As harvest comes to an end it is time to think ahead to the new season when you will rotate your beds. As you finish harvesting and cleaning up beds think ahead to what you will be planting next. Where you will be sowing root crops in Spring, don’t add bulky manures as crops such as carrots, parsnips and beetroot etc prefer deep well worked soil to get their roots into. Root crops also prefer potassium and phosphorus so apply wood ash, seaweed, blood and bone and a little lime. If the bed is not going to be planted for winter then sow a green crop of buckwheat for phosphorus or mustard if the ground needs sterilizing. Otherwise clear, compost and mulch all beds that are not planted out.
For your legume bed, April is broad bean sowing time. Peas too. These can either be green manure or for spring eating depending on what you sow. I have collected some heritage broad beans this year which I will sow along with the very pretty burgundy flowered one.
For crops already in the ground such as brassicas, leeks and celery, keep up the weeding, mulching and liquid feeding. Brassicas and onions planted now will not grow too much over winter over winter but take off once they detect the change in season and be ready for eating in late spring.
Perenials such as asparagus. Artichoke, rhubarb and strawberries can all be weeded, fed and mulched.
Sow: Broad Beans, onions (in trays or outdoors if warm). Brassica seeds sown now will take 4 months to mature. Lettuce. Peas including sweet peas.
Plant: Cabbage, broccoli, cauli, kale, lettuce.
Cultivate: Mound up soil around leeks. Keep well watered along with celery. Weed around asparagus. Protect heads of cauli from the weather by covering with big leaves. Keep weeding and hoeing between plants to keep weeds down.
Harvest: Beans, sweetcorn, pumpkins, main crop potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, spinach and silverbeet.
Prepare: Sow green crops, make compost and mulch bare ground in preparation for winter weather and preparing beds for spring.