GROW FOOD slow food Have your garden and eat it too. A practical guide to organic gardening in the sub-tropics with step-by-step instructions and delicious seasonal recipes. Come with me too on some of my travels in Australia, Europe, Asia and beyond.

MY SEASONAL PLANTING GUIDE FOR THE SUBTROPICS

 There are some jobs in the garden that are just plain fun – like seed saving – and where little fingers work best!

NOTE ABOUT STARTING FROM SEEDS: I have found that I have the most success by using local seed – something passed around from gardener to gardener – they tend to be better fruiting varieties and more resistant to pests and diseases.  

HOW ABOUT GROWING SEEDS FROM FOOD THAT YOU BUY?.  Check out the information at the bottom of this post. It’s free and fun.

STARTING WITH SEEDLINGS? Here are my TOP TIPS for common mistakes when buying seedlings and how to pick healthy ones.

THESE BASIL SEEDLINGS WERE FOR SALE AT MY LOCAL HARDWARE STORE TODAY.  WHY SHOULDN’T YOU BUY THEM?.

  1. THERE ARE MORE THAN 50 PLANTS IN ONE PUNNET.  If you planted them as is they would compete WITH EACH OTHER for root growth and ultimately only live for a few weeks in this dense clump.
  2. IF YOU TOOK THE TROUBLE TO DIVIDE THEM UP FIRST the growth would be set back by a few weeks because the roots would be damaged in the process – and I doubt whether you would have more than 40% success rate.
  3. NONE OF THESE SEEDLINGS HAVE DEVELOPED THEIR SECOND SET OF LEAVES and are NOT READY TO PLANT OUT YET.
  4. WHO NEEDS 50 BASIL PLANTS ANYWAY? (unless you are going into pesto production?)  This is lazy horticulture and consumers are constantly being ripped off and disappointed by this practice.  DON’T BUY THEM.

THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD BUY 

  1. ONE PLANT per growing cell.
  2. WHY? BECAUSE THE GROWTH OF THESE PLANTS WILL BE QUICKER AND HEALTHIER than the basil punnet.
  3. AND REMEMBER.  Don’t put from punnet to soil until the plant has developed TWO SETS OF LEAVES.

TOP TIP:  ALL ABOUT PLANT FAMILIES    (click on title for link)

WHO IS RELATED TO WHOM?  UNDERSTANDING THIS will benefit you and your garden.  WHY? It helps you decide what to plant next to each other, SOLVES CROP ROTATION DILEMMAS, DOES COMPANION PLANTING for you and looks wonderful because a PRODUCTIVE GARDEN CAN’T HELP BUT BE BEAUTIFUL 🍎

A- Annual
P – Perennial

Autumn/Winter 

Amaranth A
Beetroot A
Broad beans A
Brussels sprout A
Broccoli A 
Carrot  A
Cabbage A
Cauliflower A
Celery A
Ceylon spinach P
Chard A
Chinese greens – bok choy, pak choy, tatsoi A
Coriander A slow bolting
Cucumber A
Kohlrabi A
Garlic A  – harvest late spring
Horseradish P – divide in autumn
Kale  A/P
Kangkung P  – water spinach
Leeks A
Lemon Grass P – divide in autumn
Lettuce A  
Onion
Mustard Greens A
Parsley A/P 
Peas A
Potatoes A
Purslane P
Rhubarb P  – ready to pick early spring
Silverbeet A
Sorrel A/P
Spring onion A
Tomatoes A  – use local seed + plant late winter
Warrigal Greens P
Watercress A
Wild rocket P
Zucchini A – use local seed + plant late winter

Spring/Summer

Asian greens A 
Beetroot A
Basil  – A and P  
Bush beans A
Capsicum A
Choko P
Climbing beans A
Corn A
Cucumber
Dill A
Eggplant 
Fennel A
Italian basil A
Leeks A 
Lettuce A 
Melons A
Okra A
Pumpkin A
Radish     

Snake beans A

Spinach A 
Spring onion A
Squash A
Sweet potato P
Tomato A  
Winged bean A
Yacon P
Yam bean/Jicama P
Zucchini A

TOP TIP:  Next time you buy a TOMATO/CAPSICUM/CUCUMBER/CHILLI ………………..SAVE SOME OF THE SEED AND GROW IT YOURSELF!  That’s what I did with these BULLHORN CAPSICUM that were particularly lovely and ideal for stuffing. I saved some of the seed on a piece of kitchen paper then planted them in the punnet below.

ONE WEEK LATER and THE SEEDS ARE GROWING ALREADY IN SOME OF MY HOMEMADE SEED RAISING MIX.  It’s easy and cheap to do this – and fun.  Why not give it a try?  Go to this link for all about SEED RAISING

THE INFORMATION I SHARE ON MY WEBSITE IS FREE.  HOWEVER, IF YOU HAVE FOUND THIS POST USEFUL I DO ASK FOR A SMALL DONATION VIA THE BUTTON IN THE SIDEBAR – it helps to keep the grandchildren in ice creams and the wolf from the door. Thank you  Di🍎

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