What To Grow
Prepare the bed before you buy the crowns to plant in late winter – early spring. Since this is a perennial crop which can last for up to 20 years it is well worth the effort of establishing properly. Asparagus needs good drainage and plentiful food and can be planted very successfully in a raised bed enriched with compost and well rotted manure. Seaweed is an excellent mulch. The crowns are planted in a trench, but with the roots straddling a ridge. Cover so dormant shoots are about 4cm below the surface. Do not harvest spears the first year, and only harvest for a few weeks the second year. Remember this is a long-term investment.
Late plantings of broad beans in June may be very slow to germinate. Better results are usually achieved with an autumn or early spring planting.
Prepare the soil well with lots of organic matter. Needs rapid growth for flavour.
Only plant winter varieties of lettuces (cos, salad bowl, oakleaf, butterhead and mignonette varieties)
What to Plant
Things to Do
Autumn is a time to plant green manure crops so they can establish well before the frosts. Green manure crops suitable for planting in Canberra in Autumn are:
Legumes: Broad beans, field peas, lupins, sub clover, tic peas and vetch.
Non-Legumes: Barley, oats and rye. Legumes are very useful as they fix nitrogen in the soil whilst the non legumes provide bulk organic matter. Cut or dig in the green manure in spring, at least 4-6 weeks prior to planting your summer crops. Flowering crops need to be dug in before flowering, cereal crops before producing a head of grain.
Early varieties can be sown in April to early May to be harvested from spring to early summer. Mid season varieties are often sown in late autumn or early winter and long keeping varieties in winter or early spring. It is worth experimenting with the timing of mid or late season varieties by making successive plantings to determine the best time for your specific garden.