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Home Living : September 6th 2011
HLW - HOME LIVING: WEST, Tuesday, September 6, 2011 3 HOMELIVING Jewel in your garden crown ''I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose, I would always greet it in a garden,'' wrote Ruth Stout, a 20th century pioneer of no-dig gardening. And there's no doubt that even non-gardeners get excited about gardening in spring. Some tips to keep in mind: Spring is the time to dig deep and make your garden bloom or grow your own vegies in the yard or tubs. Plant of the Month - Cineraria With its jewel-coloured daisy blooms, this plant creates a wonderful garden show and will produce a stunning display in light shade as well as full sun. While they can't be grown outdoors through winter in frosty climates, potted specimens can be kept in a glasshouse until they reach blooming stage and then brought indoors to be used as living bunches of flowers. Grow vegies Have you thought about growing your own vegies? Well, spring's the best time of year to put your vegie-growing plans into action. Start by choosing a sunny sheltered part of the garden. If it's impossible to find a suitable garden bed, don't give up. Some of the best vegie gardens are grown in pots. What to grow The choice at this time of year is extensive, but make allowances for local conditions. If your soil is still cold or you experience spring frosts, wait a few more weeks before planting. Tomatoes Home-grown tomatoes are favourites but they can sometimes be a bit challenging for beginners. The easiest to grow are cherry tomatoes. Chilli and capsicum These are closely related to tomatoes and grow in similar conditions. Try to avoid planting in a spot where tomatoes, potatoes or other family members have been grown for a few years. Beans Beans are possibly the easiest vegetables for first timers. They grow readily from seed once the soil is warm and, if picked often, will go on producing for many weeks. Carrots Majestic Red is a sweet carrot variety with good flavour and colour. Carrots need open, free- draining, preferably sandy, soil. Add some superphosphate to the soil before planting, because phosphorus is the nutrient that encourages root growth. Cucumber family The group of vegetables called cucurbits includes cucumbers, pumpkins, zucchini and squash. They all germinate and grow best during warm weather and should be sown into the top of a mound of well-drained soil. Eggplant Eggplants take a long time to bear fruit so its best to start them off as early as possible. Feed the plants in the early stages with Thrive soluble fertiliser. Once the plants reach maturity, switch to Thrive Flower & Fruit. 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August 30th 2011
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