NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Sow & Grow -

Car­rots can be sown di­rectly where you want them to grow. The seed is quite fine but do your best not to sow too thickly, as you’ll have to pull most of them out later to thin the seedlings in or­der to give each plant enough space to fat­ten up. You can mix car­rot seed with radish seed be­cause the radishes will be ready in a mat­ter of weeks and will thin the car­rots for you. Avoid over­feed­ing as this can lead to ex­ces­sive leaf growth at the ex­pense of roots. Har­vest when the roots reach about 1cm across. Scratch down in the soil to check the tops and pull gen­tly on the stalks.

Sow kale

Kale is de­pend­able in au­tumn and win­ter and is chock full of vi­tal nutri­ents. Trans­plant pun­nets into the gar­den or sow di­rect for baby salad kale. Kale never fails and is frost-hardy. Sow Tus­can kale (cavolo nero), curly kale or ‘Red Rus­sian’ (all from Kings Seeds) un­der net­ting to pro­tect it from cab­bage but­ter­flies.

Dig up pota­toes

Main crop pota­toes for win­ter stor­age, such as ‘Agria’, ‘Nadine’ and ‘Rua’, can be dug once they have flow­ered and their leafy tops have died down com­pletely. It’s im­por­tant to wait for the tops to die down be­cause, by then, the skins will have fully hard­ened, so they will keep bet­ter. Eat any blem­ished tu­bers straight away.

Gar­den­ing by the moon Give plants a boost with nu­tri­tious liq­uid ma­nures or com­post tea. First quar­ter

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