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While we sometimes moan about the wet weather, Auckland’s climate is perfect for growing veggies all year round. But to get the most out of your winter veggie garden, and to ensure you have a ready supply of delicious, fresh veggies, it’s important to start planting now!

In fact, planting a month ago would have been better, but with a few tricks it's not too late to plant yourveggies now to harvest this winter!

 

Getting Started

1. Prepare to plant by forking the beds and removing any weeds.

2. Plant seedlings now rather than seeds to get plants in to give them a chance to grow large enough to use this winter.

3. Lightly fork in compost and sheep pellets. Nature's Organic Fertiliser is also great to use, as it adds minerals and nutrients that are often missing in our soils, and helps increase the number of beneficial microbes in your soil.

4. To get the most out of a small places try hexagonally spacing rows.

5. When handling seedlings avoid holding them by the stem as they can easily be damaged.

6. Protect seedlings from slugs and snails with Quash Slug and Snail Pellets.

 

Top Tip 

Cut the bottom off and remove the lid from a clear plastic water/juice bottle and place this over seedlings. This acts a little like a greenhouse and can help seedlings get established quickly, helping them get large enough for you to harvest them this winter.

 

Any beds empty beds?

Growing a compost crop (such as Lupins) helps to improve your soil and leave less space for weeds to grow. BUY NOW

 

Need an alternative to planting in garden beds?

You could grow your veggies in large pots, plants in pots will need more food, but it’s easier to keep an eye out for pests and weeds, and is great if you’re short of space. Or, another alternative is a Vegepod. 

 

Vegepods are self-contained raised garden bed that are moveable, self-watering, can be fitted with protective covers (including a winter cover that makes it function like a portable greenhouse). The Small and Medium sized pots can be fitted on a trolley stand that can be easily moved around on a smooth flat surface.

BUY NOW

 

Veggies to Plant

 Beetroot

Whether you're making salad, roasting, or making Borscht (a delicious Eastern European Beetroot Soup), Beetroot is always a great vegetable to have fresh to hand. And by having it in the garden you can also make occasional use of the tops, which taste very similar to Silverbeet.

 

 

Spacing

12-15 cm

Position

Full Sun

 

Brassicas

(Cabbage, Broccoli, Kale, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Pak Choi, Bak Choi, etc.)

 The brassica family includes heaps of tasty greens, and in Auckland we're lucky enough to be able to grow many of them all year round. However, now is really the best time to plant most members of this family as they're less likely to suffer from pests and diseases over the cooler months.

 

 

Spacing

Most varieties need around 30-45cm. Though some can be planted a little closer together.

 

Position

Full Sun

 

Broad beans

Improve your soil and grow a tasty delicious treat at the same time. Broad Beans like many legumes have nodes on the roots that fix nitrogen into the soil. The beans can be used to make delicious salads, soups, and dips.

 

 

Broad Beans can be directly sown into garden beds, or plant seedlings in the garden.

 

Spacing

15-20cm

 

Position

Full Sun

 

Carrots

Delicious, and so well known that they scarcely need an introduction. But while they may not help your night vision as much as is commonly believed, they are certainly delicious, and at their best when picked fresh from the garden.

 

 

Spacing

For best results direct sow into lines in weed free beds. As they grow thin out to allow carrots sufficient space to grow.

Position

Full Sun

 

Lettuce

Enjoy delicious fresh salads all winter by planting lettuce now. And in many ways it's easier to grow lettuce at this time of year as the plants no longer have to worry about the searingly hot sun, making it easier to grow tender and delicious leaves, without worrying about them going bitter when they bolt.

 

 

Position

Full Sun (though in the hotter part of the year it's easier to grow them in part shade).

Spacing

20cm

 

Leeks

 A surprisingly underutilised veg, they're delicious in soups, pastas, in quiche, and pies. Like most alliums (onion, garlic, etc.) they're incredibly flavoursome and versatile, however leek is probably one of the easiest allium to grow. But you'd best get them in quick if you want to have decent sized leeks in time for winter.

 

 

Spacing

10cm

Position

Full Sun

 

Onions

Plant now for a spring harvest. Either sow now into seed trays now or come in and get some seedlings. There are heaps of delicious varieties around, but if you just want to try one then you couldn't get much better than Pukekohe Longkeeper.

 

 

Spacing

10cm

Position

Full Sun

 

Rocket

Spice up your salads, make delicious peppery pestos, or create stunning soups. Rocket can be grown all year round, but like lettuce and coriander

 

 

Spacing

15-20cm

Position

Full Sun

 

Silverbeet

Whether you go for the classic Fordhook Giant, or the stunningly colourful Rainbow Chards, they're sure to be delicious, nutritious, and fairly easy to grow. Though for best results liquid feed fairly regularly with Ocean Grow.

 

 

Spacing

30cm

Position

Full Sun

 

Spinach

The health benefits of spinach in a can have long been known to sailors, but unsurprisingly it both tastes better and provides more nutrients when eaten fresh. Though interestingly perpetual spinach isn't technically a spinach. It's scientific name is beta vulgaris, the same as both Silverbeet and Beetroot. But despite not being closely related to real spinach it has a similar taste, and a few plants can easily provide you with masses of greens for months and months.

 

 

Spacing

30cm

Position

Full Sun

 

Potatoes

While those further south wouldn't have a chance, in Auckland we can plant potatoes pretty much all year round. There are a range of delicious varieties available. Just make sure you plant in free-draining soil as they don't like sitting in wet ground!

 

Spacing

30cm

Position

Full Sun, Free-draining soil.

Planting Tips

Leave seed potatoes in a warm, dark place until the 'eyes' begin to sprout (this is often referred to as chitting).

Weed, aerate (fork) and mix in compost and sheep pellets in with you garden beds before planting. Dig trenchs 10cm deep, leaving 50-60cm between trenches. Mix in Kings Potato Food into the bottom of the trench or for an organic option use Nature's Organic Fertiliser (or comfrey leaves are a good option if you are growing them).  

Place potatoes into the trenches, leaving 30cm between each potato. 

 As the potatoes grow mound the soil in the bed around the plants (this encourages more plants to form around the stems). 

Other Tasks for the Veggie Garden

Keep veggie beds weed free, especially around younger seedlings.

Give plants a boost by liquid feeding once a month with Kings Ocean Grow.

 

Any spare gaps?

Go space in the veggie garden that you don't need this season. Improve your soil and reduce the number of weeds you have to contend with by planting Green Crops. Click here to learn more or Buy Now online.

 

And don't forgot to leave space if you want to plant:

 

Strawberries

Will start coming into stores in May. To set your self up for success, they're

best planted Late Autumn/Early spring as it gives them time to get their roots

down before they take off next spring.

 

Garlic and Shallots

Traditionally planted around the Winter Solstice, but in recent years many people have been planting earlier in May and growing an incredible crop.

Arrival date to be confirmed.

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