Preparing to produceIn the Green Room

Smashed avo toast anyone?: Hass avocados are available at most garden centres, and with the weather cooling down, it’s the perfect time to plant. Photo: iStock.

I’m calling it now: the season has officially turned!

With weather cooling down and the occasional rains brushing through (but don’t get too excited –hand watering and reticulation will still be needed yet), it’s prime time to get out in the garden and get ready for the cooler weather.

Firstly, this is a perfect time to plant citrus, avocado and olive trees.

Though they’re suited to Mediterranean weather like ours, it’s important to get the soil and location right before they establish.

Mix equal parts compost, bentonite clay and soil in a hole about half a metre cubed in size, before planting your tree.

When they’re still young, fruiting trees need shelter from wind. This is especially crucial for avocados –in fact, I’ve seen agricultural growers protect their avocados with barriers of living corn crops, to shieldthem from the wind until they root and get strong enough to hold their own.

It may even be worth laying some stakes around the new tree, to wrap some mesh and create a protective barrier.

You should also consider this when choosing a spot for your tree, and though citrus and olives are more resilient, they’ll also benefit from a bit of shelter in the early days.

Once planted keep the trees watered regularly (I can’t emphasise enough how deceptive this rain is –not much of it will actually be getting down to the roots just yet) and lay some chunky mulch around the base, taking care not to pile it up against the trunk.

Sow what?It’s also time to sow your winter vegetables from seed.

Raise broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach and silverbeet, peas, beans, carrots, beetroots, coriander, chives, oregano, mustard, parsleyand lettuce, making sure to protect the seedlings from drying out.

You can purchase seed raising trays from most garden centres, but I prefer to use old egg cartons for a cheap alternative.

Poke some holes in the bottom of the carton for drainage, and you can write the species directly onto the cardboard with a pen to ID them later.

When the seedlings get to about three inches tall, they’re ready to plant into the ground with some snail pellets for protection.

Do you have a gardening question for Jess? Send your queries to jess.cocker [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训419论坛

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