LIST: Five tasty edibles you can grow in your garden
WITH the worst of the heat behind us, getting back into the garden is starting to regain some of its appeal.
It’s finally cool enough to step outside and properly explore the garden – and not have to run immediately inside from a sudden bout of heat stroke.
The autumn period is perfect for backyard gardeners and hobby farmers in our region as the window opens to provide conditions suitable for growing a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs.
Sharing the tips with us this month is Kym Bacnhamm, the retail manager at Pohlmans Nursery in Adare, in the Lockyer Valley.
1. Citrus trees
Pohlmans retail manager Kym Bachmann said citrus trees were the first thing to come to mind for hobby farmers planting in Autumn. She said it was a good time to plant any type of citrus, including orange, mandarin, lemon and cumquat.
“It’s the best time to plant citrus trees in Autumn because the heat of Summer is gone,” Ms Bachmann said.
“And, when you plant them, they’ll find their feet through Autumn and Winter then they’ll just take off in Spring.”
As with all fruit trees, growers will need to prepare a larger space to dedicate to the plant.
2. Stone fruit
Like a citrus tree, freshly planted stone fruit trees would settle into the soil in the cooler months before thriving in the Spring. They also require more space – up to three metres per tree.
“With anything that grows taller and wider, you do need more space,” Ms Bachmann said.
Other than their need for more space, the trees are easy enough to grow.
“They’re not difficult to grow,” she said.
“They go dormant in Winter and that’s when you do your pruning – in July.”
They grow well year round, but it’s never too late to begin (or jazz up) your supply of homegrown herbs.
“You’ve got your herbs for cooking,” Ms Bachmann said.
“Your parsley, your oregano, your thyme, coriander, curry (leaves), sage – these are all edible.”
4. Winter veggies
Autumn is also the perfect time to get planting the tasty “winter veggies” you will want to serve at the dinner table in the colder months.
“Plant your beans, lettuce, beetroot, shallots, spring onions and snow peas,” Ms Bachmann said.
“Autumn you don’t have the extreme heat as you do in Summer – so your vegetables will grow a lot better.”
5. And anything else you can think of
Well, not everything. But it really is a forgiving time of year for green thumbs looking to eat what they sow.
“You can pretty much plant anything in Autumn, as long as you harvest before Winter,” she said.
“Anything that gets frosted like tomatoes, cucumbers and pumpkins – they’ve got to be harvested before winter frost.”