Healthy crops, healthy you

The Tribune (NZ) - - GARDENING - WALLY RICHARDS Prob­lems ring me at 0800 466464 (Palmer­ston North 3570606)Email wal­lyjr@gar­de­news.co.nzWeb site www.gar­de­news.co.nz

The short­est day is but five months away. Plant­ing veg­eta­bles for win­ter crop­ping should be a pri­or­ity right now to take ad­van­tage of the max­i­mum avail­able day­light hours.

Ac­com­pany all veg­etable plant­ings with Neem Tree Gran­ules. This anti-feedant will help limit in­sect dam­age. For cab­bages, cauliflow­ers and broc­coli (bras­si­cas) use hoops and crop cover (bug mesh) over the plants to stop white but­ter­flies lay­ing eggs on the leaves.

Leeks, sil­ver­beet, car­rots, parsnips should be planted now – the lat­ter two from seed di­rect-sown into the plot where they are go­ing to grow.

Keep plant­ing salad greens so there are good on­go­ing crops of let­tuce, spring onion and radishes.

Win­ter flow­er­ing plants are also be­com­ing avail­able and the sooner they are planted out the sooner they will es­tab­lish and start flow­er­ing.

Pro­duc­ing a sus­tained tomato crop is a source of pride for many gar­den­ers. With glasshouse sup­ported, hy­dro­pon­i­cally grown toma­toes, plants sev­eral me­tres in length can pro­duce un­told toma­toes over a long pe­riod.

The vine is usu­ally bare ex­cept for leaves, flow­ers and fruit on the last me­tre

Keep plant­ing salad greens so there are good on­go­ing crops of let­tuce, spring onion and radishes.

or so. The se­cret is that the plant is kept fed. A mis­take some gar­den­ers make is to stop feed­ing the plant once har­vest­ing be­gins. The plant runs out of tucker and fails.

Ap­ply Se­cret Tomato food about ev­ery month once har­vest­ing is un­der­way to en­joy a longer tomato pro­duc­ing sea­son.

Vine toma­toes can grow quite tall. As a sup­ported vine can be as much as 10 me­tres long, th­ese will re­quire stak­ing once a cer­tain height is reached. Fruit form­ing high up need plenty of sup­port or the top will break un­der the weight, es­pe­cially if the plant is out­doors and sub­ject to windy con­di­tions.

As well as re­mov­ing lat­er­als, prick out the grow­ing tip. Bush toma­toes such as Rus­sian Red only grow about a me­tre tall and there is no need to re­move lat­er­als or prick out the end.

We are what we eat, with the nutri­tion pro­vided by home-grown or­ganic pro­duce op­ti­mis­ing our own good health with the es­sen­tial el­e­ments that our bod­ies re­quire.

For in­stance, sul­phur is an im­por­tant di­etary com­po­nent. Hu­mans need a daily amount of sul­phur for per­for­mance be­cause our bod­ies do not store sul­phur. The body sim­ply uses what’s avail­able at the time and ex­pels any sur­plus.

To en­sure that home-grown veg­eta­bles con­tain sul­phur, spread gyp­sum around about ev­ery three months. Cal­cium & Health is an­other prod­uct con­tain­ing sul­phur and other im­por­tant el­e­ments such as se­le­nium.

Those who only have a lim­ited area for gar­den­ing will be heart­ened to know that even in the small­est amount of space, some re­ally ben­e­fi­cial plants can be grown.

Con­sider wheat grass. Wheat grass has the abil­ity to take up all 114 min­er­als and el­e­ments if they are pro­vided in the grow­ing medium. Adding Ocean Solids (ocean min­er­als), Rok Solid (rock and earth min­er­als) and Magic Botanic Liq­uid (MBL) will en­sure that wheat grass con­tains the full com­ple­ment of good­ness for juic­ing or smooth­ies.

PHOTO: FAIRFAX NZ

Mak­ing sure toma­toes are well fed as well as well sup­ported, help to pro­long the fruit­ing sea­son.

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