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Southern Vegie Garden Notes July 2013

Quick Planting Summary        

After second week of August

Dreaming of fresh radishesBroad beans
Carrots (in warm spots)
Spring onions (in warm spots)
Mesclun (in warm spots)
Snow peas
Peas  (early crop massey and novella)
Sprout early potatoes in a frost free place

Hardy lettuce



The Simple Organic Gardening Course

Well grown leeks at Shirley IntermediateAt the end of this in depth course you will be able to grow healthy vegetables in your own garden. Imagine the satisfaction of picking fresh salad in the spring sunlight.

This spring three different times will be available:

6.30 -8.30  Wednesdays  August 28 to 16 October.
6.30 – 8.30 Tuesdays  22 October to 10 December
12 - 2  Saturdays  12 October to 30 November

At the end of this in depth course you will be able to grow healthy vegetables in your own garden. Imagine the satisfaction of picking fresh peas in the spring sunlight.
Find out more http://www.aplaceoflearning.co.nz/vegetable-gardening/
Email Mary to book now. mary@aplaceoflearning.co.nz . If you pay a booking deposit on the Simple Organic Gardening Course this entitles you to A $30 discount on  Vegetable Garden Planning at Your Place .


Vegetable Garden Planning at Your Place Beet perpetual spinach -  a winter garden wonder

This is the perfect time for Vegetable Garden Planning as you will be able to get ready to plant for spring.
This is a great way to start your new garden. In Mary’s one and a half hour visit to your place, you will create your Garden Action Plan, and have a mind buzzing full of ideas. Find out how to transform your world with a spade and some seeds at: http://www.aplaceoflearning.co.nz/vegetable-gardening/

Welcome to July's Southern Vegie Notes

The male blackbirds are starting to fight. This is a good reminder that Mother Nature is preparing for spring.

The best way for gardeners to prepare is to do all the mundane garden chores like sharpening your tools, cleaning out the shed and sorting out your seeds.July is also a great time for structural work such as building your compost heap.  It is also important to be pruning your fruit trees and berries during this month.

By the time I write the next set of Vegie Notes we will be having an extra hour of sunlight per day. It is really good to watch the plants in your garden including the weeds. For example the first Pak Choi in Delta Community Gardens are already beginning to bud up to go to flower. This is a little sign that the day light is on the increase. Watch out for plants which grow naturally in your garden as this will be a guide as to what you can plant.  I have just noticed that the first mint leaves are out.

Digging leeks at Shirley IntermediateFor me gardening is a continuous process of learning and adjusting. For example this year I think that I planted my leeks at Delta  in too big a block which has resulted in smaller leeks. The leeks we planted at Shirley Intermediate in a smaller block are twice the size. So next year I will experiment with block sizes and spacing.


Winter crops ready for harvest now  are: leeks, parsnips, silver beet, parsley, pak choi, potatoes, beetroot, perpetual spinach, mesclun,  broccoli and Brussels sprouts .

Wilding potatoes getting ready for spring growthWhen you harvest potatoes, it is important to attempt to leave no potatoes behind including the marble sized ones. Potatoes re-grow from even the smallest potato or piece of potato and become a weed nuisance the next year. These little left- behind-potatoes can smother your next crops and produce very little. I have found that no matter how hard I try I still leave some behind but I weed them out as soon as I see them.


Chooks avoiding the southerlyThis time from mid July to mid August is probably the time when there is the least planting in your vegetable garden. The soil is generally too cold and wet. Most seeds will rot. As I write these notes a bitter southerly is blowing and the soil is sodden. Even the chooks go up into their roost to avoid the cold southerly in their feathers.

This is a good time to plant berries and fruit trees.

Growing sprouts in the kitchen are a great way of providing winter nourishment while at the same time increasing your knowledge of how seeds germinate.

Suitable seeds are:
mung beans
alfalfa seeds
mustard seeds

Your seeds need to be food quality e.g. from Bin Inn or Kings Seeds. http://www.kingsseeds.co.nz/  Garden seeds may have fungicide on them.
Soak your seeds over night in a jar.
Strain the water off the seeds.
Wash your seeds every day until sprouted.

Sprouts can be kept in your fridge in a covered container


Lupins and mustard forming a winter soil coveringWhere possible keep mulching your soil. Cover your soil with straw, old leaves, seaweed, horse manure. This will give the mulch a couple of months to rot down.

Garden Tasks


Strawberry runners prepared for plantingThis is the time to lift your strawberries and give the bed plenty of compost.

www . aplaceoflearning.co.nz/southern vegie garden notes July 2012
Strawberries are really the amazing plant for tiny gardens. They can be grown well in almost anything from an old boot to any pot or container with drainage.  Fill your pot with compost and potting mix. Plant now for a delicious strawberry season in late spring.


Some weeds are not suitable for an urban section. In fact hard to say Ivy sprouting after being left lying on the groundwhere they are suitable for. Top of my hit list is ivy which will grow from a piece left on the ground. I found the piece in the photograph in my garden. I am amply supplied with ivy from my next door neighbours and this piece just happened to be missed in the clean up.  There is only one place for ivy and that is the green wheelie bin.

Bamboo sprouting after being left lying on the groundI also found this  example of bamboo which easily grows from pieces left lying in the garden. I have an inherited bamboo stand. At first, many years ago I thought that I would kill it off. I tried many methods but it always bounced back. Now I use it as a source for stakes for the community gardens. This keeps it in check.  I also have a clump of non-suckering bamboo. This is also wonderful for garden stakes etc but does not have a mission to take over the world.
For  your weed problems check out www.weedbusters.org.nz

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