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The perfect mix

Every month I write a gardening article on a couple of plants. I typically try and come up with some kind of unique angle or theme to get things going. But this month I’m just going to get to the point. Chives, coriander and rocket are really handy (and tasty!) plants to have in the garden.

In my personal opinion they might taste a little strong if all combined in the same dish. Although, of course, someone else might feel differently about the matter. But individually, they’re just such great herbs to have accessible for fresh cooking.

And what do you know? Awapuni Nurseries just happen to have a chives, coriander and rocket mixed bundle available to purchase. Mixed bundles are fantastic because they provide you with a smaller number of seedlings per herb, which means you should end up with about the right amount of each, without any taking over your garden. They’re also great if you like to stagger your planting by planting a few new seedlings every few weeks to ensure you have a continuous supply.

Once you’ve got your rocket, chives and coriander plants you need to find somewhere to grow them.

Chives are the easiest to grow. The only thing you need to remember – is where you planted them! During winter they will go dormant and it can be easy to miss them and replant over while they’re not visible. That’s why we recommend growing them in a corner or spot you don’t usually garden in. If you’re worried about forgetting where you’ve planted chives, simply install a marker or grow them in a pot.

Rocket is the next easiest to grow. It likes sun. At this time of the year it can be grown out in full sun. But when we hit summer it pays to choose an area that doesn’t get hit by the midday heat to avoid sending your plants to seed.

Dig through some compost into the area you plan to plant. Or add some good quality potting mix, if you’re planning on planting in large containers (around 25cm or more deep). Then plant each rocket seedling around 20cm apart. Don’t forget to watch out for snails around your rocket.

Lastly, coriander. We know from customer feedback that this fragrant herb can be a little tricky to grow. But it’s so worth it if you get it right. My top tip for growing coriander is to plant when the weather is steady. This will prevent it ‘bolting’ from the change in temperature that can occur when we change seasons.

Plant it where you would plant your rocket – full sun before summer and in partial sun during summer. Just make sure it’s in free-draining, aerated soil. You can ensure the soil isn’t hard or too compact by digging it over and adding potting mix if you require. If you’re putting it in a pot, don’t grow it in a small pot indoors. Instead plant it in a deep pot outside. Mound the soil up and plant the seedling on top – this will help ensure the soil is free-draining.

Remember to water lightly all your coriander, chive and rocket seedlings once planted. And don’t let the soil dry out around your coriander as this could cause it to bolt. Water all the plants in the morning to allow the water to dry off during the day and prevent disease.

Remove old or yellowed leaves from your rocket and coriander to help your plants continue to flourish. And harvest the leaves often to stop them going to seed too early and encourage new leaves to shoot up. And again, if you want a continuous supply, keep planting new seedlings every few weeks.

Lastly, enjoy your herbs and let me know if you have a good recipe that combines all three!

Tod Palenski
Awapuni Nurseries
www.awapuni.co.nz

Ends.../

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