December 2012 Issue #88
What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.
1) Garden pests
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Chilli Mayonnaise
Some insects feed on rosebuds,
And others feed on carrion.
Between them they devour the earth.
Bugs are totalitarian.
~ Ogden Nash
Beautiful and beastly bugs
The above poem on bugs does not mean that governments are made up of bugs wanting total power (well some do, but this is a friendly gardening site). It means that bugs want total power and they do their utmost to get it. Often this means eating your plants, so have a read of this updated Garden Pests page and get control over what bugs you.
Looking for the perfect gift for gardeners? Buy them a gift voucher from GrowVeg. They'll appreciate this garden planner and you, every time they step into their garden.
Eco gardening tips
- Don't blast your seeds away:
When sowing carrot or radish seeds into the ground, cover with fine soil, then watch out because... uh oh, here comes searing sun, heavy rain, or a heavy-handed waterperson!
This is an old trick, just take some old thin cloth, wet it and lay strips over your sowing row or patch. This ensures even moisture and undisturbed sprouting.
Be sure to check from about 4-5 days onwards, especially for radishes, and remove cloth if seeds are sprouting.
- Companionable carrots:
Lots of different seeds and seedlings can be grown together to utilize space and often provide companionship.
One of the best combinations is to mix your radish and carrot seeds and sow them together. Some sand can also be added to these seeds to help them sprinkle evenly.
Once the seeds have sprouted, the baby radishes will be edible from about 4-5 weeks onwards, so gently pull them out to eat, which now leaves a bit of leg room for the slower growing carrots.
- Divide and conquer:
Perennials need splitting up every 2-4 years in most gardens. Let's take rhubarb, which can be divided in autumn/fall or early winter. If you have severe winters, leave until springtime.
It's best to toss out the hoary old crown if it's very old. Transplant the baby plants which then will grow fast and strong once they've left home, so to speak. Often you'll have some to give away too—red stemmed rhubarb varieties are sought after.
A homemade, better-for-you, natural mayonnaise that will give your sandwiches a lift.
- 5 small spicy red chillies, any variety
- 1 dessertspoon seeded mustard
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 5 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup olive oil
- Salt to taste.
- Slice chillies and simmer in vinegar until reduced to ¼ cup. Allow to cool.
- Strain the vinegar to remove chilli seeds.
- Add all ingredients to vinegar, except olive oil, and mix well.
- Trickle in olive oil whilst whisking with hand whisk or slow food processor.
- Store in fridge.
Preparation: 20 minutes.
Happy gardening and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!