10 late-spring gardening tasks: Sow carrots, transplant tomatoes and capsicums

The warmer days are practically begging you to get out the spade for late spring gardening. 

Words: Jane Wrigglesworth

Plant passionfruit in a warm, sunny spot, sheltered from winds and frosts. Passionfruit will tolerate a frost of -1-2°C for brief periods, but prolonged or more severe frosts will kill the growing shoots.

Soil must be free-draining. Add slow-release fertiliser and water well over the growing season.

Sow cape gooseberries in free-draining soil in full sun with shelter from wind. These herbaceous perennials are frost-tender; in cooler regions grow them as annuals.

Plant leafy greens for salads, like lettuces, mustards and rocket. Sow every two or three weeks for a continuous supply.

Watch for ants climbing the trunks of citrus trees. Ants are a sign that you have scale or other insects, which secrete honeydew, a substance that ants love. Deal to the scale and the ants will disappear.

Sow leaf amaranth as a warm-season spinach substitute. It’s highly nutritious and can be used in any recipe that calls for spinach. Use the younger leaves in salads and sandwiches; the older leaves can be steamed or added to stir-fries.


It’s your last chance to plant globe artichokes. Sow seeds or plant seedlings in deep, humus-rich soil. Plants are deep-rooting, so dig deep before planting. Apply blood and bone or a liquid fertiliser high in nitrogen, and again a fortnight later. Water well over the summer months.

Transplant tomatoes & capsicums now. Apply a general fertiliser while plants are young. Once they begin to flower, switch to a specialist, high-pottassium tomato fertiliser to encourage flowers and fruit.

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Sow or plant Florence fennel in well-drained, moist, fertile soil. Dig in plenty of organic matter before planting to hold moisture. Dry spells and dips in temperature may cause plants to bolt to seed without forming bulbs. If you have trouble keeping your plants from bolting, sow in mid-summer so plants can develop in the cooler months of autumn.

Sow salsify, beans, carrots, chives, radishes, and turnips directly in the ground.

Beetroot, cucumber, zucchini and pumpkin can be direct sown or planted in trays for transplanting later.

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