Sow seeds for luscious, tender leafy greens this next week – and best days are Tuesday 11th September 2018 through to the morning of Saturday 15th [here in New Zealand]
In Auckland the weather has been alternated between winter chills with winds off the Antarctic through to warm and wet weather out of the tropics. Welcome to Spring!
Let’s hope for good germination and root growth of new seedlings.
It is really important to have fresh, viable, strong seeds; preferably adapted to our local conditions if we want good harvests.
If the seed quality is poor then it grows poor seedlings, prone to disease and pests. Which gives us, as gardeners, a struggle to get the harvest we are looking for. Start with quality seed and the seedlings have a chance to grow strongly.
It’s time to re-plant crops which have fed us throughout winter as these will start to make seed-heads rather than leaves now the weather is getting warmer.
I will sow seeds throughout the week of
- Lettuce – I left many varieties to seed so hopefully some will do well no matter what the weather does this year – hot/dry/cold/wet. We’ve been eating the outer leaves from many varieties of the loose-leaf lettuces for months. Now these plants will be shooting up a stalk to make seeds.
- Silver-beet [including rainbow chard/ bright light beets – the ones with vibrant colored stems – so stunning to see in a garden] we left to seed in the garden and they are sprouting up now. Some people like perpetual beet [to us here, it is tougher and less tasty]. I think it’s too late to plant spinach before the hotter weather would send it quickly to seed instead of producing leaves.
- Rocket [Arugula] is tasty rather than bitter at this time. We plant 2 types – the large leaf annual and the stronger, smaller-leaf perennial rocket
- Coriander pretty nice early in the season before the heat of summer sends it bolting to seed with little leaf production.
- Asian greens [assorted] – here they grow well in the cooler months – they grow so fast! We have Mizuna self-seeding. We grow 2 types – an ordinary green one as well as the deep red one – stunning in the garden [for a short time]
- Endive We grow 2 types – a broader leaf variety and a lovely fine, frilly variety. They are lovely and tender in cooler months so we enjoy them now. Both grow more slowly than lettuce.
This is a great time to have leafy greens grow well – they love cooler, wetter times.
Later, when the weather warms up they bolt to seed fast and produce fewer leaves which easily go bitter.
Remember to protect seedlings from slugs and snails which appear in spring. Here’s a post of our exploration with different methods.
Enjoy delightful salads with a range of leaf types in these spring months.
May you and your garden flourish
For more ideas about what to sow and when in NZ, have a look at http://gardenate.com
For more about planting by the moon phases,
If you like experiments about when to plant for best results, a great one is to plant the same seeds in rows right beside each other [so all other conditions are identical], and label the rows with the date of planting. Then sow seeds from 1 packet at weekly intervals, each week in a new row.
This way you can see how the recommendations for best/worst seed sowing outcomes from moon-planting guides work for you. Maybe they do, and maybe they don’t.
I enjoy experimenting with such ideas – and if only I can rescue the rows from the snails and black-birds, I might even get some results to share!
Here’s a post I wrote about planting by the moon phases if you like more information and reflections on it.
Moon planting guides remind me to plant SOMETHING, plan a little, and help me have a continuous supply!