Sow seeds for leafy greens during the week from Thursday 1st December 2016. Best days are Friday 2nd, Saturday 3rd and Wednesday 7th [here in New Zealand]
In Auckland the weather has got warmer and the ground has been drying out. These are challenging conditions to grow lush greens of lettuce and silver-beet.
They bolt to seed rather than make leaves [see the top photo, on the right? The red-stemmed beets loooong stalk – gone to seed].
Or diseases can grow quickly. Lettuces, deep inside the head of leaves, go to mush. Silver-beet shows rusts and molds.
Grow hot-climate greens as well/instead.
I’m an optimist so will sow seeds throughout the week of
- Lettuce – a number of varieties of non-heading types, so hopefully some will do well – you never know!
- Silver-beet [including rainbow chard/ bright light beets – the ones with vibrant colored stems – so stunning to see in a garden] Ever hopeful.
- New Zealand Spinach – ours is self-seeding so I’ll look see if there are little, new ones growing. It’s OK cooked [needs 2 changes of boiling water to draw out and minimize the oxalic acid content – in the same way that adult forms of true spinach and silver-beet also need]
- Hot-climate ‘greens’ including:
Magenta Spreen [Chenopodium giganteum] – see Wikipedia for more info
Amaranth [we like Mekong Red = Amaranthus tricolor] – see Wikipedia for more info
Orach [Atriplex hortensis] – see Wikipedia for more info
All grow more strongly in warmer weather than do lettuce or silver-beet. Most also grow far taller than lettuce. Do some research. Have a go with something different too.
This is a challenging time to have traditional leafy greens grow well – they much prefer cooler weather.
Grow hot-climate greens instead now.
PS. To encourage greens to grow leaves instead of bolting to seed, keep them well-watered and give them shade from hot sun – either by taller plants or by shade cloth coverings. Check them daily [especially lettuce with its small, shallow root system] and pick individual leaves for salads and cooked greens.