Summer Vegetables - What to plant?
We have three major issues to overcome in the summer vegetable patch soil, water and climate. Our native soils are low in humus, a form of carbon, so we need to add a soil improver (Baileys Soil Improver Plus - which contains Grosorb, aids water retention) and lightly work a 2cm layer into the top 5 to 10 centimetres before planting. This is standard practice even for existing vegetable gardens; all soils need a boost in order to help plants get going.
Some vegetables like it hot..... so these are the ones to plant out in early summer in Perth.
On particularly hot days vegetable plants may need more frequent watering than the 2 days per week limit so hand watering may be needed to top up supplies. Most vegetable plants will benefit from a cover of a light shade cloth during the height of summer. I like to add a layer of mulch to the vegetable patch consisting of a 2cm thick layer of the same Soil Improver
used to mix in earlier. For ongoing feeding I like the Baileys Energy Garden
as it has a strong organic base. Appy this to the soil surface and water in.
Ok, having sorted out the method then what can be planted at this time of the year. The quick answer is lots. Tomato, capsicum, chilli, eggplant, cucumber, pumpkin, zucchini, squash, onions and spring onions, celery, beans, lettuce, leek, English spinach and sweet and popping corn. In the cabbage tribe regular cabbage including red leaf type Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and pak choi. Root crops and tubers include beetroot, carrot, kohlrabi, Swede, Japanese turnip, radish including Daikon, sweet potato and parsnip.Then there are the real exotics like boab sprouts, Malabar spinach, choko, Chinese bitter melon, vegetable spaghetti, ginger, drumstick tree, turmeric, yakon, yams and taro. So there are lots of vegetables to play with at this time of the year, with something to suit every taste.