Growing more from less with advice from Whites09 Sep 2018
Making the season longer
A lot of vegetables will continue to ripen at the end of the season especially if you can create a warmer microclimate using fleece, pop-open covers, windbreaks and tunnels. These devices will create a warmer growing space and at the same time provide protection from the cold and frost. Your garden often has areas protected from the wind and other places that catch the sun earlier or for longer. Learning which plats are suited and thrive in the different areas of your garden will help you harness natural microclimates.
Choose plants wisely
Mix your plants up with different maturing varieties to give early mid and late-maturing crops. Look at growing different plants than what you would normal grow. There are great micro veggies and mixed salad leaf plants like mizuna, endive, spinach, tatsoi and some lettuce varieties that can be harvested for long periods with a little bit of attention. There are so many great varieties around and a wide choice, so choose your plants with greater attention.
Using good gardening techniques will help your garden produce more and provide healthier plants. In winter, the soil is often wet and compacted, so it’s a good idea to aerate the soil and keep digging in compost and manures. Dig deep and try to move the soil around rather than just turn it over. Depending on your soil, even mix some coarse river sand to break it up and develop that rich digging loam tat gardeners covet. Consider using a lighter more friable mix early in the season if the ground is heavy and damp. Use heavier composts when the soil is warmer; that’s when worms and the composting process is more active.
By sowing early and undercover with pop-opens or tunnels and cloches, plants can get a head start. Also try warming the soil by using mulch, garden fabric or black plastic.
Plant in Succession
Plant more than one crop to make the most of the season. As soon as a crop is finished, follow it up by planting another again. Consider planting another variety. Another practice is to plant a smaller initial crop, then follow this up with subsequent plantings 2-3 weeks later. This is ideal for lettuce and salad greens. Many people get the spring gardening bug, go out and buy a stock of plants, dig them in and that’s it.
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