After the popularity of our New Zealand autumn growing guide in a previous blog post about our garden tool range, we’ve been requested to produce a winter growing guide. It’s been good timing too as we’ve recently started stocking a beautiful range of heirloom Italian seeds as well as new pruning shears from one of Father Rabbit’s favourite brands, Pallares.
Our new range of seeds are produced by Franchi Sementi; the oldest family-run seed company in the world. Founded in 1783, it is still in the same family today as seeds of genuine Italian heirloom varieties have been saved and passed down from generation to generation. We’ve selected a range of beautiful lettuces, carrots, tomatoes and onions that are suitable for New Zealand soils. My favourite seeds are the Parisier Carrots; these little orbs of bright orange are a French heirloom variety that adapted to growing in the clay that Paris is built on top of. They’re really easy to grow in a container as they don’t need the depth that a regular carrot requires. So perfect if you’re short on space and want to grow a few veggies on your balcony or porch. I love this vegetable garden DIY using wine crates from Gardenista:
In a New Zealand winter, you can start prepping your salad greens. For the small investment of a few seed packets and a little love and time, you can be the envy of your neighbours when come summer, you can fill your salad bowl right from your garden. We have a range of salad leaf seeds to sow; from wild rocket to radicchio; cavolo nero to matador spinach.
If you’re using these sunny winter weekends to tidy up your garden, we’d love to introduce you to our new garden range from Pallares. Pallares knives have been well-loved by Father Rabbit and our lovely customers for a number of years; they’re known for their brilliant sharpness and beautiful wood handles. We were so excited to see that the quality they’re known for has extended to a carbon steel range pruning shears. They’re three different blade styles to choose from: the traditional pruning shear, a straight scissor and a curved scissor. As with the knives, these pruning shears are built to last and be a true staple in your garden shed. You just need to make sure you keep them nice and dry to avoid the carbon steel rusting.
If you’re more of an indoor gardener and prefer to nurture your house plants in this chilly weather, we’ve also discovered some tips on how to best care for succulents during winter. Some succulents are hardier than others so if you’re adding to your collection, look out for aloe vera and donkey’s tail and resist picking up any delicate types of cacti. Succulents don’t need any fertiliser during the colder months as being overfed can lead to them going a little soft in places. They’ll only need watering only every four to six weeks as they’ll do very little growing during this period. Instead move them to a sunny window sill where they can still get a good three or four hours of sun. That’ll keep their happy tank nice and topped up!
Other house plants will also benefit from a good mist rather than a heavy watering at this time of year. We love our mist sprayers, available in both nickel and brass. Indoor plants may also need a dust so that they can ensure what sunlight they’re receiving is penetrating the plant.
Let us know if you’ve picked up a packet of our beautiful heirloom seeds or you’ve got any winter growing and gardening tips of your own that you think are worth sharing - we’d love to hear from you.