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 - November

ASPARAGUS 'SWEET PURPLE'

With a 20% higher sugar content than the green asparagus this purple variety of asparagus has a wonderful mild earthy flavour when cooked or eaten raw. Cut spears back in second year to increase harvest.

COSMOS PICOTEE

Picotee is a reminder of how cottage gardens used to be- wild, romantic and colourful. Step back in time and enjoy the beauty of these starry white and pink blooms that dance above fern-like green foliage.

BEAN 'AUSTRALIAN BUTTER' ORGANIC

A climbing butter bean that ticks all the boxes. The long round beans are golden yellow and have the taste, texture and appearance of having already being daubed with butter. Flowers are mauve and the seeds are deep purple making a sensational contrast to the pods. Prolific and producing for months this one is a real winner.

BEAN 'BABY SUN'

Attractive round and stringless beans, jsut as productive as they are tasty. Crops continuously from 40cm tall bushes. Harvest in 10 weeks. Yields 350g per plant.

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.

BRUSSELS SPROUT 'LONG ISLAND'

Cropping over a long period, this was the sprout to grow before hybrids took over. Harvest 140-160 days.

CARROT 'WESTERN RED'

We are thrilled to be able to offer you seeds from the original strain of this reliable true blue Aussie carrot. The most popular variety for Australian market gardeners for decades due to its high yield and long tapering roots. We would like to pay tribute to the late Reg O'Connor from Natimuk (aka Reg the Veg) for donating these seeds to Diggers and allowing us to keep his superior selection in cultivation for our members. Reg and his wife Hazel were well known in Victoria's western district for their magnificent organic vegie garden. Hazel recommends Western Red as a sweet all-rounder which is excellent for juicing.

EGGPLANT 'VIOLETTA DI FIRENZE'

Plump Italian queen of heirloom eggplants. Translates as 'Purple from Florence'. Creamy bitterless texture to hefty ruffled tear drop shaped fruit which are stunning from garden to table. Perfect size for a substantial meal.

TOMATO 'JAUNE FLAMME' ORGANIC

This jewel-coloured heirloom from France produces fruit in just 7 weeks from transplant. With large amounts of carotene, orange tomatoes have almost as much beta-carotene as carrots. Yields 6.5kg/plant.

TOMATO 'BARRY'S CRAZY CHERRY' ORGANIC

Only the second tomato to surpass Tommy Toe in our taste tests! Profuse (really - crazy!) clusters of oblong yellow fruit that change in flavour from tart to sweet as they ripen - finishing with a flavour like sweet moscato (Brix level of 8). This selection is sure to be a hit with young and old alike. 96 Days, 3 kg

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.

ZUCCHINI 'BLACK BEAUTY' ORGANIC

Pick flowers for stuffing or leave fruit until it is 15cm long. Produces more fruit than the standard hybrid Black Jack. Just 9 weeks to harvest.

CORN 'BREAKTHROUGH' F1

Twice as sweet as ordinary corn and keeps its flavour for up to 10 days. Harvest in 12 weeks.

CORN 'PAINTED MOUNTAIN' ORGANIC

Saved from extinction by Montana farmer, Dave Christensen, the original strains of this ancient corn were believed to be widely cultivated by native Indians and early American settlers. Painted Mountain is very cold hardy and can be ground for flour or grown purely to enjoy the rich tapestry of colours found in every cob.

CHILLI 'JOE'S LONG CAYENNE' ORGANIC

A classic vibrant long red chilli with a mild taste when seeds are removed or leave seeds in to turn up the heat. A show-stopping ornamental. Harvest in 15 weeks from transplant. 1kg of fruit per plant. Heat rating 3.

ZINNIA 'CALIFORNIA GIANTS'

Sunset colours of these double flowers evoke the American state in size and proud form. Bright blooms of coral pink, vivid orange, reds, yellows and purples stand upright. Hardy, with peerless preformance during long hot Australian summers once established. With firm, long lasting petals, Zinnias are excellent cut flowers from our grandparents' generation long overdue for some extra attention in a changing climate.

SUNFLOWER 'PRADO RED' ORGANIC

Exclusive to Diggers. Rich velvet flowers in rich red to burnt orange tones, fading to yellow at the end of the season. The generosity of a multi-stemmed sunflower with up to 10 heads per plant that dazzles in the garden up to 2 months of consistent flowering. Flowering can be extended from regular de-heading. ORGANIC

CHILLI 'EARLY JALAPENO'

A high-yielding and compact chilli variety, the 'Early JalapeĀ¤o' is a great, hot addition to the summer vegetable patch. Originating in Mexico, this variety has several uses in the heat-seeking kitchen especially for slicing and pickling but also stuffing as Southern favourite 'poppers'. Can be grown in large pots for the space conscious.

warm Climate - November

CARROT 'ATOMIC RED'

Carrots are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables and Atomic Red is the deepest red, non-hybrid variety we could find. Red carrots contain the highest levels of the cancer fighting anti-oxidant lycopene. Eat one a day to keep the doctor away ...

WATERMELON 'BLACKTAIL MOUNTAIN' ORGANIC

The most cold tolerant of watermelons, and as the name suggests, this is the one for cooler mountain climates. Yields glassy dark, cannon ball-like 5kg fruit with sweet, succulent red flesh. The colour contrast of rich red flesh and near-black skin is picture perfect. 15 weeks to harvest. 4 fruit per plant, 5kg per fruit.

ZINNIA 'CALIFORNIA GIANTS'

Sunset colours of these double flowers evoke the American state in size and proud form. Bright blooms of coral pink, vivid orange, reds, yellows and purples stand upright. Hardy, with peerless preformance during long hot Australian summers once established. With firm, long lasting petals, Zinnias are excellent cut flowers from our grandparents' generation long overdue for some extra attention in a changing climate.

SUNFLOWER 'PRADO RED' ORGANIC

Exclusive to Diggers. Rich velvet flowers in rich red to burnt orange tones, fading to yellow at the end of the season. The generosity of a multi-stemmed sunflower with up to 10 heads per plant that dazzles in the garden up to 2 months of consistent flowering. Flowering can be extended from regular de-heading. ORGANIC

COSMOS WHITE

Profuse and bright, pure white flowers float on tall strong stems with bold yellow centres. This tough annual preforms through late Spring and into the Australian Summer. Cosmos combine perfectly with old fashioned favourites such as sweet peas, salvias and hollyhocks for cottage garden appeal. Excellent cut flower to also bring inside.

SWEET BASIL ORGANIC

This is the true basil favoured by continental cooks. Grow half a dozen plants and you will have enough to pick fresh all summer plus make pesto that you can freeze for quick pasta dishes in the winter.

BEAN 'BABY SUN'

Attractive round and stringless beans, jsut as productive as they are tasty. Crops continuously from 40cm tall bushes. Harvest in 10 weeks. Yields 350g per plant.

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.

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.

CHILLI 'JOE'S LONG CAYENNE' ORGANIC

A classic vibrant long red chilli with a mild taste when seeds are removed or leave seeds in to turn up the heat. A show-stopping ornamental. Harvest in 15 weeks from transplant. 1kg of fruit per plant. Heat rating 3.

EGGPLANT 'VIOLETTA DI FIRENZE'

Plump Italian queen of heirloom eggplants. Translates as 'Purple from Florence'. Creamy bitterless texture to hefty ruffled tear drop shaped fruit which are stunning from garden to table. Perfect size for a substantial meal.

CORN 'HONEY AND CREAM' F1

So sweet it doesn't need cooking, with plump yellow and white kernels. Harvest in 12 weeks. Sow >20 C soil temperature.

CORN 'PAINTED MOUNTAIN' ORGANIC

Saved from extinction by Montana farmer, Dave Christensen, the original strains of this ancient corn were believed to be widely cultivated by native Indians and early American settlers. Painted Mountain is very cold hardy and can be ground for flour or grown purely to enjoy the rich tapestry of colours found in every cob.

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.

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.

SQUASH 'JAUNE ET VERTE'

Picked young,the flesh is sweet and buttery. The tender skin cooks to lime green. Compact variety producing scalloped fruit over a long period. This French heirloom created much excitement amongst those of us who were previously unconvinced about the merits of growing squash. Harvest from 7 weeks, yields 3kg per plant.

ZUCCHINI 'BLACK BEAUTY' ORGANIC

Pick flowers for stuffing or leave fruit until it is 15cm long. Produces more fruit than the standard hybrid Black Jack. Just 9 weeks to harvest.

WATERMELON 'SUGAR BABY'

This 1950s ice box sized heirloom produces an abundant crop of sweet, red fleshed melons. Has a compact growth habit that won't take over your garden. Harvest in just 10 weeks- making it our earliest yet. The tough outer skin resists cracking and its compact 15cm fruit fits perfectly in the fridge. 4 fruit per plant, 3kg per fruit.

hot Climate - November

RADISH 'FRENCH BREAKFAST'

An heirloom favourite since the 1880s, the oblong, rose scarlet radishes have crisp, white flesh and mildly pungent, flavoured roots. Harvest in just 35 days when roots are still small. One of our most popular winter radishes with reliable flavour during the growing period.

POPPY FLANDERS FIELD

Diggers favourite heirloom flower and one of the most widely recognised flowers for its significance in honouring fallen soldiers on Remembrance Day. It's always one of the first spring flowers to bloom on the battlefields of France, and it's commonly said to symbolise the blood of lost soldiers. Plant this season to be a part of the WW1 commerations. Covers 10 square metres.

PAK CHOY ORGANIC

Thick, curved succulent leaves are a must for stir-fries and Asian soups. Grow quickly in a rich, moist soil to harvest in about 8 weeks. Yields 110g per plant.

SUNFLOWER 'PRADO RED' ORGANIC

Exclusive to Diggers. Rich velvet flowers in rich red to burnt orange tones, fading to yellow at the end of the season. The generosity of a multi-stemmed sunflower with up to 10 heads per plant that dazzles in the garden up to 2 months of consistent flowering. Flowering can be extended from regular de-heading. ORGANIC

ZUCCHINI 'BLACK BEAUTY' ORGANIC

Pick flowers for stuffing or leave fruit until it is 15cm long. Produces more fruit than the standard hybrid Black Jack. Just 9 weeks to harvest.

RADISH 'PINK LADY SLIPPER'

Pink Lady Slipper is a charming yet robust addition to our radish offerings. Its crisp texture and mild pungency made it a taste test winner. The roots are an attractive pink colour, elongated with a blunt tip and slender taproot. In addition, this radish maintains its crisp texture and mild flavor for a stunning 40+ days from sowing! Matures in 30 to 34 days.

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.

SWEET BASIL ORGANIC

This is the true basil favoured by continental cooks. Grow half a dozen plants and you will have enough to pick fresh all summer plus make pesto that you can freeze for quick pasta dishes in the winter.

BEAN 'BABY SUN'

Attractive round and stringless beans, jsut as productive as they are tasty. Crops continuously from 40cm tall bushes. Harvest in 10 weeks. Yields 350g per plant.

EGGPLANT 'VIOLETTA DI FIRENZE'

Plump Italian queen of heirloom eggplants. Translates as 'Purple from Florence'. Creamy bitterless texture to hefty ruffled tear drop shaped fruit which are stunning from garden to table. Perfect size for a substantial meal.

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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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