Matamata Chronicle - - Gardening -

Make life a lit­tle eas­ier by grow­ing cool sea­son stal­warts Swiss chard and silverbeet. Both of these greens are full of good­ness as well as be­ing ver­sa­tile in the kitchen. I use the leaves in soups, omelettes, quiches, lasagne, pies, pasta dishes or sim­ply steamed with salt and pep­per on top.

They are also frost-hardy, easy to grow and care for, and un­trou­bled by dis­ease dur­ing win­ter. In the su­per­mar­ket, silverbeet bunches sell for around $5 so it makes sense to grow your own.

Plant pun­nets of seedlings now and lay down snail bait to pro­tect them while they are es­tab­lish­ing them­selves.

You can also sow seed now, al­though in the dead of win­ter, it’s best to raise the seeds in trays un­der­cover – or grow in a glasshouse if you have one. Space the seeds a few cen­time­tres apart and cover lightly with seed-rais­ing mix. Once the seedlings are up, give them a boost with liq­uid fer­tiliser di­luted in tepid wa­ter. Silverbeet grows well in pots too, just en­sure they have ad­e­quate wa­ter and reg­u­lar feed­ing with liq­uid fer­tiliser.

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