July in your edible garden
Wow how the year is flying. Here in the Southern Lakes, winter has finally made its mark. We have had a few weeks of huge frosts, brilliant sunny days and also a good dollop of the white stuff just in time for the school holidays.
In my edible garden we are still harvesting broccoli and cauliflowers, beets and the kales (#feelslike fiftywayswithkale). I am extremely grateful to the glasshouse for providing us with other leafy greens including rocket, miners lettuce and other lettuces.
In this issue:
- Nature’s way of beating the bugs
- Citrus is rolling in
- Mini fruit trees
- Rainy day ideas
Nature’s way of beating the bugs: If you live in a frost prone area, you may have had a run of heavy frosts. For me when this happens it just innately feels right, and what we need at this time of year. I love the clear night skies that cause the freeze and I love waking up to a frost as this often signals that we are in for a wonderful sunny day.
I mentioned in my June garden journal that frosts can be harmful. On the flip side frost can also do good for aspects of the garden. Deciduous fruit trees do really well from a frosty winter as the cold helps set them up for budding in Spring. Frosts are also nature’s way of stopping the cycle by killing some of those bad bugs that can play havoc in the edible garden.
Citrus is rolling in: We generally don’t grow citrus well like other parts of NZ, however cold tolerant citrus such as the Meyer lemon do grow well here. I can never have enough lemons whether it be for the cooking with, making hot lemon drink, adding slices to a G & T or just to have sitting pretty in the fruit bowl.
Hiatt & Co top tip: If you are planting a lemon tree choose a warm sheltered north or west facing brick or concrete wall to give it with the best start. If you already have a lemon tree then now is the time your lemons will be ready, if the colour is good and the fruit slightly soft it will be time to harvest.
Mini Fruit Trees: I have just pruned my espalier apples, we prune to encourage new growth and fruit for the coming season. If you have space to espalier (grow along wires against a wall or fence) then I highly recommend you consider it as they look gorgeous across all the seasons. If you are keen to get a fruit tree now is a good time to go treat yourself, the local nurseries will have the fruit tree stocks in ready for planting.
Hiatt & Co top tip: If you don’t have much room but would love your own fruit trees, there are now many divine dwarf fruit trees you can plant, many will even do well in a pot. Check them out, see which ones suit you and your climate. Good things come in small sizes.
Rainy day ideas: With all the rain we are getting this winter, now is a good time to start to think about what you may like grow this spring or any changes / additions you may like to make to your edible garden. Spend this time looking for and saving pictures of things you like for inspiration.
Until next month