There are plenty of jobs to keep us busy in the vegie garden at this time of year.
Spring is time to feed your soil. Spread a layer of cow manure or compost over the soil, then cover with a 5-8 cm layer of mulch such as sugar cane, lucerne or perhaps very fine bark.
Get any weeds under control now before they explode into growth, especially those in the vegie patch. Chip weed seedlings with a hoe and cover and mulch.
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Continue sowing leafy greens and broad beans every 3 weeks or so to extend your harvest and prevent short term gluts. Soak the bean seeds overnight before sowing and water in well, then don't water again until they are growing.
Harvest asparagus spears when they are 15-20cm long, using a sharp knife to cut each one just below the soil surface.
Keep picking broccoli side shoots to keep them producing. They might be small but will still be very tasty.
Beetroot is an iconic Aussie vegetable, perhaps known best as a compulsory ingredient in any salad roll or hamburger! Beetroot is a biennial vegetable that develops its tuber in the first year and seeds in the second.
It comes in a variety of shapes; round, cylindrical, flat or oval. It prefers full sun and a soil with a neutral pH.
Soak seeds in warm water for an hour or so prior to planting and sow in rows at least 20-30cm apart. It's important to know that a single seed can yield two to three plants, so remember this when sowing as you don't want too many seedlings at once.
Beetroot is not like most other root vegetables in that it transplants quite well. This means you can easily transplant seedlings to another row when you thin them out so the plants are about 10 cm apart.
Beetroot needs to be watered well to ensure the beets don't split or crack as they develop. Avoid over fertilising them as this can produce lots of foliage at the expense of the tuber.
Beetroot is relatively pest and disease free, although emerging seedlings can be defoliated by slugs, snails and slaters. Lure these pests away with a saucer of beer or cup of old yoghurt. If leaf spot or rust appear on the leaves, remove them and place in the rubbish.
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