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Food & Wine April 23, 2018

Garden Column | Winter Veggie Garden

While we sometimes moan about the weather, Auckland’s climate is perfect for growing veggies all year round. But to get the most out of your winter veggie garden, and to ensure you have a ready supply of delicious, fresh veggies, it’s important to start planting now!

 

Getting Started

Prepare beds by removing weeds, lightly forking and mixing compost and sheep pellets in with your top soil.

 

Any empty beds? Growing a compost crop (such as lupins) helps to improve your soil and leave less space for weeds to grow.

 

Alternatively, you could grow your veggies in large pots. Plants in pots will need more food, but it’s easier to keep an eye out for pests and weeds, and is great if you’re short of space. Or, another alternative is a Vegepod. These self-contained raised garden bed are moveable, self-watering, can be fitted with protective covers.

 

What to Plant (and Spacing)

Make sure your plants have time to get established before cooler weather sets in by planting seedlings rather than seeds.

 

Top plants to grow at this time of year includes:

  • beetroot (12-15cm)
  • brassicas including broccoli, kale, cauliflower and pak choi (35-45cm)
  • broad beans (15 -20cm)
  • rocket, lettuce (15-20cm)
  • leeks and onions (10cm)
  • spinach, silverbeet and chard (30cm)
  • coriander and parsley (20-30cm)

 

Planting

  • When planting out seedlings, gently tease plants and their soil out of their pot or seedling punnet.
  • When separating seedlings, don’t hold them by the stem, instead hold them by a leaf (a damaged leaf isn’t a major issue but they often die if you crush the stem).
  • Plant with as much of the root ball as you can.
  • It’s generally best to plant to the same depth as your seedlings were in their pot or punnet.
  • Make sure you protect newly planted seedlings from slugs and snails.

 


Words: Billy Aiken
Kings Plant Barn 0800 plants kings.co.nz

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