My garden is in a northern suburb of Melbourne, and is sheltered and frost free. The climate is temperate with average summer temperatures in the mid to high 20’s and average winter temperatures of around 15 degress C. Average night time temperatures in summer are around 14 degrees C and in winter they are around 6 degrees. In summer the temperature does get above 40 degrees a few times each year and in winter it does occasionally get close to zero at night, however I have yet to be aware of any sub zero temperatures in my garden.
I grow my edibles in both raised beds and in pots. The raised beds were made in 2010 from redgum sleepers. They are filled with ‘veggie mix’ from the local Sand & Soil place. I have supplemented this with Dynamic Lifter and home made compost. I mulch the beds with pea straw which I dig into the bed between crops. The pots are filled with potting mix which I buy without added fertiliser. I add my own slow release fertiliser to the potting mix whenever I change the crop in the pot. I reuse the potting mix but practice crop rotation with my pots – ie I don’t use the same pot for the same plant species 2 years in a row. When I sow seeds I sow them in the same potting mix with added fertiliser that I use for my pots but dilute the mix with perlite. I use approximately 3 parts potting mix to one part perlite for most seeds, but use a half/half mix for seeds that are most likely to rot (ie crops like pumpkins sown in late winter may rot before they get warm enough to germinate if sown in a medium that holds too much water.) I use liquid fertiliser or ‘compost tea’ on a monthly basis on most of the crops during their growing periods.
In this section you will find guides with ideas about what to do in the kitchen garden during each month which, although far from comprehensive and something of a work in progress, I hope will be of use.