Time to sow for summer – here’s what you should be planting now!

Spring has sprung and from Sunday onwards, the moon is rising, so it is time to get sowing your summer seeds! If your region has persistent cold weather, then sowing can still be done, but keep them indoors or in a greenhouse.

For me sowing any seeds is exciting, but for those of you that only sow and plant in the summer, the time to act is now.

What should I sow?

Over the next two weeks is a perfect window to sow any leafy producers like lettuce, rocket, bok choi and coriander. Towards the end of the second week, it is good to sow flower seeds, including sunflowers, cosmos, zinnia, phacelia, marigold and beneficial flowers.

Throughout the next couple of weeks, get sowing the likes of pumpkin, melons, tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, chillis, beans and eggplant.

I find that eggplant, chilli and capsicum seeds can take a long time to germinate. Ideally they should be up within 7 – 10 days, but they require a minimum temperature of 21 degrees.

Top tip for germinating seeds:

I have found one successful way is to put your growing medium (soil / potting mix etc.) into the pot a few days beforehand, water and bring inside to heat the soil up. If you put your seeds into cold soil, they are not going to be happy and may not even germinate.

I have also had great success by putting them between 2 damp paper towels and putting in a zip lock bag in a warm place for 4-5 days; then carefully opening the paper towels to the joy of chilli seeds germinated!

After this stage, be very mindful how you transplant these into pots, as the little root system is very delicate. Always remember the seeds from the fruit-classified family will take longer to germinate as most of them require a higher germinating temperature and are generally harder and bigger seeds than most of the leafy producers.

If you have an orchard or a few fruit trees, this really is the last chance to be sowing your herbal companions underneath before the ground starts to dry out. I know it is hard to believe that our ground will dry out given the state of the saturation of soil right now in some parts of the country, but believe me, it can happen really quick! Give your plants a good start by getting them in before the drying happens.

Remember – growing successful food all depends on your soil, so start preparing your beds ready for spring planting and remember to know your friends and foes in the garden.

Happy sowing!

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