Here are some “top 5” seeds to sow now for spring in Tasmania.
In three more weeks it will be spring here in Tasmania. It’s hard to believe, while there is still snow on Mt Wellington, but come the first of September we will be officially into spring and the busiest time of year in the garden. So, what can you do now to prepare for the rush? Lets start with what seed to sow. We contacted Sam at Southern Harvest quality Seeds. Southern Harvest are the seed producers that have a stall at Salamanca market on Saturdays. You will know their seed, it comes in yellow envelopes like the one below. If you cant make it to the market, you can find them at southernharvest.com.au
Sam has given us some “top 5’s” to sow now for spring.
Sam’s Top 5 Annual Flowers
- Spider Flower, Cleome spinosa (syn. Hasslerianna)An unusual bedding plant with spidery flower petals in red, pink or white and attractive palmate leaves.
- Cosmos ‘Picotee’ Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Picotee’ – A gorgeous cosmos with white flowers that are delicately edged with shades of magenta-pink.
- Bells of Ireland – Molucella laevis – A half-hardy annual with spectacular, 1 metre flower spikes, covered in green, bell-shaped calyces with a tiny white flower in the centre.
- Sunflower ‘Giant Russian’ Helianthus annus ‘Giant Russian’ – Grown for more than two centuries, this Russian heirloom has 30cm flowerheads and grows to 3m tall.
- Love Lies Bleeding Amaranthus caudatus ‘Red’ – This old fashioned plant has very unusual drooping, 80cm long, deep red flower tassels over summer and autumn.
Sam’s Top 5 Perennial Flowers:
- Woodland Tobacco Nicotiana sylvestris – A classy plant that has sweetly scented, long, white tubular flowers that droop from dense panicles.
- Crazy Daisy Chrysanthemum maximum – A fun daisy with long lasting double and semi-double white flowers. A hardy perennial that grows to 80 cm.
- Green Wizard Rudbeckia occidentalis – This unusual coneflower is easy to grow and makes a long-lived cut flower and striking dried flower or seedhead.
- Sea Holly ‘Blaukappe’ Eryngium planum ‘Blaukappe’ – This multi-stemmed cottage plant is covered in dozens of small, spiny, steel-blue flowers in summer and autumn.
- Wedding Candles Verbascum chaixii f. album – A bold, vertical perennial baring a mass of white flowers with purple stamens and centres in summer.
Sam’s Top 5 Vegetables:
- Lettuce ‘Mesclun Lactuca sativa, Eruca sativa, Brassica rapa, Cichorium intybus – A great mix of salad greens that is bound to set you mouth watering. Three types of lettuce (Flashy Trouts Back, Buttercrunch, Royal Oak Red) and some spicier greens (Rocket, Chicory and Tatsoi).
- Radish ‘Watermelon’ Raphanus sativus – A Chinese radish with a green and creamy skin and an unusual magenta heart.
- Chilli ‘Padron’ Capsicum annum – A famous chilli grown in NW Spain, where it is a popular tapas (picked green and fried in olive oil).
- Cossack Pineapple Physalis pruinosa – An unusual fruit with a sweet pineapple flavour that’s jam packed into a ground cherry.
- Artichoke ‘Giant Green’ Cynara scolymus ‘Giant Green’ This French, perennial artichoke has lots of large, green, plump buds in spring & huge, scented, purple/pink flowerheads in late summer.
All of these can be sown now for planting out and enjoying in spring and summer. If you want some guidance on how to go about germinating these and other seeds, come and have a go at one of our short horticulture coursed or even our horticulture certificate II and III courses held at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens in Hobart and in various locations around the state. Just click on the “Horticulture” tab at the top of the page.
Don’t forget to let us know how you are getting ready for spring at your place. Gardening is all about learning and sharing, so let’s see what you are up to! Like us on our Facebook page and share your success!