It's been another busy week in the garden, with warm and mild weather to welcome the start of spring.
I had to repot my chilli, capsicum and tomato seedlings in the last week, as they'd gotten too big for their plastic small glasshouses in the dining room. They're now happily situated in their now bigger pots with potting mix in the glasshouse, and are sitting in a frame which is wrapped up with multiple layers of frost cloth each night. If there's even a hint of bad frosts or snow, they'll be back inside the house in our spare bedroom until the bad weather passes.
Seed sowing is still underway, and will continue through spring.
Vege seeds sown this week:
- Pumpkin Crown Prince F1
- Pumpkin Musquee De Provence
- Pumpkin Baby Bear
- Pumpkin Marina Di Chioggia
- Maize Manaia
Herbs sown this week:
- Chamomile Roman
- Chamomile German
Flowers sown this week:
- Eupatorium Hemp Agrimony
- Gypsophila Snowflakes
- Gypsophila Deep Carmine
- Yarrow Summer Pastels
- Valerian officinalis
There's so much more seed to sow, and things to do in the garden, but work is also busy right now in the lead up to the Christmas season, with me preparing eco textile products for inclusion in the online craft artisan website Felt gift guide. I hope I can balance the two between now and Christmas.
Have a wonderful day
We're up to week 4 of spring seed sowing, and I feel like I'm running behind. The past week has been busy painting and prepping areas of the garden for the coming growing season, but the pressure is also on to continue seed sowing as well.
Vegetable plants sowed this week:
- Beetroot Cylindra
- Cucumber Crunchy F1
- Cucumber Lebanese Medici F1
- Carrot Amsterdam Sprint
- Radish Easter Egg
- Sugar Beet
I also invested in some chicken wire cloches to prevent the sparrows from taking all my precious seed, they watched me hungrily the other day as I direct sowed the first of the root crops.
Herb plants sowed this week:
- Lemon Balm
- Orange Balm
- Olive Herb
- Basil Gustosa
- Basil Sweet Genovese
I'm particularly excited about growing the Olive Herb plants, as we definitely don't have the space to grow our own olive trees. A summary from the Kings Seeds website about the plant:
"Woody low growing border plant with green leaves that have an intense olive aroma. Said to add the flavouring of olives to marinades, pasta, a variety of meat and tomato dishes or wherever olives might be used. Combines well with thyme, rosemary, basil and tarragon flavours. The attractive yellow pompom flowers are also edible. Low maintenance plants are fairly hardy, preferring humus rich, well drained soil but will tolerate other conditions and soil types too."
Flower plants sowed this week:
- Dahlia Beeline II Keith Hammett
- Dahlia Keith Hammett NZ Gardener 2023 Seed Swap
- Dahlia Sunflower Keith Hammett
- Lavender Hidcote
I sent in a self addressed envelope to NZ Gardener in order to get some Keith Hammett dahlia seeds for this year's dahlia grow along, it's always great to see what sort of dahlias pop up, they're dahlia seeds collected from his breeding program. Each seed will be unique, and not ever seen before.
I hope your seed sowing is going well, this week is spring!
Have a wonderful day
It's been another busy week in the garden seed sowing for Spring. And also, seeds that I've already sown have started germinating, including my tomato, chilli, and lettuce seeds.
In the Vegetable Garden this week:
- Prepped the first vegetable garden bed for sowing peas and potatoes
- Checked on chitting potatoes (Rocket, Jersey Benne, Ilam Hardy, and Haylo)
- Sowed Greenfeast peas
In the Herb Garden this week:
- Sowed Oregano
- Sowed Common Sage
- Sowed Cumin
In the Flower Gardens this week:
- Sowed King Size Apricot Aster
- Sowed Crambe Cordifolia
- Sowed Dianthus Cruentus
- Sowed Echinacea simulata
- Sowed Gomphrena Raspberry Cream
- Sowed Knautia Macedonia Scabium
I didn't sow as many seeds as I hoped this week, as I was working on my winter citrus project to get the garden areas ready for when my citrus plants go into the ground in October.
Hopefully this week I'll get more seed sowing done.
Have a wonderful day,
It was a busy week seed sowing for Spring. I like to sow a mix of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds each week, so no individual job is too big at any one time.
Vegetable Seed Sowing this week:
- Pearl Drop Onions (for pickling)
- Italian Long Keeper Onions
- Pukekohe Long Keeper Onions
- Long White Spring Onions
- Santana Spinach
- Space Saver F1 Cabbage
- Summer Sprouting Purple Broccoli
- Coastline Lettuce
- Drunken Woman Fringed Lettuce
Herb Seed Sowing this week:
- Gigante Italian Parsley
- Celery for Cutting
Flower Seed Sowing this week:
- Alyssum Painters Palette
- Alyssum Carpet of Snow
- Pansy Imperial Antique Shads
- Pansy Purple Lace
- Viola Clear Colour Mix
- Viola Frizzle Swizzle
- Viola Imperial Antique Shades
- Calendula Dwarf Colours Mixed
- Calendula Nova (herbal variety)
- Snapdragon Potomac Lavender
- Statice Apricot
- Night Scented Stock
- Spring Sparkle Stock
- Allium Purple Sensation
- Allium Showy Persian Onion
I have super easy way of seed sowing annual flowers, a cheat way really. I have a lot of self seeded annual plants in my flower garden beds, and I keep an eye out in late winter to see when plants like calendula, pansies, and alyssum start germinating. Once I see that the ground is warm enough for that to happen, it's time to sow annual seeds.
I gather all my annual seeds, and start opening all the packets. Here is where the lazy part is, I dump all the seeds into one container. And once all the seeds are mixed in all together I go out into the garden and start sprinkling seeds around where I want my annual plants to grow.
Within a couple of weeks all the annual seeds start germinating, and since I know what the seedlings all look like, I know not to weed them out of the ground. It may be lazy, but it saves me heaps of time in not having to sow each seed out by hand. I also like the wild, non structured feel of where the plants grow, as compared to all my other plants in the garden.
I have also just popped all my poppy seeds into the fridge to vernalise for two weeks. After that I will sow those seeds in a similar manner. I already have poppy plants that have self seeded into the garden as well, but I wanted to add even more coloured varieties this year.
How is your seed sowing going? With sunrise coming at least a minute earlier every single day, I can just feel the coming of Spring deep within my bones. The sky is no longer dark when I wake up in the morning, and I look forward to seeing the sun pop over the hills as I make breakfast each morning.
Have a wonderful day
We're now into the last month of winter, and it's finally time to start sowing seed for spring. It's a tricky time of the year, as it's possible to get snow here in Dunedin even into the first week of October, so there's nothing worse than sowing seeds too early, and then having to try and keep them alive if there's a late frost or snow in early October. Last year we had snow laying on the ground the first week of October, and a couple of frosts the weeks after that, so it was a stressful time trying to keep all my seedlings alive, looking after my growing potato plants, as well as my new dahlias which had just popped out of the ground. Seedlings don't get transferred outside and into the vegetable garden until Labour Weekend, which is the third weekend of October, so that's a long way off right now.
I have a specific order in which to germinate seeds, so that I don't have too many plants sitting in the glasshouse for such a long period of time. The first seeds sown are my tomato plants. I grow enough plants for our own needs, but also for family members as well. I usually have at least 12 plants growing in our glasshouse, and poke any others that are spare in free space I have in the vegetable garden. We eat a lot of tomatoes fresh throughout the summer, but the bulk of it is frozen away for using in autumn and winter cooking.
This year I'm growing the following tomato varieties:
Franchi Sementi Pomodoro Red Cherry - A red cocktail tomato with great taste. This is no longer for sale in New Zealand, I save this seed every year.
Kings Honeybee F1 - I haven't tried this one before, I wanted to try another cocktail tomato, we'll see how this goes. One of my sister's grows her tomatoes outside, and it's far easier to ripen smaller tomatoes in Dunedin's short summers.
Kings Tomato Juane Flamme - Our favorite tomato, an orange tomato with the best taste of any tomato I've ever grown.
Tomato Grosse Lisse - A beefsteak tomato that was a favorite of my grandfather. The best tomato for putting a slice on a hot piece of toast, and eating it with a pinch of salt on top.
Tomato Island Bay Italian - I haven't grown this tomato variety before, but I've heard good things about it. Good for eating fresh and processing apparently.
Tomato Lebanese - Also a new tomato variety this year, I'm hoping it will have good disease resistance, and tastes good too.
The next seeds to be germinated are my chilli and capsicums plants. I've successfully grown chillies in our greenhouse, but I haven't had any luck with the big traditional bell pepper capsicums.
This year I'll be growing the following chillies and peppers:
Chilli Serrano - I had a huge crop of chilli last season, so I'm growing this variety again.
Alma Paprika Pepper - Trying once again to grow my own paprika. Last season they didn't grow as well as I hoped, am trying again for the last time.
Capsicum Marconi Red - A prolific sweet Italian variety. I'm hoping that it's narrow shape will mean it ripens faster.
Capsicum Orange Sun - My last attempt at growing a bell pepper variety.
Capsicum Red Bell F1 - Also another last attempt at successfully growing a bell pepper variety.
The tomato and chilli seeds were sown into two mini greenhouses, and placed in a warm sunny spot in our dining room. It's warm in there on sunny days, and also thanks to the benefit of our wood burner being in that room, they're kept warm in there every night in winter. I'm eagerly waiting for the seeds to germinate.
The next seeds to be sown are all my sweet pea varieties. I've collected quite a lot of Keith Hammett varieties over the years, he's a New Zealand breeder who produces the most stunning sweet peas. Sweet peas germinate in cool temperatures, so they are now potted up and put into the glasshouse.
The last of the seeds to be sown for now are the herbs coriander and dill. Coriander prefers to grow in cool temperatures, otherwise they will bolt, so I sow one lot in late winter, and another in early autumn. They don't like to have their roots disturbed while planting into the ground, so I sow a bunch of seeds into a biggish pot, and then when it's time to transfer them into the herb garden, I plant the whole container worth in one spot, I don't separate out the seedlings at all. For the dill seeds I do the same thing as with the coriander, it ensures I get a relatively big crop of leaves without the problem of using up a lot space.
The sweet peas, coriander, and dill are all now sitting in my glasshouse. We're were expecting snow down to 200 m last night, so I've put off doing any more seed sowing tomorrow. Hopefully soon they will be joined by a lot more seeds as the month goes on.
Have you started seed sowing yet? I'm interested in what choices you've made for the coming growing season.
Have a wonderful day