There’s still time to plant edibles to pick over the holiday season. Its salad season and salad ‘spikers’ are a good choice – there are many that can give a plain bought lettuce a lift – flavour, texture and colour wise. My top ten holiday edibles for Grey Lynners to grow are –
- Basil: Give basil rich, light, and well-drained to dry soil plus a steady, warm environment and full sun.
- Beans: Beans, both climbing and bush are a rewarding crop– they’re easy to grow and have few diseases or pests. Beans are ravenous and need ‘mature’ manure and a loam soil.
- Cucumber: Cucumbers prefer evenly moist fertile soil. They like potash every couple of weeks. Plant radishes below them to deter cucumber beetles.
- Microgreens: Microgreens are the young edible green leaves of vegetables that are harvested when they are just seedlings. Buy the seeds in bulk packs as a standard garden seed packet is not enough. They’re mostly easy to grow, have intense flavours, vivid colours, and crisp textures, and require little growing space. Try growing the combo of mustard and cress but combine them after they grow. Sow cress four days earlier than mustard so that the seedlings are ready at the same time. Mustard microgreens – buy seeds from a seed seller or edible seeds at a bulk food store and plant thickly on seed raising mix. Water regularly. Cress microgreens – Lepidium sativum has tiny tender, piquant peppery flavoured green seedlings on a white stem; they’re fragile, take care when harvesting and washing them. You’ll need to buy these seeds from a seed seller.
- Misome: Misome is a vigorous grower, is hot weather resistant, and in fact good for all seasons. A type of Japanese all-season hybrid green resulting from a cross between Komatsuna and Tatsoi it has gorgeous small glossy dark green curled and wrinkled leaves.
- Mustard: For a hot blast, buy seed of one of the red/purple mustards – some are available for baby leaf production and they’re fast growing.
- Radish: Radish seeds germinate in a few days and the radish can be harvested in a few weeks.
- Rocket: Rocket grows easily from seeds, it is best sown in spring or autumn and plants do best in cool weather but I give salad rocket (not the wild version) a go in summer and have success.
- Zucchini: Zucchini can still be sown now. My favourite is still Zucchino Tondo Chiaro Di Nizza. It’s a spherical zucchini with thin, pale green skin.
Keep a look out in April for my new book that will have appeal for many Grey Lynn residents – “How to Grow Edibles in Containers, Good Produce from Small Spaces” by Fionna Hill, published by David Bateman.
Happy gardening, happy holidays