1. Prepare your soil by incorporating quality composts and organic fertilisers now. If your soil is clayey and compacted, maybe an application of gypsum will help. Don’t add fertiliser until after planting your seedlings in a couple of weeks – and only if you think it’s needed.
2. Keep your soil moist and ensure you have a good layer of mulch to reduce evaporation. For vegie gardens, choose a fine organic mulch such as lucerne chaff or pea straw, but don’t apply any deeper than 50mm (2 inches)
3. Wait until the air and soil temperatures drop before planting – maximum daytime temperatures dropping by at least 5 degrees, and maybe after we get some much needed rainfall.
4. Cool season vegetables to plant soon include beetroot (seeds), brassicas such as cabbages, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflowers (seeds and seedlings), lettuce (seedlings, but keep constantly moist), carrots (best from seeds but keep them moist until germination occurs), peas – climbing varieties (a trellis is required) as well as dwarf bushes (sugarsnap, snowpea).
Mike’s passion for all things gardening has spanned more than 30 years, with the last 20 spent at TAFE Queensland educating students. He’s an accomplished garden writer, broadcaster and speaker, and is also heavily involved in community events. In his spare time he gardens and sings tenor in an a cappella quartet.