Garden tasks for April: Prep for winter crops

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Grow your own! Swiss chard, blood sorrel and kale.
Grow your own! Swiss chard, blood sorrel and kale.

The Brassica family – including broccoli, kale, cabbage and Asian greens (mizuna, tatsoi, bok choy, etc) – is the star of the winter garden alongside lettuce and spinach. All of these crops need rich, fertile soil, which means that before a new season of sowing or planting, the veggie patch should be revitalised. By the end of summer, the soil in a productive veggie garden is low on nutrients. They have been taken up by summer crops, leached out by watering or rainfall and lost when the soil is disturbed with the removal of plants. Here are some tips for revitalising your soil:

Carbon is the building block for fertility. This is added through compost as well as with a carbon-based soil conditioner such as EcoBuz HumiGro. Using the two together ensures that sufficient carbon is added to the soil.

• If the soil is compact, spike it intensively before spreading a thick layer of compost over it; sprinkle with HumiGro granulesor water them in as a drench (1 tsp to 5L water). Afterwards, water again. If possible, leave for a week before planting out seedlings.

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