Q&A with Glenys Woollard

If you have a gardening question, email Glenys at glenyswoollard@clear.net.nz

What plants should I grow for making a mesclun salad?

The name comes from a Provencal word meaning mixture, so you can choose from a variety of lettuces, plus chicory, corn salad, endive, mizuna, pak choi, rocket and spinach, etc.

But you don't have to buy each kind of seed separately, with packets of mesclun mix available. There are various blends, including Italian mesclun (often including rocket, corn salad, mustard and endive) and Oriental mesclun (which has vegetables that can be grown on for use in stir-fries).

Can I grow a king protea in clay soil?

Yes, although well-drained and slightly acidic sandy or stony soils are best. Proteas won't tolerate wet feet or fertilisers containing high levels of phosphorus - in fact, be wary of any fertilisers.

Choose an open, sunny situation with good air circulation, as high humidity leads to fungal attack. Avoid disturbing the roots when planting and stake as necessary, noting that frost protection is needed for the first few years.

King proteas can stand harder pruning than other proteas.

- Hamilton News

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