EASY pickings

Lettuce and herbs to lift your summer salads






Carrots, radishes and baby beetroot can all go in now from seed. Yates Radish Salad Crunch is a quick, reliable and easy crop for kids to grow and learn how to look after plants. The mild flavour means kids will enjoy eating their harvests too. Try combining freshly harvested Radish Salad Crunch with some chilled watermelon chunks for a taste sensation. Yates Radish Salad Crunch was voted No. 1 out of 24 varieties of radish in a summer trial conducted by New Zealand Gardener magazine! Keep root veges like carrots, radishes and beetroot productive by regularly applying a fast-acting liquid fertiliser like Yates Thrive All Purpose Liquid Plant Food, which contains nutrients for healthy leaf growth and good root development. One of the key ingredients for summer salads is lettuce and it’s so easy to grow your own! Yates Lettuce Baby Combo is an interesting blend of baby leaf lettuces that come in attractive greens and reds. They can be grown in a vege patch and are ideal for containers. They are fast growing, and you can start cutting from just six weeks. Here are the easy steps to growing your own gourmet lettuce: Sprinkle seeds in rows in a garden bed or good-sized pot. Cover lightly with Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix, so the seeds are about 3mm below the surface. Keep the soil moist until tiny seedlings appear. You might need to remove some seedlings if they’re too close (the ideal spacing is 20cm ). As the plants grow, water them regularly and apply some Yates Thrive All Purpose Soluble Plant Food, which is rich in nitrogen, to encourage lots of delicious leaves. Harvest individual lettuce leaves regularly so they’ll grow lots more leaves. Lettuce tip: Watch out for snails and slugs, which just love chomping through lettuces! Control snails and slugs by scattering a few Yates Blitzem Pellets over the soil around the lettuces. Delicious herbs BASIL: Basil can bolt to seed during hot weather so trim back flowered stems and repeat sowings every two to three weeks for a constant supply. Basil won’t mind a bit of shade during really hot weather, so plant it among other veges and even in the garden where shrubs offer some shade. Liquid feed using Yates Thrive All Purpose Liquid Plant Food, which is taken up through both the roots and foliage as you water. Basil tip: Bees love basil flowers, so leave a few flowering stems on basil to encourage these important pollinators into the garden. CHIVES: Chives are a wonderful herb to have on hand to add a mild onion flavour to salads, soups, sandwiches and pasta dishes. They grow in a clump (20-30cm tall) with fine, dark green leaves and pretty edible purple flowers. You can sow these from seed now in all areas, directly where you want them to grow in the garden. Use in rows or in clumps and they are also terrific in pots and useful as a pretty border plant. Chives grow well in full sun or part shade, and are a great companion for tomatoes, carrots and roses. Feed regularly with Yates Thrive All Purpose Liquid Plant Food and chive plants will go on producing season after season. ■ For more information and inspiration visit yates.co.nz