Alan G says: Alan has been working the vegetable garden plots in this village for 20 years. He has real experience with our soil and microclimate. Alan suggests using Yates garden guide, which classes this part of Victoria as ‘cold’. He says this is a very reliable guide for our garden. This guide is displayed in the middle hot house. Here are his suggestions for April and May. SOIL PREPARATION Dig to a spade depth and turn over your patch. Add compost and manure. Water in and leave for a few days. SUITABLE PLANTS SPRING ONIONS. April is the last month to plant Spring Onions. ONIONS: Plant April, May and June SHALLOTS (bulbs):Plant April, May SPINACH: Plant April, May BROAD BEANS: Plant April, May. Last plantings to July, August. The beans are likely to blow over in a heavy wind so make sure they are protected. GARLIC: Plant May, June. LETTUCE: Plant all year round
John Upsher says: Who is John? May is a time of big change in the garden. The warm days that reminded us of summer are gone; the colder nights of autumn are with us. So think differently about what is in your plot. All those summer crops should be out; don’t leave them to go to seed*; put them for composting. Plants and seeds that we put in now will have cooler weather from now on so will grow more slowly. They will be in the ground for longer. So the soil preparation is really important. Not a lot of crops like to go in in May. It’s too late for root crops and for most of the cabbage family too. But it is the start of the season for planting the onion and pea/bean families. Garlic, chives, spring onions, garlic and leeks can go in now but it is a bit early for main crop onions – they go to seed if planted too early. Feed the leeks well but not too much fertilizer for the garlic. Last of the cabbage family plantings for a while. Broccoli and cabbage seedlings can go in now and brussel sprouts during the next week. Other green leafy veggies are OK for planting now like spinach & silver beet. We are at the start of the pea/bean season too. First broad beansand dwarf peas can go in now. Plant more than you need because they improve the fertility of the soil, boosting the nitrate level. Coles dwarf broad beans are best for early sowings because they won’t blow over in the winter winds. Also plant the broad beans about 30-40cm apart so that they get more bushy. *SAVING SEED. Many of the crops we grow are complex hybrids so seed saved from them will not be the same as the parents. They are generally inferior. Heritage varieties are the exception to this because many years of in-breeding have stabilized their genes.
Gardenate is an excellent website that gives a lot of information. Click on a vegetable and there is more information plus Q&A on that vegetable. Click her for what to plant in May