Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 11.10 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, October 11 2011 - 26
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The ACT Government's Plastic Bag Ban begins
on 1 November 2011. For information visit
call Canberra Connect 13 22 81
Canberrans use almost
64 million plastic bags a year!*
THE PLASTIC BAG
BAN IS COMING...
1 MONTH TO GO
* Hyder Consulting, 2008, Plastic Retail Carry Bag Use; Consumption 2006 - 2007
No excuse not to grow veggies
JOBS TO DO
Begin to mow the lawn more
frequently, raising the level of the blades
so that no more than one third of the
grass is cut at any one time. This will
allow the turf to thicken and help choke
out any annual weeds.
The yellow daisy, which seems to
have taken over every other nature strip
in town, is Capeweed (Arctotheca
calendula). A prolific seeder, this
spreading, prostrate plant is undesirable
in well maintained lawns and should be
dug out when noticed or treated with a
broad leaf herbicide. Declared a noxious
weed in some states, it is the scourge of
dairy farmers for it taints the milk of any
cattle that eat it.
A reminder to remove spent flowers
and then feed clumps of spring
flowering bulbs with a complete plant
food before letting the foliage die down
naturally. Both practices will allow the
bulbs to replenish their food supply for
next season's display.
Feed established roses -- they use
Sudden Impact for Roses from Neutrog
for that spectacular display you see at
Flemington race course on Melbourne
Cup Day; Swane's Roses recommends
chopped lucerne as a nutritious mulch.
IN THE GARDEN
Mini ''ice cube'' lettuces are one of the cutest small summer greens on
nursery shelves at the moment.
No matter how small your
growing plot, it's surpr-
isingly easy to raise a more
or less continuous supply
of salad greens and other
short-term crops from now on right
through to autumn -- and even later of
course, but winter salads will usually
require some frost protection.
Even the smallest sunny balcony
should have room for a couple of large
pots and a planter box in which to raise
mesclun (mixed salad greens), a selec-
tion of herbs, baby carrots and a bush
tomato like Tumbling Red, Tumbling
Yellow or Window Box Roma, none of
which will grow to more than 50cm
tall.If you have space for an in-ground
bed, make sure that you place it well
away from the competing roots of
shrubs or trees and preferably where
plant rows can run north and south to
make full use of available sunlight.
Improving the soil is an important
requirement for any new ground. Few
crops will thrive in unamended clay,
which not only drains poorly but is
slow to warm up in spring. While it
might take a few years to achieve the
ideal soil fertility crop rotation should
be the ultimate aim.
Leafy greens demand high levels of
organic matter, fruiting crops like
capsicum and tomatoes need a little
less while roots such as carrots will
often fork in freshly manured ground.
The secret to raising sweet and
tender salad greens is to grow them
quickly in generously endowed
organic soil along with regular applica-
tions of liquid plant food. If you are
short on home-made compost, there
are other commercial substitutes.
The second but equally important
step is to select seeds or seedlings of
crop varieties to suit the season and
then, for a one or two-person family,
plant conservative numbers over two
or three weeks. Better that than three
dozen of something all maturing at
One of the cutest small summer
greens currently on nursery shelves is
lettuce 'mini ice cube'-- a miniature
version of the popular iceberg lettuce.
This restaurant-quality variety is the
perfect size to harvest whole for an
instant salad for one. Just the thing for
balcony pots, advanced-sized seed-
lings are widely available in Oasis
If you like to create your own
piquant salad mix, Peppery Sweet is a
new release trio of popular gourmet
salad leaves including sweet baby
beetroot, lemony red-veined sorrel and
peppery red mustard. This ready-to-
harvest-within-weeks salad crop offers
a home grown mix of contemporary
Other summer vegetable seedlings
from Oasis include Capsicum Purple,
Capsicum White Bell, Chilli Caysan,
Cucumber Continental, Squash Golden
Yellow, Zucchini Black Jack and
Zucchini Green Round.
There will be more on planting
tomatoes in a week or two but you
might be interested in one from Oasis
that is only available from Bunnings.
Named Tomato No Mess, this firm
mid-size, deep red fruit which holds
the juice well, is said to be the perfect
tomato for fresh bruchetta, hamburgers
The plants are compact in growth
and ideal for pot culture in patios and
Book of the week
Grow something to eat every day by
Dorling Kindersley. 256pp. $39.95
A timely publication for any home
gardener keen to plant in spring and
continue to grow edibles throughout
the year. This month-by-month Aust-
ralian guide shows what to plant, how
to sustain growing crops, when to
harvest and how to preserve it. You'll
learn all about organic pest control;
how to save seed; start a compost heap;
make wine and fruit cordials; dry fruit
and vegetables and more. Additional
crop planners for fruit and vegetables,
together with a fully illustrated section
of common pests, diseases and nutrient
deficiencies, offer invaluable advice.
The Chronicle has one Victory
Garden gift packs from the War
Memorial left to give away.
To win this week's pack email
5pm, Friday, October 14, and
tell us what you would grow in
your dream home garden.
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