Preparing for spring and summer planting-growing seedlings


So this week’s blog will wrap up my series on getting prepared for spring planting.

We have our seeds in hand and our beds prepared, so with just a small amount of time each week we can now start getting our plants started.

I like to spend just ½ an hour every week on either direct sowing  seeds and/or producing  seedlings. This is possible because the beds are pre-prepared and I have all of the seeds I require close at hand.

By planting something every week, it means I can be harvesting something every week.

If you are not confident with directly sowing seeds into your garden or growing your own seedlings check out my lesson on “Producing vegetable seedlings”.

Don’t be tempted to start madly sowing seeds and filling up the whole area you have prepared in a few weeks.

Planting a little often is the best way to replace the feast and famine cycle of production with consistent and even production.

Consistent and even production keeps food on the table all year, gives us a great sense of satisfaction and utilises our labour and resources for maximum benefit.

Have a look at my lesson “Getting started with your Annual Vegetable Garden” to give you some tips on working out how much of each crop to grow. Then look at the lesson “Year Round Production”.

This will give you plenty of hints on spreading your production over the whole year and most importantly tips on successive planting.


sowing broccoli seeds 2

Successive planting is the key to having consistent production.

Along the east coast, the weather will be still cool enough to get another crop of quick maturing cool season plants, like spinach and a variety of Asian greens, in.  Do not be tempted to grow these plants as seedling (or buy punnets of seedlings) and plant out, as they will tend to bolt due to transplanting shock. Sow directly where they are to grow ( in situ).Once they have germinated, feed regularly for quick growth.

I am still getting rocket and mesclun lettuce to germinate, so continue to successive plant these two crops to ensure you have enough mixed leaves for salads. I know it is still a bit cold to be overly enthusiastic about salads, but a small salad alongside a piece of quiche is wonderful all year and a staple lunchtime meal for me.

The soil is still too cool to plant out most of the warm season crops like tomato, capsicum, cucurbits and beans, but we can be starting seedlings inside in a nice bright warm spot, such as a north facing window sill.

Again slow and steady is the answer – don’t be tempted to plant a whole packet of tomato seed, just plant four to six seeds and once they have germinated choose the four strongest seedlings and discard the two weakest.

Then in a month’s time pop in another six seeds and so on until February. This way you should have tomatoes from December through to May.

Maintain these plants as you would any seedling and repot into a slightly larger pot until they can be put into the ground. Try and put them outside during the day, unless particularly cold, and bring them inside at night. When the soil temperate is warm enough, usually by October, pop them into your prepared beds and watch them thrive.

These methods of production can be used for most annual vegetables, so don’t hesitate, get out there today and plant something!

rocket seedlings


I would love to see what you are growing at your place! Post your photos to the My Productive Backyard Facebook Page or Twitter Feed


Happy Gardening, Kathy



Posted on August 17, 2014 in HOW TO GROW, SPRING

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Responses (13)

  1. Laurie H.
    August 19, 2014 at 9:27 am · Reply

    Thank you very much for the tips, I have saved some of them for the future reference! I am a gardener-beginner hence most of the steps take a while longer for me. Patience is the greatest enemy for me, but I guess that is one part of what I need to learn. What I have found quite helpful are the mobile apps with very easily accessible information and tips on how to & what to plant. Do you have any experience with any? I have found these Top 5 Garden Plants Apps, but don’t know whether they are any good yet.
    Thanks for the tips!

    • kmfinigan
      August 19, 2014 at 10:48 am · Reply

      Hi Laurie, lovely to have you here and thank you for the kind words! I spoke a bit about the websites that I use for finding which plants to plant for my geographic location on my post here:

      Im not sure if this is helpful for you, but its what I use. I write growing guides of my own every season, so keep checking back for more information! Happy Growing, Kathy.

  2. rabidlittlehippy
    September 25, 2014 at 9:10 am · Reply

    I’ve just sown about 100 tomato seeds but I’m looking for gluts so I can preserve them. 🙂 I’ve also got some that have grown from the little sprouted bits I’ve taken off my indoor tomatoes which are fruiting now. 🙂 The slip grown plants will go in the garden as soon as its warm enough, hopefully for a Christmas crop. 🙂

  3. Julijana Griffiths (@jools112)
    October 10, 2014 at 2:30 am · Reply

    Happy growing!

  4. Planting Basil | myproductivebackyard
    October 19, 2014 at 2:31 am · Reply

    […] this time of year to get seed to germinate in the garden, so I will get my first crop of the season going in a pot in a warm sunny spot. I simply fill a 20cm pot with good quality potting mix; leave about a 5 cm gap at the top. Firm […]

  5. […] will help protect the plant. – Build a frame over tender plants and cover with shade cloth; this is especially important for young seedlings. – Grow your softer foliage plants like lettuce and silver beet in the shade during the […]

  6. […] So this year I am determined not to let December past by without any planting and seed sowing. […]

  7. A Changing of the Seasons | myproductivebackyard
    February 22, 2015 at 12:22 am · Reply

    […] I have planted these seeds in well prepared ground in the garden and will transplant them when they are about 10cm high. Growing seedlings in pots can be a bit risky for me at this time of the year, as we are still getting some hot days and if I miss a day’s watering I can lose the crop. The ground does not dry out quite as quickly as a pot sitting on a bench. To make sure the cabbage white moth larvae do not decimate the young seedling I cover them with a frame covered with fly screen mesh. I will repeat theses planting in another two week to try and stagger harvest. After that however there is not enough good quick growing weather to get large enough plants before the frost start. […]

  8. […] seedlings for transplanting. Herbs can also be started by germinating seeds in punnets or tray for transplanting later. Seeds can be planted in small containers such as peat pots, jiffy […]

  9. […] seeds simply refer to the instructions on the packet, these will tell you when the seeds need to be planted, though this information does not take into consideration the many variables that can occur in any […]

  10. […] I have, have been grown from purchased semi mature (2-3yrs old) crowns and the other half have been produced by seed. I wanted to trial the seeds to see how difficult it was to grow asparagus from seed, if they were […]

  11. […] use a ½ strength mix on newly planted seedlings, full strength on plants where I what to promote flowers and fruit on either annual vegetables or […]

  12. […] After several weeks of warm dry weather in the highlands, it is the perfect time for me to be saving seed from my summer leafy greens. […]

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