2 GREAT CROPS TO CARE FOR IN WIN­TER

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Grow & Tell -

1GAR­LIC

It’s gar­lic plant­ing time. Af­ter a rel­a­tively poor crop last year I’m the lucky re­cip­i­ent of some won­der­ful new gar­lic from friends fur­ther up the val­ley.

Well-drained fri­able soil suits gar­lic with not too much fresh ma­nure.

Vis­ually I find the best part of gar­lic grow­ing is the time the new spears push through. There is a sense of won­der­ment, and re­lief, that there’s growth in the cold­est days of the year.

2ASPARAGUS

It’s pos­si­bly a lit­tle early but some­time over win­ter I will cut down the spent growth in the as­para­gus patch, weed out any un­de­sir­ables, and feed the bed with aged ma­nure and mulch, prob­a­bly with seaweed.

Our new as­para­gus bed is about to hit its pro­duc­tion stride four years af­ter we started. We sowed seed, planted it out, tended, weeded and fed the plants each year, and al­lowed our­selves a few small feeds last sea­son. This com­ing spring I in­tend to feast!

As­para­gus is a lon­glast­ing crop and re­quires ini­tial pa­tience but it cer­tainly pays off. Once es­tab­lished, it is a sea­sonal, re­li­able source of high qual­ity food re­quir­ing only ba­sic main­te­nance each year. The yummy and healthy spears ar­rive at a time of year when the chooks are lay­ing well, so apart from eat­ing them lightly steamed there is also the fam­ily favourite of crisp pas­try, a light eggy mix and as­para­gus all baked to­gether un­til golden.

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