Fill up small spaces

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SPINACH and silverbeet are perfect space fillers in a winter vegetable garden. Plant them in between your larger and longer growing vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower and they’ll be finished with the space before it’s needed.
They’re both full of vitamins, are perfect additions to a wide variety of dishes and — my favourite — you can pick the leaves off the plants as they reach the size you desire.
And don’t forget to throw in some rainbow beet too. Once you’ve got your seedlings you need to find a spot to plant them. Spinach likes full sun and wellfertilised soil. Silverbeet likes well-drained soil — which actually makes it really good for planting in pots.
Before you start gardening it pays to mix into the soil some compost or a good general fertiliser like nitrophoska blue.
Then plant your seedlings about 20cm apart. Remember, if you’ve planted (or are planning to grow) longer growing vegetables like any members of the brassica family, plant your silverbeet and spinach seedlings in the rows in between.
Both of these tasty vegetables are also enjoyed by slugs and snails so keep an eye out for them.
Depending on the condition of your soil, your space-filling plants will be ready to harvest in around eight to 12 weeks. If your soil is well composted and free-draining you’ll be looking at more like eight weeks. And remember, if you want a constant supply of beet and spinach, stagger your planting and plant more every couple of weeks.
— Tod Palenski
Awapuni Nurseries
www.awapuni.co.nz

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