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Leafy Greens in Late Winter and the Long Slow Infancy of Greens

seedlings ready for trainsplant

One of the most important insights that really changed the way I garden was realising just how long plants are babies for. It is still late winter, I know, but up here in northern NSW we’ve had a day over 28°C already, and another couple above 25°C  (scary, but let’s not go there). It’s been plenty warm enough for cool climate greens to germinate at their fastest.

But their fastest is pretty slow.  These babies are just under a month old, and they’re just now ready for transplanting out of the seed germinating box into individual pots with lots of compost and worm castings.  They will then be happy in the shadehouse for at least a few more weeks before planting out into the garden.

So, although I have no beds ready at all, I know by the time they need to go out, the chooks will have moved twice and I’ll have a bed cleared and mulched and fertilised and ready for them.  I’m trying to get a good sequential planting  rhythm going again so there’s a continuous supply.  So today I planted another round of seed of lettuces, silver beet, Italian silverbeet  (lucullus), leeks, spring onions, and aragula, and a first round of the summer greens – amaranth, Egyptian spinach, and all the basils. I potted on the  lettuces, leeks, chinese cabbages, raddicchio, silver beet, parsley, rocket, and coriander. And I planted out the last of the celery, kale, and broccoli raab for the winter.

So although I have lots of overgrown weedy neglected garden beds, I nearly have a full garden in train, and that feels very good.


{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Jude wright August 17, 2013, 6:47 am

    Congratulations on the garden sequencing! I am just starting to get the same happening in my garden, but with limited success; I keep forgetting to plant more seed when I should. Oh well, keep trying is the key.

  • Linda August 17, 2013, 7:48 am

    For me the trick is using a lunar planting calendar. I’m only halfway convinced that lunar planting itself makes a difference, but I’m very convinced that having a system for planting something most weeks and a new round of anything that is in season every month is a very good thing.

  • Africanaussie August 19, 2013, 11:56 am

    Oh that is so true – I nearly gave up on my scattering of lettuce seeds, thinking that they were not growing, i have been harvesting the bigger leaves and realizing that they are in fact growing quite nicely. this is the best way to grow greens here in the tropics. Otherwise if you leave them too long the bugs get to them!

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