Soil temperatures are still quite warm, depending mostly on how much shade a particular bed is in during the day.
Mulching your vegies will help maintain some of that warmth in the soil at this time of year. Water your patch first, and then add mulch to a depth of about 7cm. Keep the mulch clear of plant stems, especially young seedlings.
Seeds of lettuce, kale, broccoli, broad beans, English spinach, radishes, peas, leeks and shallots will still germinate at current soil temperatures. Be aware, however, that growth will be slower as we come into cooler weather.
Jerusalem artichokes can be harvested when they have died off. You can clean the tubers up and store them in an airtight container in the fridge where they will keep for a month or so, but they also store really well in the ground where they were growing.
It's simplest to use a garden fork and loosen the soil, starting around the outside edges of the clump to avoid stabbing the tubers, and then just taking what you need at the time.
Over the coming months keep working your way toward the centre of the clump, harvesting however much you need right then.
Any tubers left in the ground will potentially resprout next spring, and Jerusalem artichokes can become a bit of a thug in the vegie garden, so make sure you eventually remove them all if you don't want a forest of 2metre tall stems with yellow daisy-like flowers in that spot next summer!
Read more about gardening:
- Anxious wait for Jack Frost
- Soil temperature for veggie patch
- How vegetables deal with cooler nights
- Sow your sweet peas now
- Peak harvest time for frost-free vegetables
- Now is the time to transplant shrubs
- The mornings are getting cooler
- Saving the taste of summer and planning for the cooler months
- Save those seeds
Any pears, quinces, grapes or nuts not already harvested can be picked now. Store the fruits in the fridge until you can preserve them or process for freezing. Nuts are best stored in a dry, airy place in containers that allow air movement around them.
Keep checking any onions, garlic and potatoes you have stored and remove any rotten ones immediately. Try to get into the habit of checking them regularly so any rotting doesn't get a chance to spread. Improving air flow around your stored vegies will help to prevent rot.
You can put them in old onion bags or hessian sacks. Store them in a cool, dry place, hanging if possible, and where rats and mice can't get at them. Rats are seriously clever critters and can navigate many storage places, so you need your thinking cap on to outwit them!