Late spring is such a wonderful and productive time to be outside in the garden. Plants are in their rapid growth phase now, spurred into action by the warmer weather and spring rainfall. Now that the soil temperature is really warming up there is a huge variety of vegetable and flower seeds available and suitable to be sown.
If you are in a cool or moderate climate and you haven't planted tomatoes yet, there is still plenty of growing season left, particularly if you choose a small cherry type tomato or an early maturing variety such as 'Swift'. The warmer weather also means pumpkin, melons, zucchini and various other warmer weather plants can now be sown directly outdoors.
With only eight weeks left until Christmas we already have our popular Christmas Seed Bundles back in stock and we have recently listed some great little pots & saucers perfect for growing herbs, small flowers and dwarf veggies!
Read on below for this months gardening tips and some handy blog posts on how to use a soil moisture meter, tips on dealing with fungus gnats, an informative article on green beans and some great tips on how to water small seeds without washing them away.
More Seeds to Sow in November: The links below list more seeds that can be sown now in each climate. Click to browse:
▩ Cold Climate: Tasmania, Melbourne, Mt Gambier, Canberra, etc.
▩ Moderate Climate: Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, etc.
▩ Warm Climate: Brisbane, Bundaberg, Carnarvon, etc.
▩ Tropical Climate: Broome, Darwin, Cairns, Townsville, etc.
▩ Not sure which climate? Click here.
Pinching Out- Pinching out growing tips on young plants is the best method to promote lots of bushy sideways growth and plenty of flowers. Removing the main vertical growth (meristem) of the plant stimulates sideways (axillary bud) growth in the plants, making them fuller, bushier, and flower more prolifically. To pinch out plants look at the main stem and follow it downwards until you find a pair of leaf buds then simply pinch or snip off the growth above the buds using your fingernails or a pair of flower snips. Plants which will benefit greatly from being pinched out are dahlias, marigolds, petunias, snapdragons, cosmos, zinnia, chrysanthemum, and sweet peas. Herbs which benefit from pinching out are oregano, thyme, rosemary, lavender and basil.
Fertilising for flowers- The best time to apply fertiliser is when plants are growing most vigorously. To encourage flowering plants to produce an abundance of blooms apply a phosphorus rich fertiliser in late spring to early summer at bud formation. Remember that to prolong flowering, and encourage continuous blooms, regular deadheading is necessary- just prune off the spent flowers as they start to die back. Do not deadhead plants which you’re aiming to save seed from, as no viable seed will have been produced yet. Viable seed for seed saving needs time to mature, and to do this, flowers must finish blooming and completely dry out whilst still on the plant.
Transplanting Seedlings- With warmer soil conditions in late spring it is the ideal time to transplant seedlings such as Tomatoes and Basil into the ground. Remember to keep the water up to newly transplanted seedlings which are prone to drying out quickly while they are re-establishing themselves. Seaweed solution applied prior to, and directly after transplant helps to promote root growth and prevent transplant shock. Once your tomato plants begin to flower apply a tomato fertiliser to encourage fruit set and development of strong healthy fruit.
Wind- With strong winds common at the change of seasons make sure all your vulnerable plants are tied up to prevent any wind damage. Staking tomatoes, capsicums, eggplants, sunflowers etc is a foolproof way to protect the plants from damage. Select the right type of tie for your plant; soft plant ties, or rubber lock ties are ideal for most vegetables and flowers from seedling age to fully grown. For larger plants and trees consider using a jute webbing style tie. To prevent damage to plant stems, ensure ties are firm and the plant is not rubbing against the supporting stake. Cut off and replace any old plant ties from previous years which may be too tight or are likely to wear through.
Beans- Easy to grow, reliable and prolific, beans are a staple food for almost every household. They come in many varieties; runner beans, bush beans, climbing beans and in various colours; purple beans (which turn green when cooked), yellow beans and of course green beans. Beans make a wonderful crop to grow over the summer months and are fun to plant and harvest with kids! Beans are a very nutritious food; high in protein and in fibre! Climbing beans also really make good use of vertical growing space, and will happily climb up a trellis or jute net. They're a relatively quick crop to grow- producing pods in around 65 days! Read on below for our recent blog post all about green beans.