After the recent rather crappy weather, we really need to start the mahi for Spring and Summer.
(Spring on 23 September at 13.03 to be precise)
Christmas spuds need to go into the ground if you want them before Xmas:
Seed potatoes: “chitted” (= the “eyes” have started to run out) is often a quicker way to getting the plants to develop.
I intend to put them in large, plastic containers (Bunnings) with holes drilled in the bottom and filled up with good growing mix; five or six potatoes; leave just 4 or 5 sprouts on the blunt top of the seed potato and dig them 30 cm deep and 30-40 cm apart.
I have no time to “add” soil mix to the growing shoots when they pop their heads above ground – Just bang them in a foot deep.
Potato fertiliser always has a bit more “P” (Phosphate) in it to encourage root growth and tuber growth
Jersey Bennes and such early varieties are probably the best to use before Christmas.
That’s all I do this year so I don’t play Russian roulette with solanum pests such as Psyllids, later in the season. (AND I WANT TO PROTECT MY MAIN TUNNELHOUSE CROP: TOMATOES!)
Should be sown now in seed-raising mix and transplanted outside when frost danger is over; in tunnelhouse I don’t have that problem, so can bang them in as soona s they are 20 cm tall with good roots. (There are still tomatoes ripening in my tunnelhouse from last year on really old and rubbish vines, so they’ll need removing asap)
more about tomatoes and how to do it, next week!
Another crop I totally ignored this last year is Witlof (endive). It grows well here but due to far too much education work, never had the time to “harvest” them in autumn and grow the white chicons in a large tub of light-free sand.
So: prepare a good free-draining bed in which to sow your “chicory” to get decent-sized roots for “burying” in the next autumn. They’re easy to grow in the South Island too and witlof is simply one of those weird, bitter Dutch crops that is otherwise hard to “buy off the shelf.
I usually keep up with my lettuce (COS!) and spring onions, but will need to plonk in the peas and Broad beans asap before the summer sun creates havoc.
These crops have a habit to grow in just about any soil condition. As long as they have good light and are not kept too dry.
Liquid fertiliser seems to be the best way to keep’em happy and when I chuck Seafood Soup and Seaweed Tea on them they shoot up with vapour trails
And Vapour Trails is what I will produce this weekend – honestly … it’s panic stations!