Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Gardener's Diary - September 2015

There were many flourishing vegetable gardens in this year's competition and really fantastic to see (and envy) for example the one above in Heritage Park, Moonee Beach.

The weather may still be a bit on the cooler side at night but our gardens are waking up and putting on a fantastic show of perfumed, colourful flowers and shrubs. Soak up that colour and scent while this spring burst lasts before we'll be complaining of heat and humidity on the Coffs Coast.

Make sure that you have all your vegetables planted including capsicums, cucumbers, sweet corn, melons, pumpkins, tomatoes and zucchini. They will really take off with the lovely warm days. We saw some beautiful broadbeans while out and about with the Spring Garden Competition, so obviously some of you know the trick of getting them up and running early up here in Coffs.

There are terrific seeds available this season - just keep an eye out for them from your local nursery:

  • Basil Minette - grows to around 30cm, forms a tight, compact shrub when kept in trim, goes really well with garlic, tomatoes, eggplant, Italian dishes; good spicy flavour and fantastic for borders and containers.
  • Basil Red Bordeaux - this is that wonderful deep red basil which looks just stunning in salads, a general rule of thumb is deeper the colour the more intense the basil flavour.
  • Cucumber Telegraph - telegraph cucumbers are the longest and thinnest members of the cucumber family and generally measure 30-35cm with a 'hook' at one end. Dark in colour, their soft skin has shallow grooves running parallel from top to bottom. They have a sweet flavour and an added bonus has to be that cucumber is high in vitamin C and other trace minerals and have diuretic properties.
  • Nasturtium Empress of India - is a classic Victorian variety with opulent, velvet crimson-scarlet flowers and impressive dark blue-green foliage. Seldom growing over 30cm with a neat compact semi-trailing habit, this little beauty is very easy to grow and is perfect for pots, tubs, window boxes or as a border plant. Both the flowers and leaves are both edible with a peppery/radish taste and are excellent additions to salads, pastas, omelettes or simply as a pretty garnish.
  • Radish Easter Egg Mix - these are a really fun mix with red Cherry Belle, tangy Purple Plum, cute Pink Beauty and White Beauty hence the name of Easter Egg Mix. Radishes are a great source of vitamin C and the name 'radish' comes from the Greek word for 'fast appearing' which you would have to agree is aptly describing the way they grow!
  • Capsicum Marconi Rosso - You may get this plant to last more than a year if conditions are suited to it. It will grow up to 45cm and is a high yielding variety.
  • Watermelon Allsweet - Large, oblong melons with deliciously sweet, bright red flesh.

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