Fellow Sprouters, now is the time to get spring seedlings and seeds into the ground!
What can you plant that you can harvest before term ends?
A constraint that many educators have in your school-based kitchen gardens is that you must have all of your produce harvested before the end of term.
One of the difficulties schools face is the unstaffed school holiday kitchen garden – so proper planning is needed to avoid waste, or having to come in too often in the holiday period.
If you still haven’t planted anything there are some very short growing season plants available in different varieties of carrots and peas – some even have a growing season as short as six weeks!
Avoid water-loving plants, as during the school holidays you may not have the ability to water them. For example, sweetcorn, sunflowers, rockmelons and zucchinis are all thirsty plants!
Have you got soil drying out on you?
Another important tip is to look at your soil to see if it is making best use of the watering that you do. The water should penetrate the soil and not run off. If it doesn't soak into your soil, make sure that you use a wetting agent with your watering – an easy fix is to use a few drops of dish washing detergent in a large watering can!
We’ll be coming into hotter weather, and we want to preserve that soil moisture, so put down a layer of mulch. This will pre-empt the beaming sun baking bare soil.
Fruit fly update
Adelaide CBD, including Adelaide Botanic Garden, was put in a fruit fly Red Outbreak area by PIRSA in May 2021. This has meant certain fruits and vegetables must be kept, processed or disposed of on-site (there are dedicated fruit fly bins); none can leave the garden.
In your kitchen garden, you’ll need to pick up any fallen fruit on the ground, and dispose of it correctly (note your fruit fly status at the PIRSA website and dispose of your waste accordingly). We want to prevent future outbreaks and diseased fruit trees.
Eat healthy and enjoy the warming season!
Kitchen Garden Educator