So far this Autumn soil temperatures have been higher than last year reflecting the mild weather, so it’s still not too late to plant some greens, especially the Chinese style Pak Choy. The cooler weather reduces its tendency to bolt. Time is rapidly running out for cabbages and caulis though, as there is a risk that the onset of cooler temperatures will stop their growth. We are busy mulching around our brassicas, with a side dressing of blood and bone and also a little bit of lime. The mulch keeps the weeds down and the soil temperatures up.
We are harvesting our pumpkins. This year we tried some Austrian Oil Seed pumpkins which are grown specifically for their seed, although the flesh is also edible. We have also just completed harvesting the last of the quinces and they have produced an excellent crop this year. All the garden volunteers have taken some home. This year we pulled all the second flush of figs off our fig tree as they will not have time to develop fully before Winter and we hope that doing this will produce a really good first flush next season.
On the planting front, celery plants will go in this month and we also will be trialing some early snow peas. Spring onions can be sown at any time of year as can baby gem lettuce. In the glasshouse we will be planting sweet pea seeds in punnets ready for an early start in spring. On the corner section we have some Blackcurrant bushes to go in as they do very well there.
As usual there is so much to do. Weeding, especially the noxious oxalis is constant as is the general maintenance required to keep the garden productive.
While we attempt to recover from the shock of recent events, the Autumn garden calls. It is a welcome call – working quietly in the garden is comforting. It is important we continue planting the last of the leafy greens before the soil temperatures drop. Plants going into winter need to be as big as possible ( but not going to seed) as growth will slow down from now until August. The objective is to have big luscious leaves for winter so don’t be tempted to pick the leaves too soon. We are planting pak choi, silverbeet, cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflower.
It is a good time to repot plants, check for disease and make compost to stock pile for spring. We are also preparing to make our annual batch of organic spray and have cleaned up our glasshouse first with vinegar – then with baking soda to protect against disease during the colder months. We are especially proud of our peaches, date palms and olive trees – all grown from stones and pits. Date palms can make elegant pot plants under cover in a sunny space or in a frost free area of your garden. Dry the pits from fresh dates on newspaper then plant on a sandy soil mix in a deep tub, cover with more soil and place in a protected area / glasshouse. Dates are very slow growing and may take up to one year to emerge – so don’t give up too soon and take care not to over water – they prefer to be a bit dry.
We hope you can join us in a few weeks at our Community Garden Autumn Market day – April 13th – 188 Strickland St, Sydenham
For more information Contact: Christine Blance: firstname.lastname@example.org
MATARIKI MARKET DAY 2019
CHRISTCHURCH SOUTH COMMUNITY GARDENS
SATURDAY 22ND JUNE 10AM – 2PM
188 STRICKLAND ST , SYDENHAM, CHRISTCHURCH
PLANTS ~ PRODUCE ~ PRESERVES
BAKING – HOT SOUP ~ SAUSAGE SIZZLE
CONTACT: CHRISTINE 03 (9426630) EMAIL: INFO@CSCOMMUNITYGARDENS.NET.NZ