Category Archives: Spring

Here comes spring

Are you ready to say goodbye to winter? As much as I like growing broccoli and peas I’m always pretty excited when it comes time to get out the spring seeds. Now is a great time to start thinking about what you’ll be growing this spring. If you have a protected spot (windowsills work great) you can start planting your seeds inside.

I like to use old strawberry or cherry tomato containers for seed raising. I sit these next to the sink which means I remember to water them. When the seeds break through the soil and produce their first leaves you’ll need to find them a sunny spot but until that point any spot will do.

So what can you plant? In no particular order consider:

Chilli, watermelon, eggplant, capsicum, tomato, zucchini, cucumber, rockmelon, asian greens, bitter melon, fennel and of course my current favourite, potato. Look for an online seed seller or swap with a keen gardener. And don’t forget, more than anything else, soil is the key. Make sure when your seeds are ready to plant out you’re putting them into soil that’s going to feed them.

If that seems a little daunting or doesn’t quite make sense but you’re really keen to get growing this spring, give us a call, we are always happy to help!

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Flowers, flowers everywhere

I’m loving the flowers in my garden at the moment.  The borage is blooming.  The nasturtiums are nestling their way through the other plants and the sweet peas show no sign of stopping.

Flowers are vital for a healthy garden and I always try to let a few things (usually rocket, dill and parsley, but lettuce, asian greens and brocolli are great too) go to flower for their insect attracting properties.  However, I like to have a few plants to grow just for their flowers.  Well, borage I grow for its composting boosting properties but I like to nibble on the flowers while I’m weeding the garden.  Nasturtiums are essential in my garden as they are a taste of my childhood (although I’m yet to convince my children to pop them into their mouths).  Calendular is a new addition for me.  It doesn’t have a great flavour but I’m assured that the dried petals make a very healing tea.  Pineapple sage is another great flower to grow, the leaves are beautifully fragrant and the flowers are bright red and sweet.

We’re also growing sweet peas this year.  I don’t normally grow things you can’t eat in my own garden (and you can’t eat sweet peas, not any part of them, don’t be tempted no matter how good they smell) but sweet peas pay their own way by being a simple gift for teachers and friends.  One of my children in particular has discovered the joy of giving a small bunch of these to all he visits (his older brother is still happy to give a bunch of mint) so we’ll be saving seed and planting them again next year.

But whatever you grow, if you’ve got some happy looking flowers you’ve usually got some happy looking bees and other beneficial insects and that’s got to be a good thing.

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Get Growing in Sydney

November in Sydney is a kind of go for broke month where you need to get everything in the ground you want before it gets too hot.

If you want something that will last longer than the season think about artichoke, asparagus (easier than it looks) and warrigal greens.

If you are planting with the kids beans, zuchinni and pumpkin are always satisfying and if you’re looking for something a little different have a go at okra and some heirloom tomatoes.

Other fantastic things to get in the ground now include: sunflower, watermelon (doesn’t require as much space as pumpkin), chilli and my current favourite, mitzuna.

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