Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Contents 186 SCOOP AUTUMN 2010
The quintessential leafy green, English spinach is
the easiest thing you will grow this autumn. This
iron-rich super food can be ready to eat in just 50
days. Plant the seeds in damp and rich fertile, well-
drained soil. Ensure to plant in part-shade to avoid
discolouring of the leaves. Soaking the seeds over-
night in cold water will speed up the germination
process and result in a quicker harvest. Lots of water
is needed to give the leaves a full-bodied flavour.
Patience is needed when growing the humble
onion. The average onion takes a minimum of six
months to harvest. Barletta onions grow particu-
larly well in Western Australia.
This white-fleshed variety only needs 11 to 12
hours of sunlight.
Cultivate the seeds in low, shallow drills and
cover with sand. The delicate vegetable will not
push through compacted hard soil as a cover.
Avoid fertilising prior to planting because the
seedlings are sensitive to excess nitrogen, which can
cause the bulb to become soft and less likely to keep.
Italian pink garlic
Commonly grown in WA, this garlic variety loves
our temperate autumn climate. It takes between
six to eight months to mature and can store for up
to five months if kept in cool storage between zero
and one degree. Garlic is a natural pesticide that
can be used in organic farming. Plant it between
other vegetables to scare away those pesky insects
and birds from destroying all your hard work. Use
light, well-drained, sandy soils with a pH of six to
To provide ideal growing conditions separate
individual cloves and plant them in the free
draining soil with plenty of sunshine.
Cloves from the supermarket are not recom-
mended because of the unknown chemicals
sprayed on the garlic. Either a local nursery or
preferably organic nursery would be the safest
option to begin your garlic collection.
Characterised by their blunt end and the most
commonly produced carrot in WA, nante carrots
enjoy growing in well-drained sandy loam soil.
The soil must be soft and aerated to allow the
delicate root system to grow. WA has large areas of
sandy soils and the Swan Coastal plain in particu-
lar provides ideal conditions because of its mild
climate and sandy soils.
All carrots need a regular water supply and full
sun to produce the sweet fructose taste that makes
them such a popular vegetable.
A depth of 20-25cm is ideal when preparing
the seeds for planting. They have one of the long-
est germination times (three weeks) for a vegetable.
It takes about five to six months for a nante to be
ready for harvest.
Surprisingly, compared with other vegetables
when some vitamins are destroyed during the
cooking process, as you cook carrots you absorb
more beta carotene than if they are eaten raw.
Italian parsley is a biennial herb and has to be re-
planted every two years. The seedlings take around
two to three weeks to germinate and 16-20 weeks
to mature. It is a difficult herb to grow straight
Planting seeds in a pot, with a rich potting mix-
ture, allows you to control the climatic conditions
the herb grows in. The pot can be moved in and
out of the sun when needed.
As WA has such a diverse environment, living
up north with warmer weather the soil can dry out
more easily so the Italian parsley should be kept in
In the South West in cooler conditions the
herb can be left out in full sun because the soil is
moister due to higher rainfall.
If after several attempts you have not succeed-
ed, see your nearest nursery that supplies seedlings
of organic Italian parsley that have started germi-
nation. Then transplant into a pot.
Drooling at the thought of delicious, healthy vegetables as the days get shorter and cooler?
Get stuck in and plant your own vegetables and herbs for the freshest taste possible. text tess trenear
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