Down-under it’s time to sow seeds of leafy greens this week

Down-under it’s time to sow seeds of leafy greens this week

Sow seeds for leafy greens during the week from Thursday 1st December 2016. Best days are Friday 2nd, Saturday 3rd and Wednesday 7th [here in New Zealand]

In Auckland the weather has got warmer and the ground has been drying out.  These are challenging  conditions to grow lush greens of lettuce and silver-beet.

They bolt to seed rather than make leaves [see the top photo, on the right? The red-stemmed beets loooong stalk – gone to seed].

Or diseases can grow quickly. Lettuces, deep inside the head of leaves, go to mush. Silver-beet shows rusts and molds.

Grow hot-climate greens as well/instead.

I’m an optimist so will sow seeds throughout the week of

  • Lettuce – a number of varieties of non-heading types, so hopefully some will do well – you never know!
  • Silver-beet [including rainbow chard/ bright light beets – the ones with vibrant colored stems – so stunning to see in a garden] Ever hopeful.
  • New Zealand Spinach – ours is self-seeding so I’ll look see if there are little, new ones growing. It’s OK cooked [needs 2 changes of boiling water to draw out and minimize the oxalic acid content – in the same way that adult forms of true spinach and silver-beet also need]
  • Hot-climate ‘greens’ including:
    Magenta Spreen [Chenopodium giganteum] – see Wikipedia for more info 
    Amaranth [we like Mekong Red =  Amaranthus tricolor] – see Wikipedia for more info 
    Orach [Atriplex hortensis] – see Wikipedia for more info
    All grow more strongly in warmer weather than do lettuce or silver-beet. Most also grow far taller than lettuce. Do some research. Have a go with something different too.

 

This is a challenging time to have traditional leafy greens grow well – they much prefer cooler weather.

Grow hot-climate greens instead now.

 

PS.   To encourage greens to grow leaves instead of bolting to seed, keep them well-watered and give them shade from hot sun – either by taller plants or by shade cloth coverings. Check them daily [especially lettuce with its small, shallow root system] and pick individual leaves for salads and cooked greens.

 

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