Monday, March 10, 2014

March Gardening Plan In The Summer Rainfall Region Of South Africa

I planted a lot of flowers in the pumpkin patch
I didn't see March coming. One moment it was February and the next thing I know a third of the month was gone and I'm not quite sure where it went.

Tomorrow I'm going to the big mall to do my monthly shopping.

It will be groceries including food (mostly non-perishables) as well as any winter preparatory stuff that I need/can plan for, for  now.

This mall is not far (15 minutes from my house) but I try to restrict my trips to once or twice a month, so I generally plan for the trip so I don't forget anything I'll need the rest of the month. I also try to restrict my trip to the local shopping centre where I buy when I've run out of something and can't wait until month end(it's around 5 minutes from my house).

Anyhoo, I'm planning to buy some seeds to replenish what I have, to make sure I have enough to do another big planting in March.

According to my monthly planting guide, this month I can seed beetroot, cabbage, carrots,cauliflower, celery, chinese cabbage, collards, garlic, artichokes, horseradish, kale, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, radish, rocket, shalots, spinach, spring onions, swedes, swiss chard, turnips, basil, turnips, chives, dill, tarragon, oregano, parsely, marjoram and thyme.

I already have some of the herbs growing in the garden. Some of the vegetables and herbs were also in last month's list and basil, lettuce and rocket are self-seeding from previous crops,but I'm going to plant most of the vegetables and herbs on the list again, just to ensure a good succession crop.

While in town, I'm also going to look at prices for a net to protect the crops this coming winter.  Judging by how cool it is this Autumn, it looks like we're going to have an unusually cold winter.

March Harvests

Picking pumpkins and butternuts from this patch
In terms of harvests, I'm picking a lot of pumpkin, butternut, marrow, cucumber, leeks, onion greens, chilli, cherry tomatoes, basil, parsely, lettuce, mint, maize, green peppers, spinach and vegetable leaves (from broccoli, beans and pumpkin mostly).

Between what I could pick and what I have in the freezer, I did not have to buy  a lot of vegetables this month; just potatoes and a few out of season stuff we wanted but could have done without.

I've used the last of my preserved cabbage and carrots though, so I'm going to have to buy until the next crop matures.

It's hard to get this succession planting right, because it's hard to work out how many seeds I need to plant to get a good crop that can sustain us until the next batch matures.

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