Things to plant in the veggie garden this July


Winter lettuce.

Things may go a little dull in winter, but there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy leafy greens.

Words: Jane Wrigglesworth

SOW WINTER LETTUCE every two or so weeks to keep up a regular supply. In cooler regions plant in pots or raised beds. Hardy winter lettuces include ‘Rouge d’Hiver’, ‘Lollo Rossa’, ‘Little Gem’, ‘Winter Triumph’, ‘Vivian’ and ‘Merveille des Quatre Saisons’.


Silverbeet.

SOW SEEDS OF BROAD BEANS, cabbages, carrots (in the warmer north), cauliflower, onions, peas, bok choy, silverbeet and spinach.


MINER’S LETTUCE (Claytonia perfoliata) is a superb green for the winter months.

Young leaves are heart-shaped, but as they mature they become more rounded and envelop the flower stem so that the flower looks like it grows straight out from the middle of the leaf.

Leaves are typically no more than 20mm wide, but are produced in abundance throughout the cooler months.

They’re packed with vitamin C, chlorophyll and omega-3 fatty acids, and taste like a sweeter version of spinach. The flowers are edible too.

Plants are usually found in the herb section at garden centres, or you can sow seeds directly in the soil.

As the seed is tiny, sprinkle onto the soil surface and firm down gently, but don’t cover.


THE ORIENTAL MESCLUN blend from Kings Seeds is also winter hardy and includes mustard, komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach), kale, mizuna, mibuna, tat-soi, pak choi, red cabbage and green broccoli.


CORN SALAD(Valerianella locusta), also known as lamb’s lettuce, is another hardy winter green. It has a somewhat nutty flavour with a soft texture, rather than crunchy.

It’s a great winter gap filler, and can be used in winter salads or cooked like spinach.

You can grow it as a cut-and-come-again salad green or harvest the whole plant. In either case, successive sowing will ensure a continuous supply.


 

EARLY POTATOES can be planted in frost-free areas. In cooler areas, buy your early spuds for sprouting. Four to six weeks before they are planted, set your seed potatoes out in open trays in full sun where shoots will grow from each eye. Potatoes can be planted out when shoots are 2.5-3cm long.

 

 

NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.

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