe you don’t want any of that, maybe you just want to throw in a few seeds and see what comes up, or it’s a back yard project with the kids which is fantastic (kids really love the process of a seed growing into something beautiful) in any case you will still need to know what to plant and when to plant it and so… you’ve come to the right place.
Importance Of Establishing Your Garden Bed Before Planting
It’s really important to establish your garden bed before planting, as they say ‘prevention is better than cure’. Making sure you have good healthy, soil is important. If you can get your plants into the best soil to start with you have already done half the work.
If you are starting from seeds you can use a seed raising mix in your bed where you plan to place your seeds otherwise you can just sow directly in your garden soil. The more healthy your soil condition the better results you will get from your plants.
soil is valuable for a number of reasons:
- absorbing and retaining water
- as a source of nutrients
- as an anchor for the plant
- as a home to a myriad of visible and invisible forms of life
There are 3 main soil types are:
The ideal mix is called loam which is an equal combination of sand, silt and clay
If you would like to know more about soil types leave your comment below and I will write another article of the best types of soil to garden with and how to improve your soil condition.
What To Plant
Warm Areas (frost free or occasional light frosts- North from about Coffs Harbour all the way across to the west to Geraldton)
- Leafy greens- .Asian greens, lettuce, Mizuna, cabbage, silverbeet, rocket and spinach
- brussel sprouts
- Herbs-Coriander, parsley, lemon grass, chamomile and oregano
- Beneficial flowers-marigolds, sunflowers, pansies, cornflowers, violas, snapdragons, stock, verbena and non-invasive lavender (planting flowers in or around your vegetable garden is important for attracting pollinators and beneficial insects and they look great too)
Cool To Cold Areas (Low temperatures for extended periods of time, all of Tasmania, most of Victoria, the southern highlands of NSW, the ACT and a portion of SA)
- Chinese cabbage
- most Asian greens
- spring onions
- Herbs-Coriander, mint and lemon balm
- Flowers-pansies, violas, Echinacea, stock, verbena and lupins (planting flowers in or around your vegetable garden is important for attracting pollinators and beneficial insects and they look great too)
Temperate Zones (Occasional winter frosts, pretty much the rest of Australia, most of the inland, some areas of Victoria, most of SA and the southern area of WA)
- Asian greens
- spring onion
- broad eans
- Herbs-parsley, basil, coriander, Rosemary, marjoram and thyme
- Flowers-cornflower, Calendula, Dianthus, pansies, viola, snapdragons, stock, nasturtium, verbena and marigolds (planting flowers in or around your vegetable garden is important for attracting pollinators and beneficial insects and they look great too)
Giving Your Plants The Best Start
Don’t forget to top up on your mulch at this time of year and give your plants a healthy feed. Mulch is important for weed suppression at this time of year. A tip is to mulch after watering, to a depth of about 8cm. Keep your mulch clear of your plants stems and especially your young seedlings. The best mulch is a low environmental impact mulch that enriches your soil as it breaks down.
feed your plants a seaweed tea or a low environmental impact liquid fertiliser (I like to use a combination of my own fish water and worm tea). Apply in the early mornings and follow the directions on the packet.
Make sure you cut down the competition for your tasty veggies by weeding thoroughly. It may seem like a boring and fruitless job but I can guarantee you it will prove very beneficial in the long run. Weeds like to take over, shade your plants, strangle the roots of your plants and steal their water so it really is important to keep them out of your garden.
Water early in the mornings, and instead of a quick water try giving your garden a deep soaking a couple of times a week, this will improve your root structure by making your roots go deeper for their water.
You can check your soil moisture before watering to save on your precious drinking water. At this time of year mother nature likes to help water for you so save where you can.
How Does Your Garden Grow
I’ve really enjoyed sharing my tips with you today on ‘What to plant in April” and would absolutely love to see how your garden is growing.
Send me a comment below to tell me what you have growing or even share a pic of your garden
make sure you sign up to my website to receive all my latest tips and tricks, next I’m going to be writing about a delicious zucchini, spinach and feta pie I made with my garden pickings, it was an absolute hit with the family and didn’t cost much to make.