It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a blog, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to update you on what has been happening at Anita’s Garden.
Seedlings for summer
Some of you may recall in my earlier blog post that I sowed a variety of heat-loving plants such as tomatoes, capsicums and chillies back in late April and May, to see whether I could get a head start on the summer garden and have large sized plants by Labour Weekend. I’m pleased to report that I now have quite a few healthy plants! The capsicum and chilli plants performed best. In particular, I’m very happy with my Double Up F1 hybrid seedlings from Egmont Seeds. The orange variety of capsicum Muscato, another F1 hybrid, from Kings Seeds is also looking very healthy and strong.
Unfortunately, the tomatoes didn’t fare as well, the exception being the variety Black Krim from Yates. One of my gardening friends suggested that this is because the variety comes from Crimea where it gets very cold and for this reason, it is more robust than other varieties of tomatoes.
I’m very pleased with progress. My plants look healthy and strong. I hope to have a good harvest in 2018, after several bad years along with other growers, it seems.
You may recall me mentioning that I have been using Wally’s Vaporgard spray on liquid frost cloth on my tamarillo plants to help get them through winter. In the past, I have lost plants to frost, so I wanted to try this product. I raised quite a few red tamarillo plants from seed (Kings Seeds) and I’m pleased to report that three plants have survived. Those that made it were in a more sheltered position, next to our banana and lemon tree, than the ones that were in a more exposed location. I hope that these plants survive the rest of the winter so they can continue to grow at a good pace from spring onwards. In saying that, I’ve noticed that they grew quite a bit over winter. When I first planted them, half a plastic milk bottle fitted over them, which I used as a cloche but now they are much taller and have more leaves so they have well outgrown them.
I’m happy to report that my Easy Peasy seeds from Egmont Seeds have been growing very vigorously! Our wwoofer Berengere sowed them back in April. I would thoroughly recommend this variety to other gardeners.
We have been eating our way through the pumpkins that we grew over the summer. Pumpkins store very well, so we don’t eat them until winter when veges from the garden become more scarce. In particular, we have been enjoying the variety Blue Hubbard from Egmont Seeds (pictured). My gardening friend Colette Redman put me onto this fantastic variety. It is large, stores well and tastes very sweet. Simply divine!
Bunnings had some established lemongrass plants on special for just $5 each so I bought one and planted it in our garden. Just the thing we need to add to our Thai curries!
Pictures from the garden
Finally, here are a few photos for you to enjoy from our winter garden.
Berengere Vuathier and her boyfriend Ivan Gorobenko wwoofed at Anita's Garden for a week in April. Upon her return to France, Berengere kindly wrote an account of her time in New Zealand and at Anita's Garden for my blog. This is what she has to say.
Wwoofing, a precious human experience
Not long before turning 30, Ivan and I decided to take a year off from our work and daily life in Brussels. We felt the strong desire to travel around a few countries, mainly in Asia, Australia and New Zealand - our longest destination - to create memories and enjoy a slower life, by getting closer to nature and soaking up new cultures. September 2017 was the start of our so long desired journey. After several months traveling across Asia, we were longing for a more quiet, relaxed journey in New Zealand, one where we could meet locals and share moments of their life. This is where we spent our last four months.
New Zealand: A paradise for nature lovers
New Zealand is all about nature and environment. Wherever you go, wherever you drive, you will be quickly surrounded by stunning sceneries and unique wildlife. Take Auckland for example, the biggest city in New Zealand. It only takes a 30-minute ferry drive to land on the predator-free island of Rangitoto where the urban jungle is replaced by lava fields, where fantails will soon joyfully follow your steps. The pristine landscapes and the omnipresent outdoors have been the main drivers of our 4-month journey throughout New Zealand.
As keen hikers, we were eager to get as close as possible to the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps. At the wheel of our freshly acquired custom-built minivan, we drove along the scenic roads in search of the wonders of New Zealand and a real outdoor life.
Waking up facing the quiet waters of Lake Manapouri, climbing one of the Remarkables summits just before gazing at an unexpected sunset over Lake Wakatipu, enjoying the quiet countryside life on Hobbiton-like hills in the Coromandel Peninsula... These are just some of the many memories of the journey we have created for life.
Wwoofing, what’s it all about?
Throughout our adventures across both islands, our aim was not only to discover the country from a tourist's perspective - because when you’re traveling, you still remain a tourist - but also from an insider’s perspective. This is why we turned to the WWOOF organization to look for voluntary work opportunities on organic farms and urban gardens throughout the country.
« Wwoofing » is the common term to designate the 4 to 5 hours of work you do in exchange of accommodation and meals when staying at an organic farm. To us it was obviously more than that. What we were looking for when applying to hosts’ farm or garden projects was the opportunity to get a gardening experience in a sustainable way but also to share our hosts’ daily life and thus have a real cultural exchange.
Budding gardeners in New Zealand
Both Ivan and I have been living in big cities all our life until now - in Ukraine, France and Belgium - but what soon became an obvious topic for us was how we could source our food better. This is why we have been developing a growing interest into environment and health. Always living in flats, we have never had a garden before.
And here we are, at the other bit of the world, putting our hands in the soil. Seeding, removing weeds around feijoa and lemon trees, preparing compost or planting raspberry plants will soon have no secret for us.
One of these experiences was at Anita’s Garden. We chose to contact Anita as we could already feel her enthusiasm for gardening from her profile. We were also very interested to learn about her experience starting Anita’s Garden from scratch after her previous corporate lawyer career. From the very first moment we entered her house, we felt at ease. And Anita’s passion about gardening soon became contagious.
What is wwoofing really about?
What fascinates me about Anita is her very deep knowledge about urban gardening. She acquired it while starting Anita’s garden. Because Anita was much concerned about varying our work activities as much as possible, we were able to learn a great deal about planting transplanting, growing and generally tending to a garden. During the one week we stayed with her, Anita would give us small projects to achieve day after day: sowing easy peasy peas, poppies, carrots in buckets for the winter season to come, planting passion fruit vines… We loved helping her and our efforts in the garden were always rewarded with the delicious meals Anita’s mum, Sue, cooked with the vegetables coming right from the garden. How fascinating was it to witness and take part in her fantastic home garden: It is really impressive to see how much you can grow on a quarter acre around your house.
But what really made our experience with Anita so rich, is that we could engage into deep conversations and reflect it on our own lives. To Anita, working on her suburban section soon became more than just cultivating her own fruits and vegetables. Gardening can be a sort of therapy and help with all sorts of problems. It helps Anita to cope with some health problems and generally to feel better. And I can’t agree more. Working in the garden is soothing and I always feel like I am meditating. Our mind can focus on the present. Wwoofing is really about sharing your own experiences, be it in the garden or in life in general. We enjoyed to talk about her time when she was working in France, comparing our ways of life back home and here in New Zealand.
It was such an enriching experience to exchange with Anita on mind and life topics which go far beyond gardening activities. And this is exactly what wwoofing is about to us. Taking part in the gardening activities while learning and exchanging knowledge with the wwoofing hosts.Our wwoofing experiences have been far beyond our expectations. Not only have we learned a lot about how to grow organic vegetables from A to Z, but this was an incredibly rich human experience, one we are very grateful of.
Last weekend, a large garden centre in Auckland called Kings Plant Barn had their annual stock take sale, discounting all plants by 30%. I couldn’t resist but go to purchase a few plants to replace ones that unfortunately died in the garden. I also wanted to purchase some seedlings as it’s hard to raise plants from seed in the middle of winter. With the winter Solstice behind us, the timing to plant couldn’t be more perfect as the days are gradually getting longer.
I was completely bowled away by the cheerful instant potted colour in store. I decided instantly to make some hanging baskets for our outdoor patio with furniture infront of our house, where we often have afternoon tea. This little sanctuary is surrounded by our mini orchard and feels cosy and private, even though we are merely footsteps from the Great South Road. The store had lots of hanging baskets as examples. They’re incredibly easy to make. All you need is a coconut fibre hanging basket, some black plastic, potting mix and some plants. Line the black plastic inside the basket, making holes so that excess water can drain from the bottom and sides of the basket. Next, fill with potting mix. If you’re making hanging baskets in summer, you might want to add some water storage crystals or a product such as saturaid which help to retain moisture. As it’s winter and has been raining virtually every day, this isn’t necessary at this time of the year. You can place the plants close together so there are no gaps. My hanging baskets are 41 cm in diameter so are quite large, but I do have smaller ones that are 30 cm in diameter. You can also get plastic hanging baskets. I have one that looks like it was made of terracotta. They are fine for growing a range of ornamentals and edibles in. Did you know that hanging baskets don’t necessarily need to hang? They look stunning placed in a line in a patio or along the edge of the garden.
I planted polyanthus and pansies in my hanging baskets for winter, as you can see from the photos. You can also plant edibles in hanging baskets. I have planted lettuce and herbs successfully in my hanging baskets in the past. Last summer, I grew cherry tomatoes in them. I highly recommend the varieties Tumbling Tom Red and Tumbling Tom Yellow from Egmont Seeds. I grew both varieties and they were more productive than our cherry tomatoes in the ground. They can get quite bushy, so we hung them up over the ends of our washing line and the branches and tomatoes spilled over the edges. I highly recommend planting some basil to accompany tomatoes as it really brings out their flavour. Every summer I grow the variety Sweet Genovese, also from Egmont Seeds. There is nothing better than having some tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, cracked black pepper, sea salt and torn basil leaves spread over them.
The weather has been positively balmy lately, making it hard to believe that it is in fact winter. My plants have even been a bit confused. In our “Green Smoothie garden” (a bed where I planted greens such as pak choi, bok choy and kale for our daily green smoothies) I noticed that one of my pak choi went to seed! This normally occurs in September, when temperatures start warming up again so it was surprising to see this happen now. Hopefully it’s a sign of a mild winter and early spring.
Growing some early potatoes
The wonderful warm weather we have been having lately, with rain and no frosts, has made me a bit adventurous. I read in a couple of different places that it is possible to start growing potatoes after the Solstice (shortest day) on 21st June. Normally, I have waited until September to plant potatoes but I’ve decided to give it a go much earlier than that this year. Today, I bought some very early seed potatoes called Swift from Bunnings, which are ready in just 60 days. I planted them in trenches. Apparently you’re not meant to mound them up all the way if you’re planting this early, so I laid them in rows in my trenches and just covered them with a bit of dirt. The idea is to mound them up as they grow. This technique makes it less likely for the seed potatoes to rot in the cold, damp ground during the cooler months of the year.
After foliage develops, if frosts seem likely I will use this fantastic product I discovered called Vaporgard, which is a spray on liquid frost cloth that protects plants from temperatures less than 3 degrees. I have already used some of it on my tamarillo seedlings which never ordinarily survive the winter and will report back on its efficacy in a later blog post.
Another product I look forward to using in conjunction with my potatoes is a special potato dust by Morton Smith-Dawe that I also purchased from Bunnings which inhibits spuds from sprouting once they have been dug and stored. Sprouting potatoes is the cause of much waste in our kitchen. Initially I wasn’t keen on using a chemical on stored veggies but in the end I decided that the pros outweighed the cons and I would give it a go this year.
In other news, I purchased 130 bare rooted strawberry plants from a commercial grower in Katikati. You may have read my earlier post on growing strawberries, in which I stated that my plants from last summer left me with heaps of runners which I replanted in a separate bed with a wwoofer called Felia in April. Unfortunately, most did not survive and out of the four rows I planted, only one row remained alive by June. I’m still not sure why they died as they looked very healthy when I replanted them in the garden.
Anyhow, the plants I ordered filled in the gaps and I am looking forward to having my own mini berry farm at the convenience of our front lawn this summer. The reason that I didn’t seek strawberry plants from a garden centre was because I needed such a large quantity to fill the area. It didn’t make sense to pay $2 per plant, so I made some enquiries about whether I could purchase bare rooted plants from a couple of commercial growers. I was lucky that one was still selling them; the other place is actually just up the road from where I live but lifted plants in May so I will have to be a bit quicker next year.
The garlic that I planted in April and May is looking fantastic. I have been liquid feeding my garlic with Seasol every fortnight to promote strong, lush foliage. I also mulched the areas where I planted garlic with pea straw to reduce weeds and retain moisture.
It has been awfully wet and windy recently, signalling the start of winter. Still, I don’t think we can complain too much. All the rain has been fantastic for the garden. We have also been blessed with some absolutely stunning sunny days too, which rival those in summer. I have been known to sit outside on our outdoor furniture soaking up the rays in shorts and a t-shirt!
I thought that it might be timely to post an update on what has been going on in Anita’s Garden as it has been awhile since my last post. My massive rose order arrived two weeks ago and a wwoofer called David from Germany helped me plant them in the ground. I added the following varieties to the garden:
· Charlotte (Austin)
· Grace (Austin)
· Lady of Shalott (Austin)
· Auswonder (Austin)
· The Alnwick Rose (Austin)
· Gertrude Jekyll (Austin)
· Claude Monet
· Golden Celebration (Austin)
· Kathryn Morley (Austin)
· Abraham Darby (Austin)
David also helped me to get on top of the weeds that were overtaking Anita’s Garden during his stay with us. The garden looks nice and tidy again. We have been picking lots of erlicheer from the garden and putting them in vases inside the house, which look pretty and smell divine.
I also planted some more garlic in the garden. You might recall my post about growing garlic, which you can read here, and a description of the varieties which I’m growing, which you can read here. I have another variety to add to my list. I was shopping at Countdown out in Meadowlands and found some organic garlic. The cloves were nice and big and I see that the garlic, along with all of the other varieties that I planted, has been cropping up with all the rain we have been getting recently.
I was also delighted to discover that some of the miners lettuce (Kings Seeds) which I had sowed in spring has merrily self-seeded in our greens garden. We have been enjoying this delicious lettuce in our wraps with chicken for lunch. If you haven’t grown this variety before, I suggest that you give it a try. My friend Minette introduced me to it and I can’t rave enough about it.
Now that it’s winter, I have also been spraying our roses and fruit trees with lime sulphur, to protect against fungal diseases during the summer. I find that by adopting a good spraying regime in winter, I don’t have to worry too much about spraying during the summer.
I thought that I’d do a blog post on what has been happening around Anita’s Garden recently so that you can all stay up to date.
All of the vegetable seedlings that I planted in the garden in mid- April are flourishing, as you can see from the picture below. I liquid fed these plants weekly to give them a strong start to life. Now that they are a bit more established, I have reduced this to liquid feeding on a fortnightly basis.
You may recall my previous blog post on how to grow garlic. I mentioned that I had purchased seed garlic from Newton Seed – some Printanor garlic and some Elephant garlic. Following on from that, I purchased four lovely varieties of garlic from a company called Catos Seed on Trade Me – Printanor, Ajo Rojo, Kakanui and Takahue. I planted the cloves about three weeks ago. Last weekend, I also found some lovely organic garlic on special at Countdown (a local supermarket) which I purchased and planted in the garden as well. I’ve noticed that some of the garlic from Newton Seed and Catos has sprouted and started growing so I’m very excited. I hope to have a successful growing season for garlic this year following two dismal years.
Here is a photo of the wonderful garlic I purchased from Catos on Trade Me.
Although Roses are meant to bloom in summer, some of our roses have been producing wonderful flowers in winter.
Here is a photo of the beautiful rose Golden Gift which I purchased from Kings Plant Barn two years ago.
About a month ago, I discovered some fantastic gardening specials at The Warehouse in Mangere. There were punnets of established lettuce plants for just $4 each, ready to harvest. I decided to plant some in containers and keep them near our front door, making it easy to harvest for salads and wraps over winter. Here is a photo of our lettuce, planted in circular plastic containers.
About five weeks ago, mum and I hosted a lovely French couple called Ivan and Berengere who were wwoofing around New Zealand. Berengere sowed some Easy Peasy peas from Egmont Seeds out the back against a trellis supported by a fence. Here is a picture of the progress. As you can see, the peas have grown beautifully in that time.
Around the same time, while Berengere was sowing peas at the back, her boyfriend Ivan sowed some poppies in the front garden, infront of some of our roses. The variety was Poppy Peony Formula Mix from Kings Seeds. Here is a picture of the poppies that have emerged.
You may recall me mentioning that I’m determined to get a head start on seedling raising for summer and have produced large plants by Labour weekend. I’ve therefore already started sowing seeds for heat-loving plants such as capsicums, chillies, eggplants and tomatoes under cover.
Incase other gardeners are curious about the varieties I have decided to grow this summer, I have decided to set out a list of what I have sowed so far here. As many of you will notice, some of these varieties were on my list of top performing veggies in the summer garden, which you can read in this post here.
Alma Paprika – Kings Seeds
Chinese Giant – Kings Seeds
Colour Salad Selection – Yates
Cornos Red – Kings Seeds
Double Up F1 Hybrid – Egmont Seeds
Dulce Espana – Kings Seeds
Jingle Bells – McGregors
Mama Mia Gialla – Kings Seeds
Mama Mia Rosso – Kings Seeds
Muscato F1 – Kings Seeds
Palladio F1 Hybrid – Egmont Seeds
Arapaho (Cayenne) – Egmont Seeds
Bird’s Eye – Egmont Seeds
Cayenne Seed Mat – McGregors
Jalapeno Early – Kings Seeds
Red Scorpian – Kings Seeds
Sky Hot – Kings Seeds
Thai Super Chilli F1 – Kings Seeds
Lombaro – Franchi Seeds
Long sweet red chilli – Seeds given by Cesare Stella
Topepo Rosso – Franchi Seeds
Sweet Banana - McGregors
Asian Bride F1 – Kings Seeds
Dok – Kings Seeds
Florence Round Purple – Kings Seeds
Ping Tung – Egmont Seeds
Tsakoniki – Kings Seeds
Big Beef F1 – Oderings
Big Beef- Yates
Big Beef F1 – Egmont Seeds
Big Boy F1 – Egmont Seeds
Black Krim – McGregors
Chocolate Sprinkles F1 Hybrid – Egmont Seeds
Costoluto Fiorentino – Franchi Seeds
Dr Walters Special – Egmont Seeds
Dwarf Maja Seed Mat – McGregors
Gardener’s Delight – Kings Seeds
Heirloom Marriage Big Brandy – Egmont Seeds
Heirloom Marriage Genuwine – Egmont Seeds
Heirloom Mix – McGregors
Heirloom Red Pear – Egmont Seeds
Heirloom Yellow Pear – Egmont Seeds
Italian Dwarf Romadore F1 Hybrid – Oderings
Jaune Flamme – Kings Seeds
Lady Bug F1 – Kings Seeds
Moneymaker – Egmont Seeds
Mortgage Lifter – Yates
Oaxacan Jewel – Kings Seeds
Principe Borghese – Franchi Seeds
Rapunzel F1 Hybrid – Egmont Seeds
Red Cherry – Franchi Seeds
San Marzano Redorta – Franchi Seeds
Tumbling Tom Red F1 Hybrid – Egmont Seeds
Tumbling Tom Yellow F1 Hybrid – Egmont Seeds
I still have to sow the marvellous chilli Piccante Calabrese from Franchi seeds. I haven’t done so yet because I ran out of room on my heat pads!
Last week, I caught up with my law school friend Ben Mayson here at Anita’s Garden. Ben is married to Vicki, another lawyer in my cohort. They live in Waterview, Auckland with their three children. Ben and his family recently returned home after living in Singapore for four years. Ben recently started a business called Farmster, which caught my eye because as you all know, I’m absolutely crazy about gardening. I wanted to write a blog post about Ben’s start up because I think it’s a wonderful idea and I’m keen for others to learn about it, too.
The way that it works is that people can sign up to receive a box of fresh, homegrown veggies each week for just $25 per week. People can also sign up to essentially “lease” their backyard to Farmster, who will convert lawn into a veggie garden. Ben plants a garden and tends to the plants, harvesting them when they are ready for his deliveries. These people receive a $10 discount, reducing the price of a veggie box from $25 to just $15 per week. The idea is to continually supply subscribers with homegrown veggies, from their garden and also from other people’s when veggies in their own plot might not yet be ready.
At the moment, Farmster is restricted to Waterview, Ben’s neighbourhood and surrounding suburbs. He has been absolutely overwhelmed by the response, so much so that he’s had to stop accepting both deliveries and land/garden conversions while he catches up!
I think Farmster is a brilliant idea, as it better connects individuals with their land and enables the use of land which might not otherwise be occupied by a garden as a lot of people are simply too busy on weekends or don’t have the inclination to care for a garden. As you all know, I launched Anita’s Garden as a business in October last year and am currently taking a hiatus while winter approaches. In the future, Ben and I may even collaborate, as our businesses are in the same sector and we share the same values and beliefs about gardening. Watch this space!
Carrots are a staple vegetable in the New Zealand kitchen. Children love baby carrots. They are so versatile. Carrots can be used in salads, soups and other dishes. Traditionally orange, carrots come in a variety of other colours, making them a colourful addition to dishes. Try purple and yellow carrots. They’re absolutely beautiful and full of beta carotene.
Carrots can be a little tricky to grow well. However, with a few tips, you’ll be on your way to growing perfect carrots this season.
Carrots can be sown in spring and early autumn. Avoid sowing carrots in the height of summer, as germination rates can be low due to high temperatures and dryness in soil. Carrots might not form a strong root if sown in winter due to difficulties with germination and cooler temperatures which might stunt their growth.
Egmont Seeds have an incredible range of carrots seeds. You could try growing Purple Haze F1 Hybrid, Rainbow Mixed, Resistafly F1 Hybrid, All Seasons, Amarillo Yellow, Baby, Chantenay Royal, Ladies Fingers, Manchester Table, Romance F1 Hybrid, Senior F1 Hybrid, Topweight and Touchon.
Franchi Sementi also have a lovely range of carrots. The New Zealand supplier is Italian Seeds Pronto. Try Nantes di Chioggia, Parisier and Foraggio Jaune du Doubs. These varieties can be sown in autumn and in spring.
A convenient way of growing carrots is to use seed tape instead of loose seeds. There is no need to worry about spacing seeds too closely, as they are already spaced the perfect distance apart. Seed tape is biodegradable, so it will disintegrate in the ground and the seeds on the tape will germinate. Egmont Seeds have the varieties of carrot seed tape Purple Haze F1 Hybrid and Resistafly F1 Hybrid which are worth trying. I have grown Purple Haze in the past with great results.
How to sow
As a root crop, carrots should be sown direct. Do not transplant, or you will end up with forked roots, a bit like with carrots. Don’t worry if some seeds are spaced too closely. You’ll need to thin your carrots out and remove some of the weaker seedlings in order to allow the stronger ones more room to grow.
Digging the bed to a depth of 20 cm should be fine to accommodate carrots.
As with all root crops, in order to form a large, strong root underground carrots prefer soil which is well composted. I therefore advise not adding fresh compost or sheep pellets to areas where you intend to sow carrots.
You may however wish to sprinkle a little Superphosphate and blood and bone fertiliser where you intend to sow carrots and mix into the soil. This will encourage strong root growth and healthy green tops.
Growing carrots in buckets
Every autumn, I sow carrots in large 35 litre buckets. Reasons why you may wish to try sowing carrots in buckets include getting a head start on the seasons at a time when the ground might still be quite cool (such as in spring) and space limitations in the garden. Sowing carrots in buckets are also perfect for people who don’t wish to dig up their lawn like us! Just remember not to use fresh potting mix or you may end up with weak or forked carrots. As with sowing carrots in the ground, try to use old potting mixture. It would be ideal to recycle potting mixture from, for example, summer crops such as capsicums, chillies and eggplants grown in pots.
Sown at the right time, carrots should be ready in 12-14 weeks.
Radishes make the perfect addition to salads. Crunchy, they add texture to dishes. We love adding them to raita, which gives it a mildly pungent flavour. Not all radish are red, making them a colourful and interesting addition to salads and other dishes.
Radish are incredibly easy to grow, making them perfect for beginners to gardening. Radish can be sown in spring and early autumn. Avoid sowing radish in the height of summer, as they will not grow well in high temperatures. Radish might not form a bulb if sown in winter due to difficulties with germination and cooler temperatures which might stunt their growth.
Egmont Seeds have an incredible range of radish seeds. You could try growing Amethyst, Black Spanish, Cabernet, Champion, French Breakfast, Pink Beauty, Round Mix and Sparkler. For Asian cuisine, try the Daikon radish called Omny.
Franchi Sementi also have a lovely range of radishes. The New Zealand supplier is Italian Seeds Pronto. Try Candela Di Fuoco, Gaundry and Dattero Rosso. You can also try mixed colours radish in the Golden Line range.
A convenient way of growing radish is to use seed tape instead of loose seeds. There is no need to worry about spacing seeds too closely, as they are already spaced the perfect distance apart. Seed tape is biodegradable, so it will disintegrate in the ground and the seeds on the tape will germinate. Egmont Seeds have a variety of radish seed tape called Cherry Belle which is worth trying.
How to sow
As a root crop, radish should be sown direct. Do not transplant, or you will end up with forked roots, a bit like with carrots.
You do not need to dig the area where you intend to sow radish very deeply, as radish are a shallow root crop. Digging the bed to a depth of 8-10 cm should be perfectly adequate.
As with all root crops, in order to form a large, strong root underground radish prefer soil which is well composted. I therefore advise not adding fresh compost or sheep pellets to areas where you intend to sow radish.
You may however wish to sprinkle a little Superphosphate fertiliser where you intend to sow radish and mix into the soil. This will encourage strong root growth.
Growing radish in buckets
I’ve never grown radish in buckets, but I’ve seen a post in a vege gardening group I belong to on Facebook where a lady in the US has grown spring radishes in buckets successfully. Reasons why you may wish to try sowing radish in buckets include getting a head start on the seasons at a time when the ground might still be quite cool (such as in spring) and space limitations in the garden. Sowing radishes in buckets are also perfect for people who don’t wish to dig up their lawn like us! Just remember not to use fresh potting mix or you may end up with weak or forked radish. As with sowing radish in the ground, try to use old potting mixture. It would be ideal to recycle potting mixture from, for example, summer crops such as capsicums, chillies and eggplants grown in pots.
Sown at the right time, radish should be ready in as little as 4-6 weeks.