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Caring for your summer vegie garden

Follow all our top tips on caring for your vegetable patch this summer.

Caring for your summer vegie garden

You’ve sown your seed, raised your seedlings and planted your summer crops. Tomatoes are flowering, some may even be fruiting, and the promise of sun-kissed vine ripened produce is just around the corner ... but so too is summer. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste. Here’s a few pointers to keep your garden lush and productive through the heat of summer. 

Summer is very different depending on where you live in Australia. In the north, it’s wet and humid, down south it’s hot and dry. How you treat your garden will be very different depending on where you live. 


1. Nutrients - The Wet is a difficult season because nutrients are leached from the soil almost as quickly as they are applied. For many plants, it’s a feast or famine of resources. Using an organic mulch, like legumes or aged manure, is ideal as it releases nutrients as it decomposes. 

Supplementary applications of pelletised organic fertilisers will also help to keep plants healthy during this time. 

2. Crop Protection - Netting may be necessary to stop local wildlife reaping the rewards of your efforts, but always ensure it is pegged tightly to stop birds and animals becoming trapped in the loose netting. 

3. Observation – Walk around the garden daily to harvest any produce that is ready and pull weeds. This really is the easiest way to stay on top of your gardens needs, while also enjoying the beauty you have created. 


1. Mulch – Drying winds and scorching sun quickly dehydrates the soil and your plants. Apply a layer of mulch at least 7mm deep to help reduce evaporation from the soil. Use an organic mulch to improve the health of your soil and plants as it breaks down over the summer and autumn.

2. Water - Watering is critical over this time. An automatic irrigation system can save you hours of time at the end of a hose, but most importantly, can save your plants if you plan on taking a holiday away from your home. 

If hand watering, avoid wetting the foliage or splashing the hose around. Instead, focus water onto the root zone and try to water each plant a little longer than you would normally. This should allow you to have more time off between watering and help to drought-proof your garden by encouraging plants to develop a stronger, more adventurous root system. 

Watering should be confined to the early hours or late afternoon. Never water in the heat of the day as this can do more harm than good. 

3. Seaweed Treatments – While seaweed is not a fertiliser, it is a very versatile plant tonic. Apply as a diluted liquid over the foliage of your vegies every 2-3 weeks, or as required based on plant condition and the weather, to help plants become more resistant to extremes of weather as well as pests. 


Most importantly, enjoy the produce you have grown. Wander your garden to draw inspiration for home grown breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Savour the flavour of your crops, their freshness and maybe their unlikely beauty. Take comfort in knowing you are not only maximising the nutrient profile of the vegies you are eating because they are fresh from garden to table, but you are also doing your part to minimise food 'miles'. You know exactly what has been applied to each of the crops you pick for your table and that any 'waste' can be composted and returned to the soil. 

The harvest is a celebration and sharing it with friends and family makes it all the better. 

Happy holiday. 


A year’s supply of vegetables for two in just 20m2

Ryan Garratt and Sam Hidalgo anticipate the huge yields at Heronswood this summer

Beyond organics… exploring harmonic agriculture

Luca Foglietti shares his personal philosophies on combining science and ancient wisdom in our organic seed production.

Choosing Beautiful, Edible Plants

Bernadette Brady talks about creating art with vegetables at Heronswood

Companion Planting

Designing your own garden

Andrew Laidlaw, landscape architect at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, shares a step-by-step design guide for home gardeners.

Garden Pyramid

Clive Blazey explains the Diggers guide — our Garden Pyramid

Garden Recovery After A Bushfire

Where to start? What do you need to know? Join Sophie Thomson for all you need to know after the bushfire has passed.

Gardening with Flowers

Choosing the best Diggers selections for the cutting garden

Grow Your Own Berries

Tim Sansom gives his tips on pruning and training for success with your cane fruit crop

Grow Your Own Food (Early Summer)

Bernadette Brady helps you start growing your own food in just 1-3 weeks

Grow Your Own Organically

Bernadette Brady explains how we make 'weed tea', control pests and serve organic food in our restaurants

How to drought proof your garden

How to drought proof your garden

Improving your soil

Improving your soil

Maximising yield by summer pruning fruit trees

Julian Blackhirst explains the essentials to improve yields from your orchard.

Moon Planting

St Erth's head gardener Julian Blackhirst explains the lunar planting cycle

Plant Ratios for the Backyard

Clive Blazey's thoughts on providing the right balance of plants in your backyard

Q&A - Green Manures

Trials manager Ian Magnus answers questions about using green manures to boost soil fertility and water retention

Q&A - Mulch

Bill Bampton, head gardener at Heronswood, explains our success with making and using mulch

Q&A - Seeds

Seed manager Evette Jungwirth answers your questions about growing from seed successfully

Q&A - Soils

Hugh Hunkin answers your questions about soils and why they are at the root of most gardening problems

Soft green succulents for a lush green garden

Bill Bampton transforms Heronswood’s gravel garden

Spring Gardening

Bernadette Brady recommends getting your hands dirty with some tasks in the spring garden

Subtropical Growing Zone

Tim Sansom explains the heat generated by “Hot Zone” discussions

The “Hauteculture” of Espalier

Bill Bampton talks about turning an untidy orchard into a bountiful border

The best flower selections for ‘This goes with that’ summer borders

Clive Blazey, author of ‘The Complete Guide to the Flower Garden’, discusses the power of intelligent combination

Tips for keeping your plants healthy throughout the seasons

With air-conditioning becoming the norm in many homes across Australia, we asked indoor plant expert Jason Chongue to share his top tips to growing indoor plants in all seasons.

Tomato Growing Problems

Caromy MacDougall explains some common tomato growing problems and how to minimise them

Veganics and plant-based living

Plant-based living launches Veganics The vegan movement is gathering momentum for many reasons from animal welfare to climate change, and this is creating a wave of change across all industries from wine, to clothing and even gardening.

Warm season crops

There is a wonderful array of summer loving vegetables that thrive with the long days, sunshine and heat of summer.
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2022 Gardening Diary and Calendar Combo
2022 Gardening Diary and Calendar Combo
2022 Gardening Diary & Calendar Combo The complete garden combo for 2022! The beautifully illustrated Diggers Club Diary features a week to a page, seeds to sow each month, blank pages for seasonal observations, and handy pockets for your seed packets and plant labels, while The Diggers Calendar showcases stunning garden photography to inspire y...
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18 SEED PACKETS: The gift that keeps on giving for a year. This collection will guarantee 12 months of heirloom veges. The recipient will receive seeds for each season ensuring a supply of heirloom vegetables. The pack contains a total of 18 packets of vegetables seeds (Beetroot, Bean, Broccoli, Carrot, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Onion, Pea, Silverbe...
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2 year membership + Garden Calendar and 2 Seed Packets
2 year membership + Garden Calendar and 2 Seed Packets
Membership: MNE2CA2
Join the club and receive an exclusive gift, valued at $30. A stunning calendar featuring key dates, a guide to which seeds to sow each month and plenty of space to add your own events. Plus two free packets of some popular seeds – Tomato 'Black Cherry' and Lettuce Heirloom Mix.
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