Gardening guide: What vegetables to grow in Spring

Gardening guide: What vegetables to grow in Spring

Spring is almost here in New Zealand, and its time to start thinking about the vegetables and flowers you want to grow this year. Now is the right time for sowing seeds, which takes a little more time than buying seedlings ready to plant later in the year. However, it can save a lot of money, and often gives you surplus seedlings to sell or give away to friends and neighbours.

Check out my detailed Guide to growing vegetables from seed, which gives you step by step instructions.

Gardening jobs for growing spring vegetables

  • Dig in compost in your vegetable beds, to add nutrients to the soil. See my guide for How to make Compost.
  • Weed the vegetable beds (and the garden in general) well at this time of year, to keep on top of the weeds before they take off in the warmer weather.
  • Use slug and snail control methods throughout the garden, especially to protect new seedlings as you plant them out. Check out some natural snail repellent methods if you don’t want to use commercial slug and snail pellets.
  • Popular vegetables to plant in early spring include beans, beetroot, broccoli, lettuce, potatoes, and spring onions. Later in the season, when the soil has warmed up, you can plant capsicums, eggplants, tomatoes, and zucchini (along with many other vegetables!).
  • There are some excellent planting calendars online that give you specific information about what to plant when in your region. Have a search for these to help you plan your vegetable garden.

A list of the vegetables I’m growing this spring

Mixed vegetables from my garden last year
Mixed vegetables from my garden last year

I grow a range of different varieties of my favourite vegetables – capsicums, cucumbers, tomatoes and zucchini. These usually produce huge crops, with enough to preserve some for later eating, and surplus to sell, swap or give away.

I do struggle to grow a decent crop of cucumbers though, as they need a lot of water, and we have had to ration water over the past few drier summers. I will try these again, as my family enjoy eating cucumber with most meals!

These are the varieties of vegetable seeds I am planting this year:

Capsicums

  • Giant Bell
  • Bell (regular size)
  • Sweet Allsorts

Cucumber

  • Lebanese
  • Spacemaster
  • Poona Kheera
  • Bushcrop
  • Tendergreen
  • English Greengrocer

Tomatoes

  • Moonglow
  • Tigrella
  • Black Krim
  • Big Rainbow
  • Cocktail mixture
  • Window Box Red
  • Baxter’s Early Bush Cherry

Zucchini

  • Gourmet mix
  • All Green Bush
  • Black Coral
  • Zephyr

Other vegetables

  • Peas – Wando Select
  • Lettuce – Red and Green Salad Bowl mix
  • Eggplant – Florence Round Purple
  • Eggplant – Baby Brinjal
A basket of tomatoes, one of our favourite vegetables
A basket of tomatoes from the garden last autumn

Flowers to grow along with the vegetables

Last spring and summer I grew many more flowers along with my vegetables. I usually grow marigolds and sunflowers, as companion plants and to make the garden look even more colourful.

Adding more flowers to my vegetable beds looked amazing, and increased the number of bees and butterflies in the garden.

These are the flowers I’m growing in with my vegetables this coming spring:

  • Zinnia – Lilliput mixture
  • Sunflower – Evening Sun
  • Nigella ‘Love in a mist’
  • Marigold – Starfire
  • Marigold – French Vanilla
  • Calendula – mixed
  • Sweet pea – Old spice antiques mixed
  • Hollyhock – saved seeds
  • Cosmos – saved seeds
Zinnias in the same beds as the vegetables
Zinnias in the same beds as the vegetables

What are vegetables are you going to grow this year? Comment below.