The nights are getting cooler and the days shorter, but there's still lots happening in the veggie garden and plenty you can do to enhance your self-isolation experience, eat healthy and reduce your need to go to the shops!
Both chillies and capsicums are turning red and as a general rule can be harvested at any stage of ripeness. Most varieties tend to ripen from green to dark brown to red.
Capsicums are sweeter if left to ripen on the vine, whereas chillies are hotter.
Leave a small piece of stem attached when cutting them off and capsicums will keep for a week in the refrigerator, chillies for two, or you can dry them.
You can try keeping your potted chillies alive for another season by moving them in from frosts, pruning them back and reducing watering without letting the soil go bone dry.
Make the most of the autumn glut of tomatoes, zucchini, beans and cucumbers by freezing or preserving. Think pickles, chutneys, relishes, pasta sauces and soups.
Cut herbs that are running to seed, chop them up and freeze in ice cube trays or in plastic zip-lock bags.
Compost any veggies that have finished or are past their "use-by date", or feed them to the chooks.
Keep checking the brassicas for caterpillars.
Potatoes can be dug up and stored now.
Clean the soil off them, ensure they are completely dry and set aside any with soft spots to use straight away. Put them in a cardboard box, paper bag or basket so they are well ventilated and store in a cool, dark location, but not in the fridge.
You can also leave them in the ground and harvest as required, up to September-October, as long as they are in well-drained soil.
Continue to pick up and destroy any fallen and diseased fruit to prevent re-infestations of fruit fly and codling moth. Don't put infected fruit in to the compost - cut it open and destroy the grub or feed to the chooks.
Trapping the moths and destroying infected fruit should reduce the population of moths and grubs significantly.
All gardens clubs are in recess at the moment and club members are relishing the opportunity to spend extra time in their gardens due to the lockdown.
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