Tatsoi Spring Greens
Click through the images to follow a brief pictorial life-cycle of Tatsoi.
For Those In Drought Areas
Will good spring rains bring relief for the farmers and gardeners doing it tough in so many parts of our country? We can only hope and pray that the rains will come and come in drought-breaking abundance.
For those of us living on the coast it's all too easy to think that it's raining everywhere when we hear the rain on the roof. Sadly that's not the case.
Let's take every opportunity that comes our way to remember and support the many families who face the pressures of drought on a daily basis.
Spring Harvest and Planting
You'll enjoy Anne Gibson's video about her early spring harvest of healthy organic produce. Winter on the Sunshine Coast gets cold at times but not cold enough to stop the backyard gardener.
Now that spring is here there is so much to do.
So, What Do We Plant?
Really, the choice is wide-ranging and the grow-lists can be a bit daunting.
A great place to start is with some quick growing greens. One of the best foods we can grow for our tables is fresh, chemical free greens. There are so many health benefits from being able to pick a few leaves of lettuce every day or a bowl of baby spinach or tatsoi or bok choy, just to name a few.
It all starts with rich organic soil. It can be a plot in the backyard, or the frontyard. It can be containers on a unit balcony. You may even have a Vegepod. With a little effort, there's always a way with the wide variety of salad and vege greens we have available.
Tatsoi is one of my favourites. It's used a lot in Asian cooking and is growing in popularity. It's easy to grow, quick growing. It just keeps growing more and more dark green leaves the more and more you harvest them. Great for salads, stir fries, curries.
I recently found a packet of organic Tatsoi seeds, Black Knight variety. This variety is supposed to grow to 40cm high. This translates to a lot of leaves harvested from ground level to the time it reaches that height.
Lettuce is always popular and grows well in the warmer weather. The hardest part is often choosing from the wide variety on offer. Here's a list from a packet of organic lettuce seed mix which is often a good way to go:
Brown Romaine, Buttercrunch, Danyelle, Freckles, Lollo Rossa Darkness, Little Gem, Marvel of Four Seasons. Michelle, Parris Island Cos, Royal Oakleaf, Salad Bowl Green, Salad Bowl Red, Spekles, Tango.
Strange but I seem to remember the days when lettuce were lettuce with Mignonette for a quick crop.
Beans are always a winner in spring and before the hot summer hits. And yes, there's an incredible variety to pick from in any nursery for seeds or for seedlings. I must admit that buying punnets of bean seedlings seems a bit odd to me but I'm old-school and plant the seeds direct so there's no transplanting set-back.
It's A Long List
The Spring planting guide is a long list for backyard gardeners and every variety has its challenges. The following list adds nothing new but reflects some of the favourites for many successful backyard gardeners.
Gardening in the spring season is fun. True, there's a bit of hard work but most of us need the exercise. And it's therapeutic. Working with the soil and plants is basic to human existence. The fresh, chemical-free harvest that puts healthy food on our tables is something we can all cherish.