Spaces are opening up in the vegetable garden after harvesting all those ripe vegetables. Hanno and I talked about it on the weekend and we've decided to rest the garden over summer. We used to always do this. Summer always brings with it very hot and humid weather and thousands of bugs so it's a battle to keep everything productive and healthy. In the past couple of months we've noticed our tomatoes haven't been producing well and there have been a few fruit fly strikes. That's not a good sign and it convinced up to stop producing for all of summer and let the soil rejuvenate.
Hanno took these photos of the sunflowers. He caught them just as the sun had highlighted them from the back. I love these photos. Didn't he do a good job!
Our plan is to harvest almost everything that is growing now. That includes cucumbers, tomatoes, sunflowers, silverbeet, beetroot, eggplant, potatoes, celery, zucchinis, capsicums, leeks, beans and corn. We also have various herbs, ginger, sweet potato and green onions growing, they'll all stay in and shouldn't have too much of a problem growing over summer. When we harvest those vegetables, we'll let the chickens in for a couple of days to clean up the bugs and insect eggs in the soil, then we'll plant green manures.
Green manure will keep the garden productive over the hot months, enrich the soil and make the worms happy. I'll go to Green Harvest for the seeds - they have a big range of green manures, we'll go for some kind of a legume and grass mix. You can read about green manures here.
Soon the bright yellow of the sunflowers will be gone and it will be all green out there. I'm actually looking forward to having the summer off and not worrying about whether our tank water will stretch or if they'll be more rain. We will use the valuable water we do have in the tanks to keep our fruit going and we will concentrate on making our fruit vines and trees productive and healthy.
So, it's back to the vegetable market for us soon. I know the vegetables won't taste as good, I know they'll not be as fresh and who knows what sprays will hide in what we buy but for now this is what we have to do. Our next planting will be in March.