Kynoch’s Dirt Diaries – December

Dear Tanya…

What are great shade plants with lots of colour?

You can try Mackaya bella, clivias, plectranthus, hypoestes, begonias, coleus and impatiens.

Please could you give me some ideas of which seeds are best for microgreens. Although I have planted some veggies on and off in my life, my husband and I have taken this up in our retirement to do together. I didn’t know how much there is to learn!

The microgreen craze started with coriander, basil, beets, kale and rocket, but now almost every veggie and herb can be eaten this way. Try radishes, peas, mustard, fenugreek, lucerne (alfalfa), broccoli, wheatgrass, garlic, onions, leeks, dill, carrots, fennel, cabbages, cauliflower, lettuce, melons, squashes, cucumbers, amaranth, quinoa, spinach, corn or oats. Really, just about anything that is edible or a vegetable!

What is the best way to grow coriander? I tried from seeds and plants but they have all died very quickly. I would appreciate your input.

You can pre-soak the seeds overnight before sowing, this will help them germinate easier. Coriander naturally dies back after it flowers as it is an annual. Try succession planting – you can sow a second batch of seeds two weeks after the first batch. This way, you will have a continuous supply of leaves. You can leave the first batch of plants to flower and still have the second batch to use in cooking. The plants will reseed themselves after flowering, you just need to make sure the soil around the flowering plants is loose enough for the seeds to fall and germinate. Coriander can be quite a thirsty plant. Don’t let the plants dry out, if they dry out, they will die. I hope you are successful in growing more!

I need to repot one of my indoor plants. What soil can I use?

You should be able to find a soil mix for indoor plants at your local garden centre or hardware store. Potting soil for indoor plants is usually light and loose with good drainage while also having a good water-holding capacity. You can make your own mixture for indoor plants using 20% palm peat, 70% premium potting soil and 10% perlite.

My lawn is looking a bit sad. What can I use to get it to green up?

Lawns need regular feeding especially in the growing season from spring through summer and into autumn. For quick results at this time of the year use a product like Kynoch TurboGrass. Use as instructed on the bag and water in well.

The Gardener