Jobs in the patch

Top 10 Jobs in the patch

Autumn is action time in the food garden, so let’s get busy with these 10 top jobs.

  1. Tidy strawberry plants by removing any old leaves and unwanted runners then renew the mulch.
  2. Lift tomato plants in cold districts and hang the plants in a warm spot under cover to let the last tomatoes ripen.
  3. Prune fruited canes of thornless blackberries, loganberries and other summer berries at ground level, then tie the new shoots to the supporting stakes or trellis.
  4. Collect fallen apples, inspect them carefully for any sawdust damage that indicates codling moth attack, and cut out, bag and bin damaged sections.
  5. Buy rhubarb crowns (root clumps) and plant into well-drained soil that’s been enriched with manure.
  6. Pick ripe pomegranates and freeze excess arils in plastic containers for use during winter and spring.
  7. Check every morning for fallen nuts beneath macadamia trees so you get them before the rats find them.
  8. Prune citrus trees to remove any deadwood and stem sections that are swollen by gall wasp.
  9. Plant radicchio and its close relative endive to have their spicy and slightly bitter leaves to enjoy for winter salads.
  10. Cut back finger limes after harvest, wearing protective gloves – shorten long shoots and open up the centre of the plant to let in more sun.

You’ll find more than 50 jobs and projects to do around the garden this month, including planting spring onions, potting up winter herbs and making a batch of leaf mould to improve the soil, in the April 2021 issue of ABC Gardening Australia magazine, out now.