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Southern Vegie Garden Notes July 2014

Red Silver beet - a basic ingredient in Winter SaladHarvesting Fresh Organic Vegetables from your own Doorstep

Planting summary for August

Last two weeks of August

Miners' lettuce - delicious in Winter SaladSeeds

Broad beans

Miners' lettuce

Peas Dwarf Massey

Peas Dwarf Novella

Snow peas





Silver beet

Basket Fungus - many wonderful fungi can be seen at this time of year.The winter bird crews have arrived. A flock of starlings is patrolling the lawns, the wax eyes are checking out the compost heap while the fantails are overseeing this activity. The sparrows flit in and out of the chook cage looking for leftovers.

Some fascinating fungi pop up. I found this basket fungus in the driveway


Cleavers or BiddybidsIt is also a good time to be brave and try adding some "weeds" to your salads. At Grow Your Own Free Lunch someone dared me to try Cleavers (biddybids). I was ready to spit it out but it has a light lettuce flavour with a mustard after taste. It is good to be able to eat a plant that can be so annoying. Other things you can try is the young leaves of dandelions and chickweed. All of these things can pad out a winter salad and add great nutrition to your diet. Beetroot leaves add a splurge of colour and calendula petals create vibrancy in your salad with a toss of yellow and orange.

Lily making Winter Salad Lily, a participant on Grow Your Own Free Lunch makes amazing salads. The photos on this month's vegie notes mainly illustrate her ingredients. The deep richness of this salad is perfect winter food. See http://www.aplaceoflearning.co.nz/recipes/lilys-winter-salad/ for the recipe

We are harvesting parsnips, carrots, beetroot, perpetual spinach, silver beet in all colours, mesclun, pak choi, miners' lettuce and leeks.

Wandering  leeksWandering leeks are a good plant to have at this time of year. They create underground runners and create a patch of handy leeks that keep on popping up. Just snip off larger leeks as required. They do need to be kept weeded or else they can be swamped.

Garden tasks for July

All sorts of gentle action can be seen happening if you nosey around your garden regularly. The cleavers (biddybids) have grown a good 10 cm or more in the last couple of weeks since I wrote June's Vegie notes. They also have flower buds on them. 

Winter is a good time to weed as it prevents those weeds from getting a sprint start in spring. It is pleasant weeding on a sunny winter's day.

By looking after your soil now and controlling weeds like biddybids you will find gardening in spring a lot more relaxed. As crops come out it is good to add compost or mulch on top of your soil. On top of this add a light covering of straw. If you pull back the straw and look underneath there will be worms and many other creatures busy about their work of creating beautiful soil for you.

Garden which has been composted and mulched lightly with straw as leeks are harvestedAn array of clean, sharpened tools in a tidy shed creates happiness in spring. 

Pruning berries and fruit trees.

Resting and relaxing

Get Growing

A Foundation Horticulture Programme.

Learning vegetable gardening naturally

Book now mary@aplaceoflearning.co.nz

Weeding Broad BeansThis is a wonderful opportunity for those who want to learn basic growing skills as well as explore career opportunities in the primary  sector.This course is free as it is funded by the Tertiary Education Commission.

This course is 12 weeks beginning May 26, 2014. Monday to Wednesday 9.30 - 2.30.  Thursday and Friday will be practical skills and work at your pace. The course will be held at Delta Community House 105 North Avon Rd.  Agriculture New Zealand have set up the course and Mary will be tutoring. The course will cover basic growing skills as well as information about the primary sector. 


Vegetable Garden Planning at Your Place

Red mizuna - great for Winter Salad and self sows easilyStart your own garden for fresh organic food at your place

This is the perfect time for Vegetable Garden Planning as you will be ready to plant in spring.  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  http://www.aplaceoflearning.co.nz/vegetable-gardening/

 The Simple Organic Gardening Course

Learning vegetable gardening naturally

Beetroot leaves are lovely in Winter SaladThis course is designed for the home gardener. It is a hands on course with plenty of time to practice skills like transplanting. Email Mary for the course outline.

The next course will be run in spring in the second week of September. Bookings taken now. email Mary mary@aplaceoflearning.co.nz 

Mesclun ready for Winter SaladSee http://www.aplaceoflearning.co.nz/vegetable-gardening/ for more information

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