Planting Clean And Green

It’s an exciting time for gardeners. The days are starting to get a bit longer and it’s time to plan your garden for the warmer weather coming.

Even though it’s still cool, seeds sown now will be ready late September and early October. Check out seed catalogues, on-line, (Italian Seeds Pronto has an interesting range), garden centres and home improvement stores for a good range of seeds. Be sure to check the expiry date on the back of the packet!

Prepare the garden beds by digging in some home made organic compost and adding organic sheep pellets which will help replenish the nutrients used by previous crops.

If planting potatoes for Spring, now is a good time to chit your tubers. Find the variety that you like, soak for a few minutes in a strong seaweed solution and place in egg cartons in a warm light place. When the shoots are about 5cm long, and the chance of heavy frost is over, it is time to plant them in trenches. 

Carrots, parsnips and radishes need to be sown directly as they don’t transplant well, but you can plant out seedlings of beetroot, lettuce, spinach, silverbeet, rocket and other leafy greens. Herb gardens can be refreshed with new plants but hold off from planting out basil until it warms up a bit more. Spring and Summer flowering annuals such as calendula, sweet peas, alyssum, cornflower etc. can be planted. Not only will they add colour but they will attract beneficial insects and pollinators  into your garden helping to fight pests and increase your yields naturally.

Keep an eye on the weeds around winter planted garlic, they hate competition! Apply a weekly seaweed liquid to encourage good growth. Other tasks include feeding and mulching fruit trees, roses (which can now be pruned too), shrubs and flower beds.

For more gardening tips and information check out Organic Seedlings’ weekly 'webisodes' at

Organic seedlings are available from New World Warkworth, Four Square Matakana, direct from their nursery Fridays and from 7 September they will be returning to Matakana Village Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 8am-1pm.

Junction Mag