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 - July

WATERCRESS 'LARGE LEAF'

With one of the highest antioxidant levels of any vegetable, you will be hard-pressed to find a food that is more health-giving. A noted appetite stimulant with high vitamin C content, watercress will help lower lipid (fat) levels and scavenge free radicals, all this at the same time as giving sandwiches and salads a delightful mild peppery flavour. It grows easily in moist soil or by water.

BROCCOLI 'KAILAAN'

Long succulent stems topped with compact broccoli heads that open to white flowers. All parts, even the leaves, are good eating. The taste is sweet to start, then the mustard flavour comes through. Excellent steamed, in stir-fries and laksas. Can be planted close together as its upright narrow habit grows well en masse.

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!

KALE 'TUSCAN CAVOLO NERO'

The kale that launched this superfood! A culinary champion in the kitchen and lauded by seasonal chefs. Also known as Tuscan Black, it grows like a mini palm tree with elephant-grey leaves that can be picked continually from 8 weeks. Perfect for light braising in butter and verjuice.

ONION 'RED MARKSMAN'

This late planting variety stores exceptionally well for a red onion. The white flesh is crisp and juicy and has a sweet, fruity flavour that makes it perfect for salads or stir-fries.

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.

PEA 'SUGAR SNAP' CLIMBING

Shell for full size peas, or eat pod and all. Yields 230g per plant. Edible pods.

TURNIP 'WHITE MINI'

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

warm Climate - July

CARROT 'ST VALERY'

A French heirloom held in high esteem by 19th century French market gardeners. Its broad neck and long tapering orange-red roots will make it a favourite in your kitchen too. Reliable and productive, worthy of a place in all vegie gardens.

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.

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.

RADISH 'ROUND RED' ORGANIC

The most outstanding brilliant bright-red round radishes that are mild, crunchy and resistant to pithiness. A quick grower, the 4cm round radishes are ready to harvest in 35 days.

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.

SNOW PEA 'YUKOMO GIANT'

This Japanese selection is the longest and tallest snow pea. Pods develop up to 14cm long from beautiful purple flowers. Ornamental and tasty. Edible pods.

BEETROOT 'BURPEE'S GOLDEN' ORGANIC

Dating from before 1828, this orange skinned beet transforms with clear yellow flesh when cooked and it is the best baby beet around - declious also when roasted. Exceptionally sweet roots and leaves, also ideal for salads and messy eaters as it doesn't bleed like the red varieties. 60 gram roots at 8 week harvest.

hot Climate - July

CARROT 'BABY'

Harvest delicious finger length carrots in 8 weeks, or leave to grow to 20cm in another two months. Good for heavy soils.

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 'DE CICCO' ORGANIC

ORGANIC! Traditional Italian sprouting broccoli. Harvest the central head first to promote vigorous side shoots for up to 6 months. Harvest in 9 weeks from transplant. Yields 1.1kg/plant.

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.

CAPSICUM 'CALIFORNIA WONDER'

This sweet red capsicum is as popular today as it was when it was first introduced to American gardeners in the 1920's. It is as equally good whether eaten green or red.

CORN 'GOLDEN BANTAM' ORGANIC

This is the 'corniest' of sweet corn with true flavour. Rich yellow cobs on 1.5m stalks. Heirloom favourite since 1902. Non-hybrid.

CUCUMBER 'ARMENIAN'

Pale burpless fruit with a refreshing flavour. Drier flesh stores up to one month. Kids boast its yard-long size but best picked when about 30cm in length. Approximately 7kg per plant. Sets fruit well in hot climates.

More

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The low-down on asparagus by Camilla Lazzar

Avocado

Growing and harvesting avocado by Clive Blazey

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The basics on blueberries with Julie Willis

Bulbs

Julie Willis shares the simplicity of planting bulbs

Citrus

Marcus Ryan shares his tips on growing citrus trees

Dahlias

Growing and caring for dahlias with Camilla Lazzar

Dragon Fruit

Jamie Alcock's tips on growing this exotic fruit

Espalier Training

Julie Willis tells us how to espalier fruit trees

Garlic

Camilla Lazzar's hints on growing and harvesting garlic

Melons

Melon varieties and how to grow them with Julie Willis

Microgreens

Tim Sansom's 5 key points on growing microgreens

Oca (New Zealand Yam)

Camilla Lazzar on this 'lost crop of the Incas'

Potatoes

Camilla Lazzar on growing the humble spud!

Seed Sowing (Wildflowers)

Easy steps for growing from seed with Evette Jungwirth

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

Totally tea with Julie Willis

Three Sisters Companion Planting

Our Seed Manager, Evette, explains this ancient companion planting method.

Tomatoes

Growing tomato tips from The Diggers team

Tree Planting

Bill Bampton shows us how to give trees a good start in the garden

Vegie Garden Basics

Creating a vegie garden from scratch with Julie Willis

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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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