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Organic Vegetable Gardening – August

August may be a slow time in the vege patch in some respects, but there are a few things you can get on with now that will put you in good stead for some bumper crops in the spring.

What to plant in August: (seedlings only)

Broccoli Cabbage Cauliflower

Perpetual spinach Silverbeet Garlic

Prepare now & protect against pests

Plant the right companion flowers in August to attract beneficial insects into your garden, ready for when the pests turn up in spring! If you only have a small vege patch you may want to plant the companion flowers in pots, by doing this you can also move them around the patch, putting them close to any vegetables that pests have taken a liking to. There are many companion plants you can use, here are my top three.

Phacelia has little purpley-blue flowers that produce an abundance of pollen which attracts hoverflies. The Hoverfly larvae will be your own little army of natural allies for a number of vege garden pests including aphids, scale insects, mealy bugs and psyllids.

French Marigolds are fantastic repellers of both soil living pests and flying pests. A hardy, annual plant, French Marigolds should have their dead flowers regularly removed to encourage new growth. They have the ability to deter soil living nematodes as well as whitefly, and white cabbage butterfly. Known as a soil cleanser, you can just dig the remains into the soil once the plant has died.

Sage is a fantastic culinary herb, and also does wonders for the vege garden. Grown as a border or in a container, its fragrant leaves will attract beneficial bees into the vege patch and repel pests such as carrot fly and cabbage moths simultaneously. As a perennial it is still protecting your plants during autumn and winter when some of the other beneficial companions have died.

In addition to planting beneficial companions, it is a good idea to let some of your winter vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy, pak choy and mustard lettuce go to seed, their flowers will attract the beneficial companions as well.

Start Small

If you haven’t planted seeds before, give it a go this year. Now is a great month to start. By the time your seeds are ready to plant out as seedlings we will be well into spring and you will have saved yourself a packet. Collect up some old yoghurt pots, egg cartons and seedling trays or buy a paper planter maker from www.ecostore.co.nz and you will have a great way to recycle all your old newspapers too!

Here are some relatively easy seeds that you can sow now;

Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, silverbeet, celery and spinach.

Towards the end of the month you can sow;

Tomatoes, capsicum, melon and cucumber

Just sow a few of each seed every couple of weeks so you will end up with a good succession of vegetables coming through and if you end up with too many seedlings, give some away to your neighbors.

Happy gardening!

Sarah Davies Patch from Scratch

3 comments on “Organic Vegetable Gardening – August

  1. loraine on said:

    hi we have just planted a new vege garden and I find all the info on companion planting really interesting…hope it works.
    Is it too late to plant potatoes now ? I see that you have to get special spuds with the shoots ?
    thanks.

  2. It is important to get seed potatoes either from a garden centre or Koanga gardens sell organic ones. No its not too late to plant them.

  3. Brenda Franz on said:

    When planting companions that don’t like each other ie Potatoes and Pumpkins, how far apart must they be? If I planted marigolds or borage in between the crops would they still hate each other and suffer accordingly?

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