Gardening / Time to start on summer veggies

Raised vegetable beds… great for gardeners with back problems.

AS I write, the temperature is predicted to be 27C in Canberra with snow in the mountains down to 1200m! However, it is fairly safe to start the summer veggies.

Cedric Bryant.

Veggies can be grown several different ways, either by making formal beds of timber (but never treated pine) or alternatively corrugated-metal raised beds, which have a number of benefits for older people and for anyone wheelchair-bound or with a bad back. There are numerous long-handle garden tools for such situations.

The easiest way of growing the above-ground veggies, ie lettuce and spinach, is to simply plant among the flower beds. I am sure no one can give me a good reason why not.

ANYONE with the smallest patch of dirt or even a large pot can grow their own tomatoes. In reality, almost all veggies can be grown in large pots or even reused polystyrene containers.

Many tomatoes just out of glasshouses have soft, floppy stems and need to be hardened off before planting. It is better to look for plants with thick stems. When planting, remove the lower leaves and dig them in deeper than in the pots they were bought in.

NORMALLY, English spinach and various types of lettuce are grown from seedlings, whereas cucumbers, French beans, carrots, pumpkins and radish are grown from seeds planted now.

Water in with seaweed plant nutrient to encourage strong root growth immediately after planting/sowing.

If veggies and flowering plants in punnets are for sale at a local garden centre, it can be assumed it’s the right time to plant them.

Exhibits at a Horticultural Society show… anyone can enter with special sections for children who have grown their own veggies and flowers.

A FUN thing to do later in the year is to show off and enter one of the Horticultural Society of Canberra’s shows. They are not only for experienced growers; anyone can enter with special sections for children who have grown their own veggies and flowers. I’ll keep readers posted when one looms.

IF every tree and shrub in the garden wasn’t fed last month, get on with it now without delay. If using pellets, keep back from the stem or trunk of plants. There are no feeder roots close to the stem of trees and shrubs. This is not important if using liquid fertilisers as these will be absorbed into the soil immediately going directly to the root zone. Liquid plant food will need to be applied more often than pellets.


  • Watch out for caterpillars, which just love grapevines, both fruiting and ornamental. Yates organic Nature’s Way Dipel only kills caterpillars and no other garden pests.
  • For fruit fly use Yates Nature’s Way organic Fruit Fly Control. Spray the trunk, surrounding ground and lower branches when fruit first starts forming before it changes colour.
  • Trim Camellia sasanquas now as the new buds for next winter’s flowers will soon start to form.


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