Edible garden: Patience

By Janice Marriott

Be patient with your veges, urges Janice Marriott.

Don't dig up your potatoes yet. Photo / Hawkes Bay Today
Don't dig up your potatoes yet. Photo / Hawkes Bay Today

The end of October can test a hungry gardener's patience, but try to resist temptation. You may have healthy potato leaves but don't dig around under the ground to check on the tubers. Wait a month. The longer potatoes grow, the bigger the tubers will be.

If you planted asparagus crowns this year you may have tempting spears poking through the soil. Don't pick them. They need to grow into ferns in their first year to feed next year's crowns.

And don't pick your strawberries too early. A strawberry won't ripen any more after it has been picked. If there is still white at the end of the fruit, wait until it is perfectly red, juicy and ready to eat.

Don't try to save time by buying spindly, tall tomato, basil or pepper seedlings in punnets. Go for the small plants with only a few leaves. Those are the ones that will handle the transplant better and give you better crops.

But there are still plenty of good things to eat. Lettuce, coriander, peas and mint all prefer the wetter, cooler spring and the more you pick, the more you will get.

Make a delicious spread by throwing a cup each of mint and peas - frozen is fine - into a food processor, adding a quarter of a cup each of grated parmesan and olive oil, and press go.

- NZ Herald

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