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Southern Vegie Garden Notes June 2013

Quick Summary for July

Parsley is great in winter gardensPlant snow pea seeds
Plant early dwarf pea seeds
Plant Garlic
Plant broad bean seeds
Plant green manure crops e.g. blue lupins seeds
Replant and compost strawberries
Plan spring garden
Sharpen tools
Tidy shed
Prune fruit trees
Prune berries

Red Silver BeetWelcome to Southern Vegie notes

Things not to miss:
1.We are on Face Book, visit our site, and see what’s happening
2.Foraging  Winter Salad

We love hearing from you, and help you with any questions you might have, feel free to ask questions on Face Book or to my e-mail mary@aplaceoflearning.co.nz . Happy gardening!


Vegetable Garden Planning at Your Place 

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/

Imagine  picking fresh spring  peasThe Simple Organic Gardening Course

8.30  Wednesdays August 28 to 16 October.

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/

Self Sown Miners' LettuceAt this time of year I am always hunting for greens for the chooks. The spinach and silver beet planted for them in autumn is looking well picked. I keep my eagle eye out for chickweed; lovely lush chickweed grows in all sorts of waste spaces. It is good for humans too as an addition to a winter salad. When you start foraging for chooks you begin to train your eye for the rich harvest of greens to be had in the depth of winter.

Foraging Winter Salad for Humans

Wilding Broad BeansKeep your eye out for self sown food in your own garden and elsewhere:
Salad Burnett is  putting out new leaves which have a lovely sweet, nutty flavour.
Miners’ Lettuce is popping up everywhere.
Look for Parsley tucked away in a corner.
Broad beans poking out of the grass. (The tender young leaves are good for salads)
Perpetual beet will even grow in cracks in the concrete
Silver beet self sows in all sorts of places
French sorrel provides good pickings at this time of year.
Lemons are on the trees

Self Sown Silver BeetA slosh of olive oil and a hunk of sour dough bread will compliment Foraging Winter Salad.


The Brussels Sprouts are fattening up nicely and ready for harvest. If you are one of the many people who screw up your nose and go ‘yuk’ at the thought of Brussels Sprouts, then give them another thought. Yes Brussels Sprouts boiled until dead and yellow really are not enticing. BUT Brussels Sprouts quartered and stir fried or steamed drizzled with olive oil are delicious. They add a quiet mustard piquancy to winter veg.

Leeks are being harvested. Make sure you dig deep beside the leeks before gently easing them up so that the lovely hidden white stalks aren’t broken. Pak choi, silver beet, spinach, cabbages, kale, potatoes, carrots, celeriac and oriental mesclun are all being harvested now.  The good frosts have made the parsnips very sweet.

This is a good time to save seed potatoes. They need to be kept dark, cool and rat free.

Garden Tasks

Winter is a great time to begin a garden diary to note planting times and successes. It is the way to build up your garden knowledge of how well plants grow at different times of the year.

In spring time you will be busy planting and harvesting so this is the time of year to sharpen all your tools, clean out your shed.

Late sown beetroot flourishingSort out your seeds and throw away out of date seeds. Think about experimenting with new crops and new times of planting. A Shirely Intermediate student planted  beetroot later in autumn than I would have, but they are now flourishing.

  Read seed catalogues e.g.www.kingseeds.co.nz.

July is the time to prune your berries and your fruit trees. If you don’t know much about pruning, start by getting to know your trees. Look for where the buds are on your fruit trees. Check out how much new growth the tree made last year. Is there any dead wood on your tree?

This is a good time to attend to your strawberry patch. Remove plants that are two years old or more and replace with plants grown from runners. The strawberry patch needs to be composted and if possible mulched with pine needles between the plants. The old strawberry plants can be recycled as cover plants in those difficult corners of the section. They will also form a good supply of new runners.


As you clean up your section, pile on any spent leaves either into your compost heap or straight onto fallow soil. Small twigs from prunings can be added to your compost heap as they provide good homes for beneficial fungi.

July is a good time to be sowing lupins to help condition your soil. They can then be dug in at spring time.

Seeds to sow.

Preserving jar lid labelsWhen you plant seeds it is important to mark and label the row. Adding the date to the label is helpful too. During The Great House Shifting EQC clean out I found a good supply of old preserving jar lids.  They make wonderful garden labels.

Early July is still time to grow garlic. See http://www.aplaceoflearning.co.nz/newsletters/southern-vegie-garden-notes-may-2013/ for instructions.

Planting garlicIn areas of your garden which are warm and well drained snow peas and Early Crop Massey and Novella peas can be sown now.
See http://www.aplaceoflearning.co.nz/newsletters/southern-vegie-garden-notes-august-2012/ for instructions.

snow peas after blackbird foragingIn  the gardens where I work in here in Christchurch, the black birds are waiting ready for the peas to pop up so that they can Forage Winter Salad for Blackbirds. So I cover the peas with netting until they are well established.


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