Start your summer crops

Jono Ingram. (Jacob Pattison) 68809_01

As spring comes to a close, Jono Ingram of Eat Grow Garden says it’s time for western suburbs green-thumbs to start thinking about summer crops.

Eat Grow Garden is a social enterprise from the west which supports community environment education and awareness initiatives, builds edible gardens and veggie patches in homes, schools, and community gardens, and builds native landscapes.

Jono spoke to Star Weekly about some tips for local gardeners as the weather warms up.

“It’s time to think about summer crops,” he said.

“Spring and summer crops need warm air temperatures, but more than that, they need warm soils. And this takes time to warm up. The first warm day of spring doesn’t make your soil warm enough to get straight out there and plant, but by the end of October we should be pretty close to being able to get going.

“For spring and summer, we’re planting crops like cucumber, green beans, zucchini, eggplant, capsicum, chilli and tomatoes.

“If you’ve got space, you can also look at growing melons and pumpkins. Corn is also a summer crop, but I tend to hold off just a little longer.

“If you are planting into raised beds, or pots, the soil temperatures usually increase quicker than planting directly into the ground. This means you can often plant these summer crops earlier, but just be mindful of cold rain, hail, and frost.

“Fruiting crops all use a lot of nutrients. So, before you plant prepare your soil with a good top dressing of organic compost and manure, and maybe a handful of potash. This will give your plants the nitrogen and other nutrients they need for a good crop.”

You can learn more about creating edible gardens on the Backyard Growers by Eat Grow Garden Facebook page.