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Southern Vegie Garden Notes September 2013

Quick Planting Summary for October

Seeds in open ground

Mizuna ready for harvest in SeptemberBeetroot
Miners’ lettuce
Silver beet
Spring onions


Snow Peas in SeptemberBroccoli
Silver beet

Seeds in trays

The following seeds can be put in warm place in the last two weeks of October ready for transplanting into open ground in the first and second week of November.


Peach blossom in early springWelcome to Southern Vegie Notes  September2013.

My facebook page facebook.com/aplaceoflearningnz.  makes it easy for you to ask questions about gardening and share any garden stories.

This has been a week of light frosts giving a clean tinge to sky blue sunny days. Tomorrow a  southerly change is forecast which will bring rain and  give the skiers a nice layer of powder for spring skiing.  Tiny insects backlit by sunshine are skimming around the garden on the light breeze. Yes this is the spring-weather-swing.


Kale cavolo nero flowering in SeptemberEarly spring can be the hardest time of year to find food in the garden. The first radishes have barely popped up and the peas are only a couple of centimetres tall.   The winter broccoli, kale and pak choi are racing off  to flower.  The leeks and the Brussels sprouts are all eaten.

But early spring hosts a lively range of salad plants. The staff in Delta’s kitchen make stunning salads with: rocket, mustard lettuce, mesclun, miner’s lettuce, salad burnette, french sorrel, spinach, perpetual beet, silver beet, parsley, marjoram and mint. 

Spring RocketRocket is one of the gems of early spring as it grows luxuriously racing into flower and generously flinging its seeds around for the next crop. I planted Arugula, which is similar to rocket,  www. kingsseeds.co.nz last year for a spicy salad crop. This is very easy to grow and is happy to self sow.
If you keep a look out for self sown plants you will find an amazing bunch. At Delta we are transplanting tiny self sown lettuces into the warm shelter of the wall and they are doing very well. I also found  spring wheat that was planted by the chooks in autumn.


Continue planting peas of all sorts: sugar snaps, snow peas, dwarf peas and main crop peas.

See http://www.aplaceoflearning.co.nz/newsletters/southern-vegie-garden-notes-august-2013/ for for planting details.
I have to cover my peas with netting otherwise the birds just demolish them.
Broad beans can continue to be sown.

Potatoes set out for sproutingThis is the time to set out early potatoes for sprouting. They need to be set out in a warm sunny place so that they produce short green sprouts. Set them out with the end where the eyes are concentrated uppermost. They are ready for planting when the sprouts are about  1 cm long.

Beetroot are best sown directly into the ground in a seed drill.
Carrot seed is very fine and takes about three weeks to germinate. It is best sprinkled into a seed drill. Also put some radish seed into the same drill with each radish seed about 2 -3 cm apart.  Cover with fine soil. The radish germinate very quickly and they form nice green umbrellas to protect the slower growing carrots. When the radish are ready  they can be pulled from the ground and eaten as  by now the carrots are well established.


All the hardy seedlings can be planted: silverbeet, lettuce, broccoli, caulis, cabbages, celery, celeriac, spinach, kale.


Autumn sown mustardGreen manure crops.

Bumper crop of tomatoes grown at Shirley Intermediate last year.Soil which is kept covered will maintain more fertility and moisture than soil which is left to fry in the sun. The best way to cover soil is with plants. Blue lupins and mustard are quick green manure crops to grow at this time of year. They also keep weeds down.  When you are ready to plant your vegetables  chop down the lupins and mustard leaving the roots in the soil and the tops lying on the soil. Plant straight in 2 weeks later.
Last year at Shirley Intermediate we used this method to grow tomatoes in what had been neglected and poor soil. We had a bumper crop of tomatoes.


The Simple Organic Gardening Course

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 salad in the spring sunlight.

Spring wheat sown by the chooksThis spring two different times will be available
6.30 – 8.30 Tuesdays  22 October to 10 December
12p, - 2 pm 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 .

Vegetable Garden Planning at Your Place

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







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