Seed Sowing (Vegetables)

Easy steps for growing from seed with Evette Jungwirth

Get back to basics and plant your own heirloom seeds!

Step 1

Sow the seed directly into the soil.

Step 2

Push into the soil to twice the depth of the seed.

Step 3

Water in well, then keep the soil moist to touch until the seedling emerges.  This can take 1-3 weeks depending on the variety.

Step 4

Protect young seedlings from pests such as slugs and snails. Water and fertilise when necessary.

Growing from seeds is one of the biggest joys of gardening and here at Diggers we encourage everyone to give it a go.

Many varieties do much better if you sow from seed rather than transplant a seedling.  The following fruits and vegies should always be grown from seed:

♦    BEANS
♦    BEETROOT
♦    CARROT
♦    CORN
♦    FENNEL
♦    PARSNIP
♦    PEAS
♦    PUMPKIN
♦    RADISH
♦    ROCKMELON
♦    SILVERBEET
♦    TURNIP
♦    WATERMELON
♦    ZUCCHINI

cool Climate - August

BROAD BEAN 'AQUADULCE'

A heavy cropping early strain with fragrant black and white flowers. Wonderful emerald green beans are one of the first treasures of the spring harvest. Tender beans delicous either braised or fresh in salads or dips. Older beans can be blanched and peeled for treasure inside. Plus like all members of the legume family, Broad Beans are one of the most effective green manure crops, adding valuable nitrogen to the soil. Reward your garden and plant a crop today!

BROCCOLI 'GREEN SPROUTING' ORGANIC

An Italian variety, the blue-green head is followed by `broccolini type' side shoots that can be harvested for up to 3 months. Harvest main head 9 weeks from transplant. Yields 1.3kg per plant.

CABBAGE 'MINI'

Our fastest forming cabbage and best seller!Ideal for raised garden beds, mini-plots and small gardens, this fast-growing, small cabbage forms neat, crisp heads when planted 20cm apart and is ready to harvest in just 18 weeks. Slow to bolt, plant at 50cm spacings for larger 1.3kg heads.

CELERY 'STRINGLESS' ORGANIC

A stringless strain with crisp, earthy flavoured 40cm stems ribbed light green. Feed and water well for the most succulent stems.

CELTUCE

A lettuce that is also used a celery - strange but true. This ancient Chinese vegetable is much sought-after by those that know it, branded 'the next big thing' in Epicurious, so get ahead of the curve with this new (to the west anyway) vegetable. Grow and harvest young leaves as a lettuce then cut the succulent stems when they run to seed, reaching 30-40cm high.

KALE 'DWARF BLUE SCOTCH'

A handsome compact kale with tight frilly blue-green leaves. This one never gets bitter no matter how hot or cold it gets. Unlike other brassicas this kale can stand up to the heat and will produce right through spring and into summer, rewarding you with vitamin packed leaves for months.

LETTUCE HEIRLOOM MIX

A splendid mix of some of our favourite heirloom lettuces that bring colour and flavour from the garden to the table. Includes Tennis Ball, Rouge d'Hiver, Freckles, Tango and Red Leprechaun.

ONION 'AUSTRALIAN BROWN'

This strain of Australian Brown was selected from a popular market garden variety grown near Colac in the 1940's. The thick brown skin make it one of the best storing varieties.

PARSLEY 'CONTINENTAL' ORGANIC

Flat leaf Italian style variety with a slightly milder flavour than the curly leaf varieties.

PEA 'GREENFEAST'

An easy and rewarding crop for new and experienced gardeners. Traditional, sweet juicy peas for shelling are produced in abundance on these dwarf bushes.

RADISH HEIRLOOM MIX

A kaleidescope of healthy bright round radishes that add a spicy punch to salads and sandwiches. Includes golden Helios, Purple Plum, scarlet Round Red, pink and white Watermelon and Black Spanish.

SILVERBEET FIVE COLOUR MIX ORGANIC

Dazzling, colourful and extremely nutritious. Midribs of red, orange, yellow, pink or white make this the perfect fountaining accent plant for any flower or vegetable garden. Listed in Vilmorin's Vegetable Garden 1888, and also called Rainbow Chard we grew this for its re-introduction into the US for What's Old is New, where it became a best seller and a signature plant for heirlooms.

SPRING ONION 'EVERGREEN' ORGANIC

A versatile easy to grow vegie that can be used in a range of dishes from salads to stir fries. They add a touch of heat without making your eyes water like their other onion cousins.

SWEDE 'LAURENTIAN'

A full flavoured earthy swede with a savoury aftertaste. Under-rated as a vegetable, its smooth and creamy texture is a welcome surprise in our restaurant.

TURNIP 'PURPLE TOP' ORGANIC

This is the traditional American turnip with beautiful lilac and white uniform roots that are best eaten in stews, soups or delicious roasted whole. Easy to grow and ready to eat in just 8 weeks.

warm Climate - August

CAPSICUM SEVEN COLOUR MIX

A rainbow collection of heirloom sweet capsicums including Sweet Chocolate, Purple Beauty, White Diamond, Yellow Marconi, Chinese Giant, Red Cubanelle and Orange Bell.

ASPARAGUS 'FAT BASTARD' F1

The fattest spears than any other variety and a much higher yield with excellent rust resistance. Allow three years for the crown to dvelope from seed and two years for growth from the crown. Then enjoy this early spring tender treat.

BEETROOT HEIRLOOM MIX

Green, yellow and red ribbed leaves make a colourful addition to salads, while their roots provide a unique sweet taste. Includes Chioggia, Globe, Golden and White Blankoma.

BROCCOLI 'GREEN SPROUTING' ORGANIC

An Italian variety, the blue-green head is followed by `broccolini type' side shoots that can be harvested for up to 3 months. Harvest main head 9 weeks from transplant. Yields 1.3kg per plant.

CABBAGE 'MINI'

Our fastest forming cabbage and best seller!Ideal for raised garden beds, mini-plots and small gardens, this fast-growing, small cabbage forms neat, crisp heads when planted 20cm apart and is ready to harvest in just 18 weeks. Slow to bolt, plant at 50cm spacings for larger 1.3kg heads.

CARROT HEIRLOOM MIX

An exclusive Digger's mix exploding with colours from red to white and purple to yellow. Succulent and sweet, these carrots hold their colour when cooked, adding an exciting dimension to meals and salads.

CELERY 'STRINGLESS' ORGANIC

A stringless strain with crisp, earthy flavoured 40cm stems ribbed light green. Feed and water well for the most succulent stems.

CELTUCE

A lettuce that is also used a celery - strange but true. This ancient Chinese vegetable is much sought-after by those that know it, branded 'the next big thing' in Epicurious, so get ahead of the curve with this new (to the west anyway) vegetable. Grow and harvest young leaves as a lettuce then cut the succulent stems when they run to seed, reaching 30-40cm high.

CHERVIL

This anise flavoured leaf is a favourite of French chefs to add piquancy to salad greens. Ideal for growing during the short day lengths of the winter months but equally as happy in the warmer months in a shady moist position. Its white flowers are like a delicate Queen Anne's Lace.

CHILLI MILD MANNERED MIX

A mix of chillies that will bring some welcome warmth to your cooking without blowing your socks off! We've included the slightly warm Alma Paprika for drying, the prolific and reliable Joes Long Cayenne, the ever so subtly spicy Padron and our taste test favourite for its sweet and heat combination- Sante Fe Grande.

CORIANDER ORGANIC

Looking light and gauzy in the garden, coriander grows rapidly in the cooler months. Eat the leaves fresh, dry-fry the seeds and use the roots for that nuance of Thailand in a stir-fry or curry.

DILL 'BOUQUET' ORGANIC

From Lithuanian to Laos, the soft, feathery leaves and seeds of Dill are the vital ingredient for salads, pickles, vinegars and yoghurt dishes, and of course, cucumber. The blue textured leaves also contrast in ornamental plantings with salvias, dahlia, while the yellow umbel flowers attract beneficial insects to fruit trees and the vegetable patch.

LEEK 'KING RICHARD' ORGANIC

ORGANIC! Richard: The King of Leeks! An excellent early variety, producing extra- long shanks that are easy to clean and uniform. A cook's favourite. Harvest early as `baby leeks'.

LETTUCE HEIRLOOM MIX

A splendid mix of some of our favourite heirloom lettuces that bring colour and flavour from the garden to the table. Includes Tennis Ball, Rouge d'Hiver, Freckles, Tango and Red Leprechaun.

ONION 'AUSTRALIAN BROWN'

This strain of Australian Brown was selected from a popular market garden variety grown near Colac in the 1940's. The thick brown skin make it one of the best storing varieties.

PEPPERMINT

Commonly used as a flavouring in tea, ice cream, biscuits and sweets. It can also be used to scent shampoos, soaps and lotions or used as a natural pesticide and insect deterrent. The flowers produce large amounts of nectar and attract bees.

PARSLEY 'CONTINENTAL' ORGANIC

Flat leaf Italian style variety with a slightly milder flavour than the curly leaf varieties.

PARSNIP 'HOLLOW CROWN'

A smooth skinned variety that has been a favourite since the 1820's. The flavour improves if stored in the soil over winter. Sow in spring in cold climates and in autumn in warmer climates.

PEA 'GREENFEAST'

An easy and rewarding crop for new and experienced gardeners. Traditional, sweet juicy peas for shelling are produced in abundance on these dwarf bushes.

RADISH HEIRLOOM MIX

A kaleidescope of healthy bright round radishes that add a spicy punch to salads and sandwiches. Includes golden Helios, Purple Plum, scarlet Round Red, pink and white Watermelon and Black Spanish.

SILVERBEET FIVE COLOUR MIX - FARMERS 10G

FARMERS MARKET BULK PACK Our Five Colour silverbeets are the "Bright Lights" for any backyard. Dazzling, colourful and extremely nutritious. Midribs of red, orange, yellow, pink or white make this the perfect fountaining accent plant for any flower or vegetable garden. Listed in Vilmorin's Vegetable Garden 1888, and also called "Rainbow Chard" we grew this for its re-introduction into the US for "What's Old is New", where it became a best seller and a signature plant for heirlooms. 400 seeds.

SPINACH 'NEW ZEALAND'

Easy to grow, ground cover and long lived perennial substitute for spinach in salty coastal areas. Also known as Warrigal Greens. Needs cooking to remove oxalates.

SPRING ONION 'EVERGREEN' ORGANIC

A versatile easy to grow vegie that can be used in a range of dishes from salads to stir fries. They add a touch of heat without making your eyes water like their other onion cousins.

SWEDE 'LAURENTIAN'

A full flavoured earthy swede with a savoury aftertaste. Under-rated as a vegetable, its smooth and creamy texture is a welcome surprise in our restaurant.

TOMATO 'RED AND BLACK' ORGANIC

As black as a blackberry but with juicy red flesh. Unlike any other tomato, its indigo blue skin ripens to jet black and is packed full of anti-oxidants. This most striking heirloom brings tomatoes closer to the nutrition of blueberries and lifts their plate appeal, just as blueberries balance the red of strawberries.

TASTE TEST WINNERS SEED COLLECTION

We know our tomatoes! For over 30 years Diggers has been trialling and tasting tomatoes and we now believe we have the tastiest range on offer in Australia. This selection rated tops in the largest taste test we have ever run at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Collection includes Tommy Toe, Pink Bumble Bee, Jaune Flamme, Wapsipinicon Peach and Green Grape.

TURNIP 'WHITE MINI'

Tender round white roots, stores well. Crisp, beautiful well shaped rounds, ideal for the turnip lover. Harvest in only 7 weeks.

hot Climate - August

CAPSICUM SEVEN COLOUR MIX

A rainbow collection of heirloom sweet capsicums including Sweet Chocolate, Purple Beauty, White Diamond, Yellow Marconi, Chinese Giant, Red Cubanelle and Orange Bell.

CARROT HEIRLOOM MIX

An exclusive Digger's mix exploding with colours from red to white and purple to yellow. Succulent and sweet, these carrots hold their colour when cooked, adding an exciting dimension to meals and salads.

CELTUCE

A lettuce that is also used a celery - strange but true. This ancient Chinese vegetable is much sought-after by those that know it, branded 'the next big thing' in Epicurious, so get ahead of the curve with this new (to the west anyway) vegetable. Grow and harvest young leaves as a lettuce then cut the succulent stems when they run to seed, reaching 30-40cm high.

CHILLI MILD MANNERED MIX

A mix of chillies that will bring some welcome warmth to your cooking without blowing your socks off! We've included the slightly warm Alma Paprika for drying, the prolific and reliable Joes Long Cayenne, the ever so subtly spicy Padron and our taste test favourite for its sweet and heat combination- Sante Fe Grande.

CHIVES COMMON

The leaves have a delicate onion flavour and are used to enliven dishes of eggs, potatoes, salads and soups. The purple orbs of flowers are also edible and look a treat in the garden. Can be grown as an insect repellent barrier.

CORIANDER ORGANIC

Looking light and gauzy in the garden, coriander grows rapidly in the cooler months. Eat the leaves fresh, dry-fry the seeds and use the roots for that nuance of Thailand in a stir-fry or curry.

CUCUMBER 'LEBANESE MINI MUNCHER' ORGANIC

No need to peel this classic Mediterranean smooth skin variety. Perfect for salads, pickling or combining with yoghurt for a traditional tzatziki. Yields approximately 40 fruit/plant.

DILL 'BOUQUET' ORGANIC

From Lithuanian to Laos, the soft, feathery leaves and seeds of Dill are the vital ingredient for salads, pickles, vinegars and yoghurt dishes, and of course, cucumber. The blue textured leaves also contrast in ornamental plantings with salvias, dahlia, while the yellow umbel flowers attract beneficial insects to fruit trees and the vegetable patch.

LEEK 'KING RICHARD' ORGANIC

ORGANIC! Richard: The King of Leeks! An excellent early variety, producing extra- long shanks that are easy to clean and uniform. A cook's favourite. Harvest early as `baby leeks'.

LETTUCE HEIRLOOM MIX

A splendid mix of some of our favourite heirloom lettuces that bring colour and flavour from the garden to the table. Includes Tennis Ball, Rouge d'Hiver, Freckles, Tango and Red Leprechaun.

ONION 'AUSTRALIAN BROWN'

This strain of Australian Brown was selected from a popular market garden variety grown near Colac in the 1940's. The thick brown skin make it one of the best storing varieties.

PARSLEY 'CONTINENTAL' ORGANIC

Flat leaf Italian style variety with a slightly milder flavour than the curly leaf varieties.

PUMPKIN 'WALTHAM BUTTERNUT'

A prized heirloom Butternut that sets the standard by which other pumpkins are judged. Classically shaped fruit with a small seed cavity so you get more usable pumpkin. Soft yellow flesh and a great nutty flavour. Harvest in 19 weeks. 6kg per plant.

RADISH HEIRLOOM MIX

A kaleidescope of healthy bright round radishes that add a spicy punch to salads and sandwiches. Includes golden Helios, Purple Plum, scarlet Round Red, pink and white Watermelon and Black Spanish.

SILVERBEET FIVE COLOUR MIX ORGANIC

Dazzling, colourful and extremely nutritious. Midribs of red, orange, yellow, pink or white make this the perfect fountaining accent plant for any flower or vegetable garden. Listed in Vilmorin's Vegetable Garden 1888, and also called Rainbow Chard we grew this for its re-introduction into the US for What's Old is New, where it became a best seller and a signature plant for heirlooms.

SPINACH 'NEW ZEALAND'

Easy to grow, ground cover and long lived perennial substitute for spinach in salty coastal areas. Also known as Warrigal Greens. Needs cooking to remove oxalates.

SPRING ONION 'EVERGREEN' ORGANIC

A versatile easy to grow vegie that can be used in a range of dishes from salads to stir fries. They add a touch of heat without making your eyes water like their other onion cousins.

More

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Seed Sowing (Wildflowers)

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Seedling Care

Tim Sansom gets you started with your spring mini-seedlings

Strawberries

Julie Willis' hints on growing strawberries

Sweet Potato

Camilla Lazzar's planting, growing and harvesting tips

Tea

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Three Sisters Companion Planting

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Tomatoes

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Evette Jungwirth

Evette is a passionate backyard gardener and has been a Diggers Botanical Guide. Over the years she has also headed up the Heronswood Garden Shop, plus our plant, seed and bulb departments, giving her a wealth of knowledge to share with members.
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