January in the Garden
January 1, 2022

Sweet summer grow guide

The garden is a trove of juicy treasures this time of year with an abundance of deliciousness to be grown. There’s something for even the fussiest of eaters and plenty of brag-worthy produce to harvest. Dash down to your local nursery for seed packets and seedlings trays and begin your nutritious, sweet summer gardening adventure today with Life is a Garden!

Starting off on the right root

Remember to use prepared compost and potting soil from your nursery as these products have been treated for bugs and weeds. Pick up a bag of Bio Rock Root Builder and plant with it to grow strong roots and yield more yummies. Always check the back of seed packets for sowing information and the labels on seedling trays and pots for planting instructions.

Fruit to fall in love with

Nurseries are stocked with a selection of fruit trees, seedlings, and seed packets for you to sow and plant now. Stay hydrated this summer by growing these water-rich, nutrient-dense fruits:

  • Tomatoes – 94% water and high in lycopene, which helps protect cells from damage.
  • Watermelon – 92% water and soaked with nutrients, antioxidants, and amino acids.
  • Strawberry – 92% water, sodium and cholesterol-free, packed with fibre and low on calories.
  • Cantaloupe melon (spanspek) – 90% water and 100% of the recommended daily vitamin C.
  • Papaya – 88% water, aids digestion, helps with weight loss, and is loaded with vitamin A.

Super-charged veggies to chomp

Sow from seed or grow from seedling! These health-boosting, hunger-busting veggies are ready to go into the ground now:

  • Beetroot – rich in folate (vitamin B9), which helps cells grow and function well.
  • Capsicum – loads of vitamin C that’s important for the absorption of iron in the body.
  • Leeks – low in calories and high in nutrients such as magnesium and vitamins A, C, and K.
  • Radish – rich in antioxidants and minerals such as calcium and potassium.
  • Spinach – a great source of fibre and loaded with iron, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K.
  • Broccoli – get your calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc from this super veg.
  • Cabbage – boasts a glorious nutrient profile including folate, potassium and magnesium.
  • Carrots – high in calcium and vitamin K for healthy bones and strong teeth.
  • Cauliflower – rich in fibre and B-vitamins, as well as antioxidants and phytonutrients.

Strapped on space? Grow an edible container in a sunny spot on the patio using the benefits of companion planting. Try these combos: basil and tomatoes, capsicum and spinach, carrots and leeks, radish and beetroot.

Fragrant, hearty herbs

Spice up your salads and smoothies or add a burst of flavour to your summer sundowners. These sweet-smelling herbs are ready to be sown from seed or planted out from seedling trays now:

  • Spearmint
  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Lemongrass

Try this: Stuff the ends of old stockings with lavender and rosemary stalks. Pop them inside your cupboard and enjoy smelling the freshness on your clothes all day long.

Ripe and ready treats

Edibles in the garden are excited to make the journey from soil to plate. Harvest these now:

Fruit
Apricots, apples, bananas, blackberries, cherries, figs, grapes, guavas, kiwi fruit, lemons, litchis, mangoes, melon, nectarines, pawpaws or papayas, peaches, pineapples, plums, pomegranates, prickly pears, prunes, raspberries, strawberries, sweet melon, and watermelon.

Vegetables
Artichokes, asparagus, aubergines (eggplant), baby marrows, beetroot, brinjals, cabbage, carrots, celery, chives, corn, green beans, mange tout, patty pans, pumpkin, radishes, red onions, spinach, and sweet potato.

The winning water-wise way

Our summers are hot and our water is precious. Growing water-wise doesn’t mean your garden is destined to boring. On the contrary, going water-wise highlights our local gems and gives our native birdlife and butterflies a time to shine. Consider these simple tips:

  • Grow plants that are indigenous and especially suited to your region’s rainfall.
  • Create different water usage zones by grouping plants with similar water needs together.
  • Purchase water-retaining crystals from your nursery for beds and containers.
  • Fill beds and gaps with: hairy leaves (lamb’s ear), grey leaves (lavender) and needle-like leaves (rosemary), which can all withstand wind, salt spray and drought.
  • Remember to check your sprinkler system valves periodically for leaks and keep the sprinkler heads in good shape. Check all your taps and hosepipes for washer damage and replace those that need it.
  • When bathing pets, wash them outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs water.
  • Use sprinklers that deliver big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller water drops and mist often evaporate before they reach the ground.
  • Healthy plants are happy plants, so don’t forget to fertilise with Bio Ocean – this will strengthen plants’ cell walls, which means that plants need less water and will withstand extreme temperatures.

There you have it! Your summer just got a whole lot sweeter and a ton more nutritious. Enjoy your homegrown goodness and learning how to plant water-wise while you’re at it.

Source: Life is a Garden

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