Garden lore

Garden radishes are in wantoness by the gentry eaten as a sallad, but they breed but scurvy humours in the stomach, and corrupt the blood, and then send for a physician as fast as you can.

The Compleat Herbal by Nicholas Culpeper (1653).

Spring planting – NOW

If you have not planted out your summer garden, now is the time to panic. An unseasonably cool spring may have led many to delay, but delay no longer because the official start of summer is a mere two weeks away. Top priority needs to be given to the plants which require the longest growing season. This includes capsicums, aubergines, both rock and water melons, kumara and even tomatoes. Starting with plants now, rather than seed, is advisable to get a jump start this late in the season. Other techniques are to plant in black plastic (which heats up the soil faster) and to use a cloche for the early stages because this heats up the air around the plant to encourage growth.

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