February 2019 Issue #162
What fun that we both love gardening. Thanks for joining me.
2) Eco gardening tips
3) Brussels with Garlic and Cashews
Brrr.. loveable Lorikeet snugglepots! Summer's around the corner in the northern hemisphere, so keep warm, won't be long now.
There's a thought provoking vegetable question which I'd love you to answer on No dig Vegetable
Garden's FACEBOOK page.
Eco gardening tips
- Flowers or not
Oh the world would be a horrid place without flowers... so it's hard when you chop off their heads for seemingly no good reason. But in your veggie patch, you have to be a bit of a head-chopper otherwise you'll starve (not quite as dramatic as that).
There's a compromise and you can leave some flowers, but if you let all your herbs and the likes of rhubarb develop flowers, they will sap energy from the plant's leaves. You will get less growth, less leaves which will likely be small, tough and bitter.
- Sweet as
When you hear talk of sweetening the soil, it's about the pH, which stands for 'potential of Hydrogen'. A neutral soil pH is 7, below this a soil is more acid, and above it's more
The pH range for most plants is around 5.5 to 6.5 which is slightly acidic. Soil pH below this range needs a soil 'sweetener' such as a liming agent, unless you grow acid-loving plants, such as citrus.
It's best to talk to a knowledgeable gardening local for the best lime to add to your soil, eg: calcium carbonate, dolomite or several other types.
- Jump start garlic
In late summer climates, when harvesting garlic, leave a few bulbs in the ground to overwinter. You will notice when the green shoots start to poke their heads out in spring, they will be quite sturdy little bulbs. Dig them up carefully, split them into cloves and replant them where you would like to grow them.
Because these cloves have a head-start with roots, they will grow quickly and produce a particularly good crop.
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Brussels with Garlic and Cashews
So tasty. If it's not brussels season for you, this recipe can be used with broccoli and other brassica veggies... but I reckon brussels are best.
- Enough brussels sprouts for
2 people (about 3-4 cups), thickly sliced
- 2-3 cloves garlic peeled, slivered
- ½ cup cashews, chopped roughly
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste.
1. Gently sauté all ingredients in olive oil for about five minutes, tossing until edges are lightly browned.
2. Add salt & pepper to taste before serving.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5-8 minutes
Makes Enough for 2 or more people
Live, love and garden.