Mini-gardens

Many homes in town or sub-burban areas often have little or no space to grow even the simplest of crops!

The following information will show that with a little effort it is often quite easy to grow herbs and salad crops even in the smallest of spaces.

This procedure can be carried out on a tiny border in a small garden, in containers on a balcony / patio, or in growbags placed in convenient places.

With a little planning and careful selection of cultivars, and using a technique called successional sowing it is quite easy to grow salads all year round.

Successional sowing is basically sowing seed a little at a time and often, as opposed to the larger sowings as grown in larger gardens.

For instance, sowing a pinch of various quick growing seed at fortnightly intervals can ensure a regular harvest rather than a glut of mature crops.

For example; Small hearting and/or cut-and-come-again varieties of lettuce will take 10-12 weeks to mature, meaning, crops such as these can be sown indoors in February for an early start, then followed by outside sowings from March to August.

Such a procedure could mean you are harvesting fresh produce from April through to October.

Similarly crops of corn salad (lamb's lettuce) endive, rocket, radish leaf, and perpetual spinach can be grown in the same manner.

Some cultivares may even re-grow to give a second a third flush of leaves after cutting.

Cut-and-come-again salads need no thinning, just gradually thin out the plants in the row leaving the strongest plant/s to grow on.

You can try various types of onions for example: bulbing types, bunching types or spring onions to pull as required.

With these sow the seed in short rows or patches and don't thin them out as you would if growing them to their potential.

Eventually they will bulb up to be eaten as normal cooking onions or salad onions, or for that matter pickle them.

The key to success in each case is successive sowings to ensure that crops are available for cutting after the first sowings are finished.

For winter salads, grow hardy plants such as spinach, corn salad, rocket, hardy lettuce and land cress.

Mustard, curled cress and bean sprouts on moist kitchen towel or in food containers with a little vermiculite in the bottom.

Basically choice of subjects is only limited to what the individual is prepared to experiment with!





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