CU­RI­OUS CUCUMBERS

NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Garden Tasks This Week -

The most recog­nis­able cu­cum­ber va­ri­ety is long and green (in­clud­ing ‘Bur­p­less’ from Yates), but you can also get cucumbers that are curly and crinkly (‘Ori­en­tal Soo Yoh’ and ‘Tasty Queen F1’ from Kings Seeds), white ( ‘Lom­bardy White’ from Kings Seeds or ‘Port Al­bert’ from Koanga) and round like ap­ples (Eg­mont Seeds’ ‘Crys­tal Ap­ple’ or Koanga’s her­itage-type ‘Green Ap­ple’). When flow­er­ing be­gins, scat­ter fer­tiliser around the base of the plants once a month and wa­ter reg­u­larly.

Plant more beans

There’s still time to plant a sec­ond crop of beans. Beans sown now will keep you fed un­til the first frosts. Wa­ter reg­u­larly – wa­ter stressed plants are a sitting tar­get for green shield bugs. Peren­nial ‘Scar­let Run­ner’ beans will last sev­eral sea­sons and get crack­ing ear­lier than the com­pe­ti­tion. Not all beans

are green: choose from yel­low, pur­ple, and blotchy red. ‘Ber­rgold Im­proved’ is a pro­lific dwarf va­ri­ety; ‘King of the Blues’ and ‘Pur­ple Te­pee’ lose their colour when cooked so eat them raw. ‘Yard Long Run­ner’ is a pop­u­lar Asian bean with 65-100cm long pods, though you should pick the pods when they’re 40cm long.

Gar­den­ing by the moon Don’t plant or sow just yet. Sow root crops, like radishes, turnips and swedes. There’s a fer­tile time ap­proach­ing, so cul­ti­vate and add soil amend­ments as re­quired. New moon 08:21 PM

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