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After a long productive summer, or if you are starting a new vegie patch, 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 move on. Here are some timely tips for the autumn vegie patch:

    • Sow lettuce, radishes, spinach, 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 let 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.
    • Harvest the last of the tomatoes and dry for later use. Or cook and freeze pulped tomato in ice cube trays to add to winter dishes.
    • Pick pumpkins after their stalks have shrivelled. Leave 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.
    • Check the Yates seed stand for broad beans. Even for beginners, these are some of the easiest vegetables to grow. And, because they’re legumes, the plants will enrich the soil, as well as producing the flavour-filled pods. Don’t like broad beans? That’s probably because you’ve never tasted them in their early stages when the beans are so sweet you can eat pod and all. Try Broad Bean Hughey, Broad Beans Evergreen or Broad Beans Exhibition Long Pod.
    • Autumn’s the season for planting onions and garlic.
    • Watch for pests, especially if the weather stays warm. Choose pesticides with care, making sure that they are suitable for your particular crop. Yates Nature's Way Organic Citrus, Vegie & Ornamental Spray Ready to Use is suitable for use against most sap-sucking and chewing pests.
    • Keep liquid feeding with Yates Thrive Fish Blood & Bone Plant Food Concentrate leafy vegetables and salad greens.



Vegies To Sow:

  • Winter Brassicas
    Kale, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli can be sown now. Brussels sprout seedlings sown earlier from seed can be transplanted into the vegie patch. Most brassicas take a while to mature, but are well worth the wait. The fastest maturing brassicas include Cabbage Sugarloaf, which can be harvested in 8- 12 weeks and 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 or Chinese cabbage, white stem Bok Choy and quick growing Gai Lan Chinese Broccoli. Try Asian Stir Fry Mix Vegetables, a blend of tasty Asian greens including Tatsoi, Chinese Broccoli and Chinese cabbage varieties, delicious in stir fries and young leaves can be harvested for 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 which doesn’t need staking. Sugar snap and Snow peas are delicious pod and all and will require a tripod of stakes to climb on.
  • 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 leafy green enjoys the cooler weather. Spinach Winter Queen features large dark green leaves which mature 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, Leek 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 which will be ready around 8 weeks.

Growing tips:

Feed vegies regularly during the growing season using Yates Thrive Fish Blood & Bone Plant Food Concentrate. 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 you have a great crop and improved yields.

Check the seed packs for recommended spacings, and stagger plantings over several weeks to extend your harvest. Dewey nights and cooler conditions also means snails and slugs are about, so protect young plants using Yates Blitzem Snail & Slug Pellets.

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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