Vegetable gardening report

April 7, 2009

I put some silverbeet in last weekend, and it’s looking good already. I think I might get away with some brassicas of one kind or another, and some carrots too, if they germinate before it gets too cold. I think it’s too windy for broad beans or anything tall ever to succeed here, but fresh peas from a dwarf variety have proved a winner.

There are plenty of fresh herbs, and I’m bringing in my pepper in a container to see whether it will keep producing indoors.

There are many reasons to grow your own vegetables: they generally taste better, they’re probably more nutritious, and you know all about their history. The thing about growing vegetables to save money though is that it is very hard to grow certain things cheaper than you can buy them. For example, no one in their right minds would grow onions in Wellington. They’re gross feeders, a year’s supply would tie up a big area, and they can be had for less than $2 kg year round. Likewise, fresh spuds are the best ones, but a year’s supply takes more land, more feeding and more labour than I care to put in. I just keep a bucket or two on the go instead.

On the other hand, I got 12 silverbeet seedlings for $3, so as long as I get more than one head’s worth off them, I’m ahead. I already have a compost heap and the labour of digging has already been expended. A small bag of blood and bone will last a long time too.

How’s your garden coming on?



  1. Our new house down here had a big garde of potatoe and weeds when we moved in 3 months ago. I now have leeks, 3 types of cabbge, and celery on the go. Silverbeet to go in over Easter. I have lots of lettuce in the glasshouse because I had no idea what the weather does down here (Dunedin). I’ve planted lots of herbs outside the kitchen and they are doing great.

    Have been digging potatoes and there were lots of urenika purple ones and some ruas. Still have half the veggie garden to dig.

    I don’t hink much will grow over winter here so not sure of the next crops to plant.

  2. Yeah, I’ve discovered that a lot of my gardening knowledge from Hamilton and Auckland is useless in Wellington. It’s just too cold here, and too windy. Definitely an English rather than an Italian kitchen garden is called for.

  3. don’t forget about the different daylight hours as well. most plants respond to length of daylight as opposed to environmental factors.

    so… when you would put in something at easter in auckland, it might pay to put it in a few weeks earlier here.

  4. Hmmm – well pretty much nothing’s going to grow over winter in Mosgiel then. We will see 🙂

  5. indeed. how many hours of daylight do you actually get down there?

    is it scots-like 6 hours a day in midwinter?

  6. I am trying to recall – I grew up in Invercargill but left 20+ years ago so its all a bit of a blur

    Oh – Just looked it up apparently on 30 June Sun rises at 8:20am and sets at 5:02pm. Mind you the loooooong twighlights in the summer (and the aurora) make up for it all (yeah rigth)

  7. I grow broad beans in Wellington. Just put a stake in at each end of each row and as the beans grow wind a bit of string between the stakes (i.e. up one side of the beans and down the other)to hold the plants upright.

    I usually need two bits of string, one at about a foot high and the other depending on how tall your beans get.

    They need full sun if you’re planting at this time of year.

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