Summer Veggies By Charlie Albone

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Now is the time to get your summer vegetables into the veggie patch but of course to get the biggest and best harvest you’ll need to do a bit of prep work.

Do a clean up

Start by clearing out any spent crops and removing any weeds, the more time you take pulling out weeds the less you’ll have to do down the line. If you have a blanket of weeds you can spray them with Richgro Beat-A-Weed. It’s completely natural so safe to use in your vegetable patch and gets to work instantly knocking down weeds to nothing in no time.

 

Improve your soil

With a clear area it’s time to improve your growing media. Vegetables like high nutrient and water holding soil as they take so much from the ground for their rapid growth, so you’ll need to improve what you have. I use a bit of home made compost, but as I don’t make that much I always add to it with Richgro Organic Compost and Cow Manure. I like adding cow manure as it increases the water holding capacity of the soil and as I travel so much it gives me a buffer if I can’t water everyday.

I then add some slow acting fertiliser such as Richgro Blood and Bone, which has so much more than just standard blood and bone. It has natural potash, organic phosphorus and blood meal that is a fast acting nitrogen and I like to mix this through the soil with the compost as it’s a great way to establish your veggies and give them the best start.

It’s important to dig the compost, manure and fertiliser into the soil as this will mix it through evenly as well as de-compact the soil making it easier for new roots to get out and find the nutrients. If your soil is dry or water repellent it’s a good time to add Richgro Ezi-Wet as this will ensure the garden absorbs water more efficiently and your veggies won’t dry out as quickly.

 

Get Planting

Once the prep stage is complete you can get onto planting. My favorite thing to plant at the moment is Zucchini as they are prolific flowerers and therefore provide an abundant crop. They do take up a bit of space so give them room to grow and keep an eye on them as the crop grow so quickly. Sweet zucchini can quickly become large, bland and tasteless.

Another issue with Zucchini is a powdery mould that can be combatted with a simple milk spray.  Dilute full cream milk by 20% with water and use a garden sprayer to coat the leaves. I like this method as it keeps the lady bugs safe and keep on top of the aphids.

Feed

Before mulching to help keep in moisture and suppress weeds I like to top dress with Richgro Organics for vegetables as it is a great way to feed your plants safely and organically with everything they need. A top dressing also ensures the nutrients leach down to the root zone of the plants.

For an extra boost of nutrients to really give your crop a quick, you can use a Liquid feed such as Richgro Black Marvel Fruit and Citrus. A liquid feed is absorbed instantly as it’s water based and is great to use in conjunction with slow release products. I would use a liquid feed weekly or every 10 days for ongoing maximum effect.

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