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Leafy Planting Days in Mid Spring

garden in springThere’s lots of leafies to harvest at the moment.  I’ve got a bit of an addiction going for Rocket and Macadamia Pesto, (without chili this time of year).  The rocket you can see on the left of the photo, just next to the spring onions, is just the right stage for pesto.  I have another patch of younger rocket that I like better in salads – it’s that bit milder.  And if you let it get too old and shoot up to seed it gets too strongly flavoured for pesto.

The coriander is all starting to flower. There’s a lot of it around the garden.  We have been eating lots of  Asian and Mexican food lately using the young leaf, (avocado and coriander and lime juice is a heavenly combination), but now it is fully grown there’s way more than we will eat as leaf. It makes good pesto too, but the rocket is winning that taste war at the moment.  But the flowers are excellent attractants for ladybeetles, parasitic wasps and predatory flies, so it’s a good way to boost the populations ahead of the aphid and scale season. Then I’ll harvest the seed for saag and dhal and curries and pickles.

The mustard is also setting seed.  There’s lots of it self seeded along path edges and in corners.  The flowers are gorgeous in salads and spectacular added to home made mayonnaise, giving it a lovely buttery colour and a nice mustard kick, and the seed will be harvested for pickles and curries.

The kale and broccoli are just starting to get cabbage moth caterpillars, so they won’t last much longer.  The spinach is finished but the silver beet is still going well, and the loose leaf lettuces are still bearing well. And there’s parsley and dill and celery all still bearing too.

But the season has turned the corner now and we’re into the hot dry weather of late Spring, with the alternating thunder storms and frizzle weather of summer to come.  In the corner of the photo you can see the summer crops coming on, beans and cucumbers to climb the fence, tomatoes and basil and capsicums and squash and amaranth to fill the beds.

I’m planting minimal amounts of leafies this time of year. Today I’m planting seed of basil (sweet and lime and Thai and Greek), leaf amaranth, successive rounds of rocket to harvest very young, some aragula (wild rocket) as insurance so there’s some greens even if it gets very harsh, spring onions, and that’s about it.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Leanne October 7, 2013, 4:39 am

    Your garden is looking very productive – our greens are just coming on and we are just gearing up to plant the summer garden – your seasons seem to be just that more ahead of NZ.
    Love Leanne

  • celia October 7, 2013, 8:26 am

    We’re harvesting the last of our broccoli now, but the rainbow chard (we can’t call it silverbeet or no-one will eat it) is still going gangbusters. Hasn’t been a good year for kale, which is a shame – it kind of went from unproductive to buggy! Lots of perennial leeks still in the garden, and the fennel bulbs are just starting to fatten up. Not much luck with the tromboncinos, we’ve tried three times now and only one seedling has come up! Not sure what is going on there! xx

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