I often get asked: “how do I keep my food producing all summer long?”
The key to having good organic food in your garden all summer long is achieved by being in #ACTION over the next couple of months. It requires a commitment from you to your garden and Mother Nature and, in return, she will give you a glorious summer full of continual picking, nurturing and harvesting.
It’s not as simple as going to the garden centre, buying a few bags of compost and potting mix, grabbing a bag of sheep pellets and the biggest seedlings you can find. This kind of gardening will only produce one crop and those three things won’t feed your garden all summer long; in fact they have a tendency to dry out and turn the soil hard.
The steps to success are to:
- Plan your garden, no matter how big or small
- Know what vegetables and herbs are friends or foe
- Know your plants’ food requirements, i.e. self-feeder, previous season’s feeder, average feeder, or a heavy feeder
- Prepare your soil for the potentially long, hot summer months ahead
- Think about water and how easy or hard it will be to water what you plant
- Think about sun or shade requirements
- Consider if they grow big or tall
All the above before you even plant, PHEW…!
But, help is at hand here at Grow Inspired! Over the next month, we will cover all these things in more detail to grow your understanding of WHY these steps are so important.
Top tip: Succession sowing and planting are one of the keys to having a thriving producing garden over the summer growing season. It is good to start now and then sow/ plant every month up until the rain dries up.
Last year, my last planting was November, and then I planted again at the end of January which lasted me up until May. If you try to sow or plant anything in the intensity of the heat, it will usually get stressed, attacked by disease and never really produce to capacity.
By committing to sowing/ planting every month between now and the peak of summer, you will ensure success. As each month gets warmer you will see what does best. I find it enormously helpful to jot these down in my garden planner to ensure next year I will remember what the season was like. Listen to what nature is telling you.
Some crops have a quick turnaround, like mesclun, lettuce, radish, microgreens, rocket and coriander. Most of the above I sow every month to keep my supply going but I also keep sowing rocket and coriander to ensure a staggered supply over summer. All the above plants benefit from being in quite a shady place, otherwise some can bolt off to seed as the sun becomes too much for them.
#commitment + #action = #success
This is crucial, and your first step in producing food all summer long…