Down-under sow seeds of below-ground crops this week

Down-under sow seeds of below-ground crops this week

Aren’t the ferny fronds of carrot leaves so delicate compared to the fleshy root we eat? This patch has garlic, carrots and beetroot.

We ‘mix and match’ different plants for diversity, pest minimization, and just for the fun of it.

Here the carrots are paired with garlic [taller spikes of leaves at the back] in the hope that the stronger garlic smell will cover the scent of carrots which attract carrot fly [which eat the roots].

These are ‘Egmont Gold carrots which were said to be more resistant to these pests than other varieties in trials carried out by friends. Worth a try.

 

Recommended best days for planting seeds to grow great root crops are

  • Monday 17th – Tuesday 18th October
  • Friday 21st – Saturday 22nd

Often planting charts talk generally of sowing these seeds during the week after the full moon on 16th October, as it appears to get smaller.

Root crops now could include carrots, beetroot, radish, parsnip and similar.

 

carrot-and-daikon-roots

Tubers such as potatoes or sweet potato [kumera] – not so much.

This is late for us to plant potatoes [we plant them to crop before the psyllid bugs are out in force when the weather warms up] .

And is early for kumera which likes heat so if planted now, they would like a ‘mini hot-house’ over them for protection still.

Instead, plant

Beetroot  Eg, this is ‘chiogga’ which grows alternating layers in circles of pink and white flesh. Sweet. Maybe a cross between original beetroot and sugar-beet? Very nice.

20160924_121549

Beetroot seed is really a group of seeds joined together so they tend to grow in a clump.

Often directions say to thin out the smaller seedlings to leave the bigger one to grow.

We leave them all to grow usually, until one root is big enough to pick, remove it, and leave the smaller ones to grow bigger. Less effort and easier all round. Mostly it works.

Daikon radish – a long Asian variety

20160927_172201

Young ones like this are a tasty addition to stir-fries or curries.

We eat the white root part. The green leaves are also edible and treasured in some Asian cooking.

We use them also for loosening heavy soil [aka the clay of the suburban yard where we live]. The bonus is also getting a harvest to eat.

 

 

 

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