Home' Central Canterbury News : April 10th 2013 Contents 15
CENTRAL CANTERBURY NEWS, APRIL 10, 2013
37% of all crashes in Selwyn District
happen at intersections
Let's work together to reduce the number
and severity of these crashes
Road safety is everyone's responsibility
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Get sowing now
By LYNDA HALLINAN
SPACE SAVERS: Microgreens are baby vegie or herb seedlings that are
harvested while very young.
This column is adapted from
the e-newsletter Get Growing
from New Zealand Gardener.
To subscribe to get Growing
(it's free!), visit The NZ
Gardener website at
nzgardener.co.nz, and click on
the Get Growing tab. to
subscribe to NZ Gardener visit
mags4gifts.co.nz or call
0800 MAGS 4 GIFTS.
If the drought has put your
autumn sowing schedule right off
track, you need to think outside
the square: substitute slow crops
with speedy ones.
While standard broccoli takes
up to 120 days to form a mature
head, Chinese broccoli or Kailaan'
(from Yates) is ready to harvest in
50 to 60 days.
Rather than forming a large
central head, this sprouting bras-
sica has loads of crisp, tender side
shoots that taste just like broccoli
stems. It's great for stir-fries. Pick
the stalks before the flower buds
open. Sow direct in full sun -- it
germinates in about a week and
grows rapidly. Protect from snails,
slugs and those nasty white cab-
bage butterfly caterpillars.
BRIDGE THE GAP -- SOW
If you're only just starting to
sow your autumn and winter
crops, you can expect to experi-
ence a greenery shortage over the
While you wait, sow micro-
greens to see you through on the
salad front. Microgreens are baby
vegie or herb seedlings that are
harvested while very young,
usually once one or two true
leaves appear. Microgreens only
take 10 to 20 days from sowing to
harvesting (it depends on what
you sow) and they're packed full
If you're a gardener who hasn't
grown microgreens before, it's
easy -- and also perfect for those
who don't have room for large
Fill a container at least 10 centi-
metres deep with potting mix or
seed-raising mix. Make sure it has
holes in the bottom for drainage.
Thickly sprinkle untreated vegie
or herb seeds, then cover with
Keep microgreens in a warm
spot that gets a bit of sun -- avoid
all-day sun if you can help it or
they'll shrivel in the heat -- and
water regularly. While it's still
quite warm outside, it's a good
idea to water twice a day.
Once the seeds sprout, it's just a
waiting game. When the first true
leaves appear, they're ready to
eat. Simply snip off with scissors,
give them a quick rinse and serve.
For super-speedy greens, cress,
radishes and peas are best.
Peas add great flavour to salads
and any variety will do, but a fun
type to try is Fiji Feathers', with
its long, feathery tendrils.
Snowpeas are excellent too, and
are more substantial, with their
bigger leaves. Another great thing
about peas is they will resprout to
provide several harvests.
Other suitable vegetable and
herb plants to grow this way
include: beetroot, kale, bok choy,
amaranth, sorrel, celery, rainbow
beet, mizuna, parsley, rocket,
mustard, shungiku, basil and
wheatgrass for smoothies.
Kings Seeds has a range of
microgreens seeds, as well as
great starter packs that contain
five types of seed to get you
started. Give it a go.
FEED CITRUS TREES
Established citrus trees will
benefit from a handful of citrus
Citrus fruit should be fattening
up quickly at the moment, so it's
also important to keep your trees
well-watered -- give them a long
soak twice a week.
SOW AND PLANT LIKE MAD!
Growth slows rapidly as night
temperatures fall in autumn, so
get cracking. Sow silverbeet,
spinach and cold-hardy Chinese
cabbages, and keep planting out
punnets of broccoli, cabbages,
cauliflower, silverbeet, spinach,
onions and beetroot.
SOW BROAD BEANS
Old South Island gardeners
swore by slipping their broad
beans into the soil before Anzac
Day, giving them ample time to
germinate and reach a reasonable
size before the worst of the winter
cold. In warmer areas, broad
beans sown now will possibly
start flowering before winter,
so if you're lucky you'll get an
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