Autumn is the perfect time to plant winter veg, regardless of your motivation. If you’re trying to conjure up some ‘fast food’ at home, the simplest option is sprouts. They are super quick crops ready to harvest in about 4 days. We stocks Non GMO and chemical free sprouting seeds by Mr Fothergill’s, and their sprouting kits that makes growing them on your window sill hassle free. Choose from the various mixes from Asian Greens, clover, hot and spicy, mung bean, mustard, sandwich, salad, wheatgrass and snow pea range.
Then there are microgreens. These babies are sown into seed trays and harvested in about 3 weeks, when plants are still only about 5-10cm tall, then trimmed to the first leaf node to allow for the next flush of foliage to become the ‘second crop’. Many plants can be harvested in this way, but some of the most popular are rocket, spinach, lettuce, basil, salad burnet, borage, celery, kale, dill, brassicas like broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage and collards, as well as root veg like carrot, radish, Kohl Rabi and beetroot. There are even some Edible Chrysanthemum and Amaranth, normally flowers, these are eaten as foliage when young. These should be placed in the sun somewhere and kept moist while they germinate, then once you have snipped them a few times replant them in your vegie patch to grow on into mature plants.
If you’re after some salad greens, this rain will get your plants growing super-fast. It’s the perfect time to plant rocket, single leaf repeat harvest and hearting lettuces, silverbeet, rainbow chard, kale and cabbages. Most will be ready to eat from 4-6 weeks, whilst the larger cabbages and copping plants may take up to 3months. Don’t forget to also plant some snow peas and broad beans. Whilst they may take 3-4 months until harvest, you can pick the young leaf shoots in the meantime, and use them as a delicious addition to salads and stir-fries, inside wraps or simply as a garnish.
Remember to feed you growing greens too. Young plants can have half strength liquid plant food used fortnightly, and old plants can have full strength liquid fertilised, such as Thrive for Vegies and Herbs, applied to them weekly at full strength. They will love this and reward you with luscious leaves, ripe for the picking.