NZ Kitchen Garden

Home grown goodness for the kitchen and pantry

It’s getting hot in here

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It feels great to grow your own seedlings, if you can. You need a little time and space, a little gear (like a hot house/cabinet), a little warmth, and then you need to remember to keep the tender stems moist as they grow over the coming weeks. Carefully selecting and packing seeds into seedling trays has become a day that I look forward to on my gardening calender. You reap the rewards every time you see the new growth and, of course, when you eventually plant them out and count the savings!

It’s still technically winter here, although our climate is warmer than others and we have lovely sunny days that encourage germination. That’s great news for the seeds that have entered the warm space of my hot house this week. Germinate away!!

I am still in the process of cultivating seeds from my own plants (mental note to self:  let some of the plants go to seed!!), so almost all of my currant seedlings-to-be have come from shop bought seeds. That’s a perfectly fine way to start your own plants and, from experience, you can be more certain that seeds are quality and will actually sprout. There was that one time that I had to go without Peas and Broad Beans, after waiting patiently for my hard-picked seeds from the previous season to sprout. They didn’t.

Here’s what’s inside my hot house at the moment:

In about a month, my little hot house cabinet should be swelling with seedlings, ready to be planted out in the garden early spring. Then, seeds of our most loved veges will be sewn into punnets each month to keep a continuous supply:  Spinach, Beetroot, Lettuce, Carrots, Broccoli … the list goes on!

And why the Sunflowers and Swan Plants for Monarch Butterflies, you ask? Because, why not. Both of these pretty-up the garden space and make me smile. I haven’t yet caught my Sunflower heads at the right time to dry and use the seeds (eating and planting), however it’s another thing that’s on my list of things of garden goals. FYI – try to plant Swan Plants near to plants with big leaves, as I have found that the caterpillars like to establish their chrysalis’ underneath them. I suspect that this is to shelter from the sun, wind and rain – and maybe hungry birds! See Blooms and Butterflies to see what I mean.

Bring on the sunshine – and remember to water those seedlings!

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