As the frosty grip of winter loosens its hold and the warmth of summer inches closer, Garden Masters everywhere, including you, are eagerly preparing for the arrival of frost-free weather!
This shift not only signals the rejuvenation of our outdoor spaces but also marks the perfect time to sow and plant a delightful array of summer flowering seedlings and vegetables. In this guide, we’ll explore how to prepare your garden for a season of bountiful harvests and vibrant blooms. Bring on summer, Garden Masters.
Spring Is Here! Start Sowing & Savouring
This time is crucial for nurturing a diverse range of plants, from ornamental blooms to a variety of vegetables that will become the stars of your summer salads and veggie feasts. If you’re feeling a bit lost as a beginner – no worries! Check out our beginners’ guide here to help you get started.
What to plant now:
Potatoes are planted this month and you can start sowing these directly where you’d like them to grow:
- sweet corn
- swiss chard
- baby marrow
- gem squash
- spring onions
Directly sowing seeds into the ground is suitable for vegetables that don’t tolerate the transplantation process very well. Carrots, turnips, radish, onions, and other root vegetables can be sown directly where they are to grow.
Seedlings of cabbage, cucumber, lettuce, parsley, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, on the other hand, can be sown into trays. This allows for controlled germination and the development of healthy seedlings. Once they’re ready, you can transplant them into the garden.
Take note: Baby marrow, pumpkin, and gem squash thrive in well-draining soil with ample sunlight. Providing proper support for sprawling plants like pumpkin ensures healthy growth and ease of harvest. Plants have different needs, and the sooner you learn them, the faster your veggie garden will flourish.
- Prepare the soil by loosening it and incorporating compost.
- Plant the seedlings at the appropriate depth and spacing, following the instructions on the packaging.
- Water the seedlings gently to help them settle into their new environment.
- Check the positioning of the sun and ensure there is sufficient light throughout the day to help your veggies and salads grow.
Tools and Supplies: Prep Yourself for a Tasty Meal
Visit your nearest Makro, Game or Builders Warehouse and add these essentials to your cart:
- Baby Vegetable Seeds
- 12 Pod Universal Seed Starter Kit
- Garden Master Herb Planter 30cm (Available for basil, rosemary, and coriander)
Pest and Disease Control: Prevention and Treatment
Vigilance against pests and diseases is essential during the warmer months. Regularly inspect your plants for any signs of infestation and take preventive measures like using natural insect repellents or introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs.
Harvesting Tips: When and How to Harvest
Harvest your vegetables when they are at their peak of ripeness. For leafy greens like lettuce and Swiss chard, pick the outer leaves first to encourage continued growth. Use clean, sharp tools to avoid damaging plants during harvest.
According to How To Cook Recipes, here are the top signs to look for when harvesting your plants:
- Fresh fruit and vegetables will generally smell fresh. Often, the more fragrant it is, the more flavourful it will be.
- Consistent firmness is a great sign.
- Look for rich, vibrant colour. This is a good sign that it is fresh and full of nutrients.
- Ripe, fresh produce should feel heavy for its appearance.
Once you have your veggies and fruit picked and washed, now comes the fun part – creating the freshest and tastiest meals you can think of! The sky (or at least the kitchen roof) is the limit! Perhaps a veggie-bake with cheese or vegetable lasagne layered with your eggplant? Delicious!
Got any great recipes you want to share with the community? Join Garden Master’s Facebook and Instagram pages and let us know what’s your go-to summer veggie or salad meal that everyone should try at least once!