Home' Northern Outlook : January 26th 2013 Contents 10 NORTHERN OUTLOOK, JANUARY 26, 2013
Sprouts healthy to snack on
By LYNDA HALLINAN
TAKE YOUR TIME: Live in your home for a year before planting a vegetable
garden, so you can plan for sun, shade and moisture levels.
It only takes a few days to go
from seed to tasty sprout and the
process is simple.
The only thing that can really
go wrong is forgetting to water
them -- or cooking them on a
mesh lid and untreated seed.
Sprout chickpeas, mung beans
and lentils from organic bulk bins
or buy seeds for sprouting from
garden centres and Kings Seeds.
Pour the seed into a jar and
cover with water.
Set aside to soak for a few
hours, then drain. Leave in a
warm place, and rinse and drain
daily, or twice a day in hot
In a few days they'll be big
enough to eat.
Remove them from the jar and
store in an airtight container in
Eat within a couple of days.
Even when it's hot and dry,
herbs keep on keeping on -- in fact
they taste better, because the
essential oils that give them their
flavour are more concentrated
when they're living rough.
Basil is a must for pesto fans.
The best-selling basil is Sweet
It has broad green leaves with
Plant some now, if you haven't
already got it in your garden.
Basil grows well in pots too,
though you'll need to water it to
slow its desire to bolt to seed.
Chives are the cutest herb, with
their grass-like leaves and edible
pink pompom flowers.
As well as the plain variety, you
can get garlic chives and broadleaf
varieties at garden centres.
If your chives turn yellow or go
brown at the tips, give them a
boost with liquid fertiliser.
Watch out for black aphid infes-
tations at this time of the year --
they attack most alliums.
Coriander is an annual, so it
goes to seed and dies at the end of
summer, but you still have time to
Sow it directly into the ground
and keep moist. This time of year,
it's a good idea to grow it in a spot
with afternoon shade.
Sage is the essential herb for
Sage needs a sunny spot and
Don't plant it anywhere that
gets too wet in winter or it'll rot.
Rosemary is a woody herb that
grows into a large shrub.
Rosemary has a naturally
upright growth habit so plant it at
the back of your herb garden.
It can tolerate hot, dry, sun-
baked spots, but give it a bit of
water in its first summer.
Keep rosemary looking lush by
cutting it back regularly.
Parsley is a favourite and it's
easy to grow if you keep it moist.
If it gets too dry, it will go to seed.
There are two main types: Italian
(or flat leafed) and curly parsley.
Thyme is an evergreen herb that
likes to live hard.
It grows naturally in poor, dry
soils so doesn't need pampering.
Cut it back after flowering and
divide clumps at the end of sum-
mer for new plants.
Mint must have moisture.
It can be quite invasive, so plant
it in a pot, then sink the pot into
We think the mintiest mint is
common or winter mint.
Starting a vege patch ?
Experts will tell you to get to
know your section for a year
before making major landscaping
Then you can see which areas
get the most sun -- or shade -- and
which areas have drainage issues
and are either too dry in summer
or boggy in the winter.
Remember, as a rule, veges
need six hours of daily sun to crop
There are very few exceptions to
this, although rhubarb, spinach
and silverbeet will tolerate some
SOW & PLANT NOW
Sow beetroot, bok choy, broccoli,
cauliflowers, carrots, celeriac, cel-
ery, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuces, rad-
ishes, rocket, silverbeet, spinach,
spring onions and turnips, along
with your favourite salad greens.
To store well, main crop
potatoes like Agria and Rua
should be left to die down com-
pletely before you dig up the
By this time, their skins will
have cured or hardened, so they'll
be less susceptible to scrapes and
bruising when dug up.
Eat any damaged tubers early --
they won't keep.
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