When to sow
In cooler frosty climates, sow from early spring until late autumn.
In mild but not hot areas, sow yearround.
In very warm to hot areas (eg Northland), sow late summer and autumn for harvest in winter and spring.
How to grow
Site winter crops in full sun, and summer sowings in dappled or halfshade (but not full shade). Under deciduous trees works well.
Sow directly into in a well-drained, light soil, rich in compost.
Use fresh seed only. Do not cover as seeds need light to germinate. Press lightly into soil or sow in a furrow about 2cm deep.
Germination is slow – keep seedbeds moist with fine watering for 7-21 days.
Drying out causes poor flavour and bolting so keep the growing plants moist especially in hot periods – mulching will help conserve moisture and keep temperatures even.
Once seedlings are 4-6cm high thin to 15-20cm apart.
In frosty areas, a greenhouse or cloches can improve productivity.