Dive into the salad sea­son

Manawatu Guardian - - HOME & GARDEN - By HENRI HAM

Spring is of­fi­cially here. And while I do en­joy win­ter and I love hearty win­ter soups and casseroles, I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to some lighter meals now that salad sea­son is right around the cor­ner.

Now is the time to plant some leafy veg­eta­bles. Stag­ger plant­ing of dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties through to sum­mer.

En­dive is tasty and ver­sa­tile, su­per quick and easy to grow. En­dive is a curly leafed let­tuce with slightly bit­ter leaves. And there’s frisee, a sim­i­lar milder va­ri­ety with fine lacy leaves.

En­dive doesn’t grow with a heart, so you can pick as it grows. The leaves in the cen­tre of en­dive are sweeter and more del­i­cate.

Plant your seedlings in a well-drained spot 5cm apart from each other. Now all there is to do is watch out for snails and slugs, and keep it wa­tered. If you let it dry out it will taste bit­ter and also go to seed faster. In four to six weeks you’ll be cut­ting leaves for your sal­ads. Har­vest the leaves from sev­eral plants at once. That way you en­cour­age new growth. This is a great job for chil­dren.

■ Awa­puni Nurs­eries, www.awa­puni.co.nz

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