Brassica Seedlings

After a long productive summer, the key to success is to refresh and improve the soil before planting new crops.

Dig in plenty of organics, like well-rotted compost, sprinkle over some Yates Dynamic Lifter then mix it all in well, forking it over till it’s fine and crumbly. Rake over the surface, water well and it’s ready for planting.

Autumn’s a busy season in the vegetable garden. Summer crops are fading and it’s time to prepare for cooler weather. Here are some timely tips for the autumn vegie patch:

    • Sow lettuce, radishes, spinach, cabbages, broccoli, turnips and leeks. Most can be started in pots and transplanted as the soil cools.
    • If space permits, take the opportunity to leave a section of the bed empty for a season. The old term ‘to lie fallow’ meant that the field would be ploughed, manured then left unplanted until the next season. It’s a valuable practice so, if you can, clean out the summer crops, dig in some aged manure and leave the bed to rest for a few months.
    • Alternatively you can sow a 'green manure' cover crop into the vacant spaces in your vegie garden. A combination of lupins and mustard is a time-honoured choice for adding nutrients into the soil. You'll need to leave it to grow for at least 6 weeks, then chop it down and fork it in all through the soil where it's been growing.
    • Harvest the last of your tomatoes and dry them for using later on. Or, you can cook and freeze pulped tomato in ice cube trays, to add to winter dishes.
    • Pick pumpkins, but only after their stalks have dried and shrivelled. Leave them in a sunny, dry spot to harden off before storing.
    • In warm areas, lift and divide rhubarb clumps in early autumn. Wait until the depths of winter in cold districts.
    • In acid soil districts (where azaleas flourish), mix Yates Thrive Natural Garden Lime into the soil. This will sweeten it slightly, which will suit most vegetables better.
    • Check the Yates seed stand for broad beans. Even for beginners, these are some of the easiest vegetables to grow. Also, because they’re legumes, the plants will enrich the soil, as well as producing delicious beans. Not a fan of broad beans? That’s probably because you’ve never tasted them in their early stages when the beans are so sweet you can eat them pod and all. Try out Hughey, Evergreen or Exhibition Long Pod, they're a treat for the tastebuds!
    • Autumn’s the season for sowing onions (St Patricks Day is the traditional date) and planting garlic.
    • Watch for pests, especially if the weather stays warm. Choose pesticides with care, making sure they're suitable for your crop. Yates Nature's Way Organic Citrus, Vegie & Ornamental Spray is ideal for use against most sap-sucking and chewing pests.
    • Keep feeding Yates Thrive Fish Blood & Bone Plant Food to your leafy vegetables and salad greens.


Vegies To Sow:

  • Winter Brassicas
    Kale, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli can be sown now. Brussels sprout seedlings sown earlier can now be transplanted into the vegie patch. Most brassicas take a while to mature, but are well worth the wait! The fastest maturing brassicas include delicious and distinctive Cabbage Sugarloaf, which can be harvested in 8- 12 weeks. If you're up for trying some beloved old heirlooms, we have Yates Broccoli Romanesco and Yates Cabbage 'Savoy Purple'. Baby leaves of kale will be ready for picking in around 7 weeks.
  • Asian Greens
    Quicker to mature than traditional cabbages and cauliflower, there’s Wong Bok (Chinese cabbage), delicate white or green stemmed Bok Choy and crisp, delicious Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli). You could also try easy and succulent Choy Sum for stir fries, or tangy Tatsoi steamed or fresh in salads.
  • Peas
    Sow peas directly into damp soil in the garden, then withhold water until you see green seedlings popping up. Peas like an alkaline soil, so apply some Yates Thrive Natural Garden Lime prior to sowing. Dwarf Greenfeast is a heavy cropper that doesn’t need staking. Sugarsnap and Snow peas are delicious pod and all, but they'll need a tripod of bamboo stakes to climb up.
  • Broad beans
    Sow your broad beans directly in the garden in rows or clumps, and keep them moist but not overly wet.
  • Spinach
    This delicious and nutritious green enjoys the cooler weather. Spinach Winter Queen matures in 8-10 weeks, but can be harvested when young for salads. Sow spinach seeds directly into the garden in clumps around 30cm – 40cm apart, then thin to the strongest seedlings in each group.
  • Leeks and Spring Onion
    Perfect for warming winter soups, Welsh Wonder can be sown directly into the garden in drills or raised in trays and transplanted when 10 cm high. They take around 12-20 weeks to mature, so sow some versatile Spring Onions in between; they'll be ready in around 8 weeks.

Growing tips:

Feed vegies regularly during the growing season using Yates Thrive Fish Blood & Bone Plant Food. It feeds through both the roots and the leaves as you water and encourages healthy green foliage and a strong root system. So start fertilising early, to ensure a great crop and improved yields.

Check the seed packs for recommended spacings, and stagger plantings over several weeks to extend your harvest.

Dewy nights and cooler conditions also means snails and slugs are about, so protect young plants using Yates Blitzem.

Related products

Yates Thrive Natural Garden Lime

A certified input for organic gardening that contains natural lime (calcium carbonate) from Te Kuiti, in the King Country, to adjust soil acidity.

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