5 quick tips for gardening this July
The garden may seem to dull in winter, but there are still a few tasks to be done.
Words: Jane Wrigglesworth
1. Corn salad (Valerianella locusta, lamb’s lettuce) is a hardy winter green. It has a somewhat nutty flavour with a soft, rather than crunchy texture. Use it in winter salads or cooked like spinach. You can grow it as a cut-and-come-again salad green or harvest the whole plant. In either case, successive sowing will ensure a continuous supply.
2. Early potatoes can be planted in frost-free areas. In cooler areas, buy your early spuds for sprouting. Four to six weeks before you want to plant out, place your seed potatoes in open trays in full sun where shoots will grow from each eye. Potatoes can be planted out when shoots are 2.5-3cm long.
3. Continue to plant garlic and shallots.
4. Things may go a little dull in winter, but there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy leafy greens. Sow lettuce every two or so weeks to keep up a regular supply. In cooler regions, plant in pots or raised beds. Hardy winter lettuce varieties include:
• Rouge d’Hiver
• Lollo Rossa
• Little Gem
• Winter Triumph
• Merveille des Quatre Saisons
The oriental mesclun blend from Kings Seeds is also winter hardy. It includes mustard, komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach), kale, mizuna, mibuna, tat-soi, pak choi, red cabbage, and green broccoli.
5. Sow seeds of broad beans, cabbages, carrots (in the warmer north), cauliflower, onions, peas, bok choy, silverbeet, and spinach.