North Taranaki Midweek - - GARDENING -

I couldn’t be­lieve my eyes when I un­earthed these trea­sures on the week­end. What had been a long­for­got­ten pot over­flow­ing with weeds, turned out to be filled with a heap of ‘Mini Sweet’ car­rots. These were sown back in Oc­to­ber 2016 and I as­sumed they’d be rot­ten when I dug my hands into the soil – but I was wrong. These lit­tle beau­ties are still per­fectly crunchy and blem­ish-free. It re­ally goes to show how well root crops keep in the soil should you hap­pen to for­get about them.

If you’ve never tried grow­ing car­rots in pots, it’s def­i­nitely worth giv­ing it a shot and is just so sat­is­fy­ing when it’s suc­cess­ful. All you need is con­tainer

at least 30cm deep, some fine pot­ting mix (not the sort with big clumps of bark which can cause the roots to fork) and seed of a


I’m for­ever on the look­out for new-to-me salad greens so was ex­cited to give corn salad – aka lamb’s let­tuce or Va­le­ri­anella lo­custa a try in my small raised bed. It has grown well, de­spite be­ing very over­crowded af­ter I was a lit­tle heavy-handed and ac­ci­den­tally dumped the whole pack of seed up­side-down in the soil!

This veg­etable has ab­so­lutely noth­ing to do with sweet­corn, nei­ther is it re­lated to let­tuce so the names are quite mis­lead­ing. But what­ever it’s called, this hardy lit­tle an­nual laughs in the face of win­ter temperatures.

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