Friday, 15 May 2015

MTM: April 2013

Blooming Gardens - April 2013

Yes, we are still having technical difficulties with blogger, but my editor is doing her best to rectify it, sorry for the delays......Please excuse unmatched fonts, centering, spaces and inappropriate or isolated numbers and words.....

Some of this post will be out of date.....

Good morning everyone! Hope your all had a great Easter. If you register with my blog, each month when the program is published, you will receive an email to tell you it's been published on my blog. You can then follow the prompts to download the file in pdf format. I won't be emailing out the program any longer, so you must register with my blog to find out what's going on!

It's free to register....and the information and pdf files are free too!
By registering with the blog; each time something happens on the blog you will get an email to take a look. 

I'm in the process of making up a new list of all garden class members, if you haven't attended a class in a while and you still want to attend classes; you MUST let me know.  If not, you can follow along via my blog, but please register so that you get updates in your email.

The classes are so successful we are moving to another location in the nursery! But you will have to attend a class to see how lovely the room is.....

April 2013 

Autumn, Can you believe that we are going into our second month of the season already? The temperature is starting to drop and the sun is being lazy and getting out of bed a bit later than usual, but the days are still nice and the nights are starting to cool down. Autumn is a great time in the garden; not too hot or cold, so no-one has an excuse not to want to work in their garden. The weeds are easy to pull out, the soil is easy to turn... so let’s get out there and have some fun.

As you can see (above) the humble autumn crocus, ZephyranthesAvailable in white, yellow and pink flowers, is flowering nicely after all that wonderful rain. I have all three in my garden and I love them all.

Richards top 10 jobs to do this month
1.    Start to look at purchasing your garden bulbs for a lovely winter display.

2.    Don’t neglect to rake up all those autumn leaves to make some great compost.

3.    Now is the time to start planting all those lovely winter annuals.

4.    Let’s start to plant out the first of our winter vegies.

5.    Don’t forget to still mulch your garden beds

6.    Let’s think about Mother’s Day coming up and plan to give a living gift to the special lady in your life. Have you thought of planting a beautiful shrub or tree in your garden in memory of a special lady that has passed away?  

7.    Autumn can be a time for colour so look out for some bright flowering shrubs that will make your garden come alive.

8.    Have you thought about that neglected corner in your garden? Do a makeover in that area today. Don't wait until winter arrives!

9.    Look at cleaning out your gutters so your down pipes and drains don’t get blocked during winter.

10. Just relax and have some fun in your garden.


Annuals and potted colour

Autumn is a great time to be planting those winter annuals; do you know the difference between an annual and a perennial?

The essential difference between annuals and perennials is that annuals are one-season plants, completing their life cycle within the first year,, whereas perennials live through multiple growing seasons. Examples of common annuals include impatiens, pansies and petunias, while some favorite perennials include butterfly bushes, daisies and hostas.

Sweet Pea
Considered hardy, these thrive in cold weather and can bloom during short winter days. Sweet peas have fragrant blossoms and come in bright colours of violet, blue, red, pink, white, coral and cream. Seeds usually take 10 to 14 days to germinate. Sweet peas grow best in full sun. As these can grow up to 1.5mt, you should train these on trellises or fences.

There are several varieties of hardy pansies that produce beautiful, mildly fragrant flowers. Varieties include Swiss Giant, Romeo Juliet, Swiss Giant Mixed and Black Prince. These seeds will take 10 to 20 days to germinate and reach 15 to 20 cms in height. Requiring sun to partial shade, these wide array of colours are perfect for hanging baskets or edging. Keep the soil moist and pinch off any dead flowers to keep the flowers blooming. Pinching off faded blooms is called deadheading.

Otherwise known as pot marigolds, these flowers also come in different colors. Pacific Beauty will produce shades of orange, yellow and primrose. These seeds will take 4 to 10 days to germinte and will grow to about 145cms in height. Plant these seeds in well-drained soil. As these flowers thrive in full sun, deadhead old blooms to produce more blossoms. Water well and fertilize moderately. These flowers are nice in containers or in beds as a border and will attract butterflies.

These hardy annuals have long stems and require little care. They come in colourful shades of white, blue, pink or red. These seeds will take 10 to 15 days to germinate and can reach a height of 60cms. Water often. Corn flowers will accept sun to partial shade. These flowers are nice for beds, as cut flowers or bouquets.

Ideal for a fall/winter plant in the south, this flower comes in beautiful shades of pink, blue, red and white. This plant may also produce flowers in the spring in cooler areas. This plant will grow to about 30cms high and about 15cms wide and requires sun and a well-drained area. Fertilize well. Dianthus will be nice in beds, containers or baskets.

These flowers are called snapdragons because if you squeeze the flower it resembles a mouth opening and closing. These flowers come in a wide variety of colours and come in two heights. The dwarf variety will reach about 20cms in height, while the taller variety will reach up to 1mt. Of course you may want to stake the larger variety. Snapdragons do well in beds and are beautiful as cut flowers. Keep these well fertilized and in full sun. Deadheading flowers will encourage more flowers to bloom.

Lavender is a versatile annual that could be considered hardy or half-hardy, depending on your area. It's long stalks of green foliage produce purple flowers with a lovely scent that can be used for sachets or potpourri. Lavender appreciates lots of sun but needs to be in a well-drained area. Be sure to prune each spring and keep well fertilized.

These flowers have a slight fragrance and come in a variety colors. Viola, also known as johnny jump-ups, grow to about 15 to 20 cms in height and will accept full sun to partial shade. Viola flowers are perfect bursts of colour for beds and planters. Keep these flowers well watered and fertilize every few weeks. Remember to deadhead fading flowers to produce more blooms.

Ornamental Cabbage and Kale
Ornamental cabbage and kale can offer vibrant colors in cold winter months. While these plants are not considered edible, like those used in vegetable gardens, ornamental cabbage and kale will produce frilly leaves ranging from pink to purple. As the temperatures drop, the deeper the colour of these plants will become. These plants will reach about 30cms wide and about 45cms tall. Keep ornamental cabbage or kale well watered and fertilize often. Ornamental cabbage and kale are perfect for beds, containers and edging.

I hope that these beautiful flowers will keep a smile on your face all winter long. Enjoy nature's gift of beauty!

Don’t forget you can purchase your annuals as seedlings from Wollongong Wholesale Nursery for just $3.99 per punnet or as an instant potted colour for 10 plants for $15 

Vegie Guide - Planting in April for Australia - temperate regions

(also Beets)
Plant in garden.Harvest from July
Broad beans
(also Fava bean)
Plant in garden.Harvest from August
BroccoliPlant out (transplant) seedlings.Harvest from June
Brussels sproutsPlant out (transplant) seedlings.Harvest from July
(also Gobo (Japanese Burdock))
Plant in garden.Harvest from September
CabbagePlant out (transplant) seedlings.Harvest from June
CarrotPlant in garden.Harvest from August
CauliflowerPlant out (transplant) seedlings.Harvest from August
(also Garden chives)
Plant in garden.Harvest from July
(also Collard greens, Borekale)
Plant out (transplant) seedlings.Harvest from June
Corn Salad
(also Lamb's lettuce or Mache)
Plant in garden.Harvest from June
EndivePlant in garden.Harvest from July
Florence Fennel
(also Finocchio)
Plant in garden.Harvest from August
GarlicPlant in garden.Harvest from September
(also Borecole)
Start undercover in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks.Harvest from July
KohlrabiPlant in garden.Harvest from July
LeeksPlant out (transplant) seedlings.Harvest from August
LettucePlant in garden.Harvest from July
(also Japanese Greens, Mitzuna, Mibuna)
Plant in garden.Harvest from June
Mustard greens
(also gai choy)
Plant in garden.Harvest from June
OnionPlant out (transplant) seedlings.Harvest from October
(also Pot Marjoram)
Plant in garden.Harvest from June
Pak ChoyPlant in garden.Harvest from June
(also curly leaf parsley or flat leaf (Italian) parsley)
Plant in garden.Harvest from July
PeasPlant in garden.Harvest from July
RadishPlant in garden.Harvest from June
(also Arugula/Rucola)
Plant in garden.Harvest from June
(also Eschalots)
Plant in garden.Harvest from August
(also Swiss Chard or Mangold)
Plant in garden.Harvest from July
Snow Peas
(also Sugar Peas, Mangetout, Chinese Peas)
Plant in garden.Harvest from August
(also English spinach)
Plant in garden.Harvest from June
(also Rutabagas)
Plant in garden.Harvest from July
TurnipPlant in garden.Harvest from June

Veggies being picked now.

Zucchini, Marrow, Shallots, Lettuce, Parsley, Basil, Chilli, Capsicum, Pumpkin, Spaghetti Squash & Spinach


Who’s listening in class?

We have so much fun in this section, I always seem to mention the same people over and over again, and I know those people are listening so how about hearing from some new students in the class? Show me your garden.....

I recently had a email from Margaret and Ian to show me the bamboo in their garden.  

Looking great guys, well done and thanks for the photo.


Soil structure and how to improve it.

Organic matter is the key to amending less-than perfect garden soil. To fix mucky clay or sandy sand soil, add plenty of organic matter. You can't change the type of soil you have, but adding organic matter makes your soil more like loam, which is perfect for plant roots. Even if you have loam, you still should add organic matter every year.

Organic matter improves garden soil in the following ways:
It helps loosen and aerate clay soil.
It improves the water- and nutrient-holding capacity of sandy soil.
It provides the once-living material that attracts microorganisms, beneficial fungi, worms, and other soil-borne critters that improve the health of your vegetables.

How to work organic matter into soil

Work some organic matter into your soil before you plant each season. If you're using unfinished (raw) organic matter like leaves or undecomposed manure, add it to your soil at least one month before planting. That way it will break down before you plant. Add finished compost and manures just before planting.

Follow these steps to add organic matter to your garden soil:

1. Add a 5 to 10cm layer of organic matter to the area where you intend to plant.

Go for the higher end (10cm if your garden is new or if your soil is heavy clay or very sandy. Use less if you've grown there for years or if your soil is loamy and fertile.

2. Work in the organic matter to a depth of at least 15cms.

There's nothing glamorous about spreading manure. The best way to spread organic matter is with a wheelbarrow and a shovel. Work it into the soil with a shovel, or garden fork.

Using compost

The best organic material to add to your soil is compost. Composting breaks down yard waste, agricultural waste, wood scraps, and even sludge into a crumbly soil-like material called humus.

Compost is usually clean, easy to use, and available. You can buy it in bags or have it delivered by the truckload. Most waste disposal sites make compost and sell it relatively cheap. You also can make your own compost.

Before you buy compost, ask whether the compost contains any heavy metals, such as lead, and whether the compost is safe to use in a vegetable garden. Your local health department should be able to tell you what levels of lead and heavy metals are unsafe. The staff at the landscaping supplier  also may even be able to give you a precise nutrient content if they've performed any tests on the compost.

Using sawdust and manure

Using organic materials other than compost — such as sawdust and manure — is fine, but these materials present a few problems that compost doesn't. 

Here are some advantages and disadvantages:

·        Sawdust adds organic matter to your soil, which eventually breaks down and forms humus. However, the sawdust also robs the soil of nitrogen when it decomposes, so you have to add more fertilizer to compensate.

Livestock manure improves your soil's nitrogen level. However, livestock diets often include lots of hay that's full of weed seeds, which may germinate in your vegetable garden. Some manures (such as horse manure) add organic matter and some nutrients to your soil, but they're also loaded with bedding materials (like dried hay) that cause the same problem that adding sawdust causes.

If you use manure, make sure it has been sitting around for a year or two, so it's decomposed, and the salts have been leached out. Too much salt in the soil can be harmful to plants. Good quality compost or fully decomposed manure should have a dark brown color, earthy smell, and have little original material visible.

Ideal vegetable garden soil should be loose, deep and crumbly. It should drain well (water should not stand on top after rain) and contain plenty of organic matter Good garden soil will deliver the right mixture of air, water, and nutrients to grow a large root system and strong, productive plants.
Have your soil tested to determine nutrient levels and pH, and to be sure it is safe to plant in (low lead level). The pH level should be in the 6.2-6.8 range.

What is organic matter?

Plants and animals that are alive, dead, or in some stage of decomposition. The stuff we think of as dead (e.g. brown, dried up leaves) is teeming with microbial life. There may be a billion living microorganisms in a teaspoon or compost or soil!

Why is it important?

Organic matter is the key to improving soil quality which, in turn, leads to healthy, productive plants. It improves the structure of soils that are high in clay or sand so that roots can better grow and take advantage of available water, air, and nutrients.
The concept “feed the soil and the soil will feed your plants” is very important for vegetable gardeners. If you feed your soil different types of organic matter on a regular basis you provide food for soil-dwelling organisms. The vast majority of these- bacteria and fungi- cannot be seen without a microscope. They breakdown organic materials, consume each other, and cause the release of nutrients that roots can pick up.
Your soil is improved with every addition of organic matter. You are building up a reservoir of slowly released nutrients that increase your garden’s productivity over time. You will need to use fertilizers to make sure that your plants have the nutrients they most need (e.g. nitrogen) when they need it. But your reliance on organic or synthetic fertilizers will probably decrease as your organic matter content increases.


Choosing your vegies for your soil type.
There are few things that are as satisfying to a home gardener, than to                                                                   wander out to the vegetable garden, harvest and consume the fruits of their labour. Successful vegetable gardening involves far more than just popping a few seeds into the ground and waiting for that vegie to appear. Planting is only the third step of the three 'P's.

Planning your garden, Preparing the soil, and Planting your vegetables!

As you sit down to plan your garden, please consider adding a few extra plants to your garden so that you can share with your friends to show them the difference between shop bought and home grown.

Different types of vegetable plants require varying degrees of soil acidity.
Basically soil pH is a measure of the amount of lime (calcium) contained in your soil, and the type of soil that you have.
Generally, soils in moist climates tend to be acid and those in dry climates are alkaline.
A soil with a pH lower than 7.0 is an acid soil and one with a pH higher than 7.0 is alkaline. The soil must be adjusted to suit the plant which will occupy that area if it is not already within that plants requirement range.

Optimal pH
Brussels Sprouts
Chili pepper
Optimal pH
Sweet corn
Sweet potatoes
Swiss chard


Kaffir lime

Citrus hystrix  

Bumpy, green, maturing to yellow skinned citrus fruit with a highly acidic flavor. The leaves are an important flavoring in Thai quisine and other southeast Asian dishes. 

Description: Small tree, from 1.5 to 2.5 mt in height. The Kaffir Lime is easily distinguished by its glossy, two-part leaves. Trees also usually contain some thorns. 
Hardiness: Trees are mildly frost hardy and grow best in areas that receive only short, mild frosts. 
Top Leaf: Kaffir Lime
Bottom Leaf: Normal citrus Lime
Growing Environment: Grow in full sun, provide water during growing months and protect from hard freezes. Fertilize at the beginning of growing season.
Propagation: By seeds and grafts.

Uses: The leaves are aromatic, used as a spice, and for various flavoring purposes. The juice is also sometimes used in the preparation of food and beverages, although it is not consumed directly. Oil is also extracted from the rind for use in cosmetics and beauty products.

Native Range: Native to Indonesia.


    Native finger lime

     Australian finger lime, (Microcitrus australasica), occurs as an understorey shrub or tree in rainforests in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. It produces finger-shaped fruit, up to 10cm long, with thin green or yellow skin and greenish-yellow compressed juice vesicles that tend to burst out when the skin is cut. A pink to red-fleshed form with red to purple or even black skin (known as Citrus australasica var. sanguinea) also occurs in the wild.
     Fruits are cylindric, 1.5 - 2.5 cm long, often slightly curved, narrowed at both tip and base. Peel rough with numerous oil glands, greenish-yellow at maturity; pulp-vesicles nearly free or loosely cohering, seeds numerous, small, 6-7 mm long, ovoid, usually flattened on one side.
     The first leaves are minute linear cataphylls; these gradually merge into juvenile foliage which, in turn, merges into the mature foliage, the leaves of which are smaller than those of any other True Citrus Fruit Tree with the exception of Citrus glauca, when the latter occurs in very dry situations.
    Getting the Soil Right for Citrus Trees
     The best soil for citrus trees is deeply draining with good top runoff. This allows water to drain away from the deep root system. If you are not sure how well your subsoil drains, the other trees in your garden will show you clues. Are your shade and spring flowering trees all very healthy and producing vigorous growth? If so, you most likely have the level of drainage already in place to succeed in growing citrus plants. If other trees in your garden aren’t looking healthy, you will want to grow your citrus trees in raised beds.
     As with any other plant, the level of pH in the soil will present you with problems if it is too low or too high. For citrus trees, you need 6-8 pH for them to grow well. Citrus also is not tolerant of high soil salinity, which can be present near saltwater shores.


     Re- visiting the veggie bed

   Now is the time to start to clean out our vegie beds ready for planting your winter crops, so lets do it today and have some fun. Lets get down and get dirty and get those garden beds ready for winter planting.

d                        ****************************

   Curry leaf tree

   Botanical Name: Murraya koenigii

   Curry Leaf Tree is a small evergreen tree which grows 3-6m in height. It has aromatic compound leaves with about 12 dark green leaves per stem. White flowers occur in clusters and are followed by pea sized berries which turn reddish brown when ripe.
    Curry leaf tree is a native of India and Sri Lanka where it has been used medicinally and in cooking for hundreds of years. Leaves are used in curries, vegetable dishes, chutneys, pickles. The leaves are often fried first in oil before other spices are added. Curry Leaves are now also used in Malaysia and Indonesia mainly in fish curries.
    Use the leaves on the BBQ to add a warm, smoky, spicy flavour to fish, meat and potatoes. Simply pile a large handful of leaves onto the BBQ plate and place the fish or meat on top and cook covered with a deep lid from a large pan.
    Growing Conditions
    Curry leaf trees are tropical plants but will grow in cooler climates if kept in warm area through the winter. The trees sucker vigorously so if space is limited growing in a pot is a good option. They grow well in a pot and make an attractive plant for a verandah or outdoor area
    The picture below is a relative of the curry leaf called Murray paniculta.

d                        ****************************

Bok Choy (Pak Choi)
This graceful vegetable with Chinese origins has spread throughout Asia and beyond, developing a wide range of varieties. The most typical Pak Choi features dark green leaves atop white spoon-shaped upright stems. Stems vary considerably in thickness and shape, and in some varieties they are green. One variety produces a rosette of dark green leaves close to the ground. There are specialty pak chois that have frilly leaves to light yellow-green colour. The slight mustardy flavour of Pak Choi makes it a delightful addition to stir-fries, soups, noodle and meat dishes, and salads, if the young leaves are used. In China, the coarser leaves are often pickled. Some Chinese cooks also dip the leaves in boiling water and hang them out to dry in the sun for several days. Drying enables this highly perishable vegetable to be stored for winter months. Asian cooks use the entire plant at many stages of development .

Chinese greens
Plant type: Edible annual.
Height: Up to 30cm.
Width: Up to 7cm.
Full sun.
Plant seeds from late summer to mid autumn
Harvest in 6–7 weeks.
Can be grown in pots.
There are a number of Chinese greens that have caught the attention of cooks and gardeners alike. Bok choy (also called pak choi), tat soi, mizuna and mibuna are quick and easy to grow – in just six to seven weeks from sowing seed you will be picking and eating plenty.
Commonly called ‘Chinese cabbages’, these leafy vegetables are members of the brassica or cabbage family.
Bok choy is an attractive plant with deep green leaves, thick white stalks and bright yellow flowers typical of broccoli. Tat soi is a smaller version, with darker green leaves formed into a tight rosette. For either, the entire plant can be cooked. I prefer steaming them then drizzling over a little oyster sauce, but there are many ways to cook this versatile vegetable. Mizuna and mibuna leaves have a mustardy flavour and are used in green salads.
So let’s get started
Although seedlings are available in punnets,at the nursery for $3.99 it is best to grow Chinese greens such as bok choy from seed, as they germinate very readily. Packets of these seeds are available at Wollongong wholesale nursery. Each pack contains plenty of seed for successive plantings. Bok choy and its relations grow well anywhere in the country, but bear in mind they are cold-weather vegetables growing best from autumn to early spring. Avoid summer heat, as the plants can bolt into flower and seed

Chinese greens like bok choy grow best in a friable, reasonably well-fertilised soil. Prior to sowing dig over the area to remove large clumps of heavy soil and apply a handful of complete fertiliser to every square metre. Water the area prior to sowing and keep it continually moist so seedlings grow rapidly.
Sow seeds in drills directly in the ground where they are to grow. Cover the seeds with approximately 3–4cm of soil and water in. They germinate quickly, especially in autumn and spring, so make sure weeds are eliminated so they are not competing with your crop for water and nutrients.
To plant seedlings, space them about 15cm apart. They grow approximately 7cm wide and 30cm high. Thin out the seedlings if you have over-sown too thickly.
How to care and maintain
The main priority to growing bok choy successfully is to keep the plants growing quickly with plenty of moisture. If the soil dries out, it is likely that they will bolt into flower and then to seed prior to full leafy development. Mulch with 7–10cm of organic material, such as straw or sugarcane, to keep the soil around the plants cool. Like most vegies, they need a reasonably sunny place to grow well with at least six hours of sun.
You may have to water the plants every second day, or even daily depending on temperature conditions. Apply a liquid fertiliser every couple of weeks to keep them growing briskly. Successive sowings, so that you have a row of plants at different growing stages, is a good idea and works well.
Boy choy is quite an attractive plant and would not look at all out of place in the garden among the perennials and annuals. You could also think about growing it in containers and pots, filled with a good-quality potting mix, plus additions of some animal manure and a handful of complete fertiliser. If you have success growing bok choy, you could also try growing other Asian greens such as tat soi and mizuna.
Start harvesting the outside leaves as young plants grow, leaving enough so they keep growing throughout the season. Do not leave the plants sitting in the ground for too long – it is best to pick and eat them when the leaves are juicy and tender.So let’s get our garden beds ready for planting


Kale or borecole is rich in numerous health benefiting polyphenolic flavonoid compounds such as lutein, zea-xanthin, and beta-carotene, and vitamins than found in any other green leafy vegetables. It is widely cultivated across Europe, Japan, and the United States for its “frilly“leaves.
Botanically, the plant belongs to the “cabbage” (Brassica) family subgroup of Brassica oleracea (acephala group), characteristic of headless, leafy greens. It features close similarity in growth and appearance to collard greens. Other common vegetables closely related being: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc.
Kale is an annual plant, flourishes well in rich organic soil and prefers cool climate and light frost conditions. Its succulent, curly leaves appear “rosette” like and may have dark green to blue-green color depending on the cultivar type. It is grown mainly for autumn and winter harvest, because cool weather further enhances its sweet taste quality.
Some of the important cultivars grown around the globe are Scottish curly leaf (Brassica napus (Pabularia Group)), Red Russian, Blue curled, Winterbor cultivars.
Tuscan kale, also known as cavalo nero, is popular winter-season green in the Northern parts of Italy. It features distinctive very long, curly, blue-green leaves with embossed surface resembling dinosaur skin, giving its name as dinosaur kale.

Health benefits of Kale (borecole)
  • Kale is a very versatile and nutritious green leafy vegetable. It is a widely popular vegetable since ancient Greek and Roman times for its low fat, no cholesterol but health benefiting anti-oxidant properties.
  • Kale, like other members of the Brassica family, contains health-promoting phytochemicals, sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol that appear to protect against prostate and colon cancers.
  • Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol is an effective immune modulator, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent through its action of potentiating "Interferon-Gamma" receptors.
  • Borecole is very rich source of ß-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin. These flavonoids have strong anti-oxidant and anti-cancer activities. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body.
  • Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. Thus, it helps prevent retinal detachment and offer protection against "age-related macular degeneration related macular degeneration disease" (ARMD) in the elderly.
  • It is very rich in vitamin A, 100 g leaves provide 512% of RDA. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Foods rich in this vitamin are known to offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • It is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides about 700% of recommended intake. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
  • 100 g of fresh leaves contain 120 mg or 200% of daily-recommended levels of vitamin C. Scottish curly leaf variety yet has more of this vitamin, 130 mg/100g. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  • This leafy vegetable is notably good in many B-complex groups of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc., that are essential for substrate metabolism in the body.
  • It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.
Kale provides rich nutrition ingredients that offer protection from vitamin A deficiency, osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers.
Kale has really grown in popularity with the home gardener in the last couple of years. It’s high in iron, and I recon it’s great with a little bit of garlic and butter.

• Kale likes a free-drained rich soil, so a good quality seed raising mix is a must. Fill the punnets about three quarters full.

• Spread the seed generously, it doesn’t matter if you overdo it a little as they can be thinned out later, and any excess can be picked out and used in salad.

• Give them a good watering, and they should be ready in about six to eight weeks.

Beets or as we say beetroot