Around the Garden

Tomato seedlings planted now will need some nurturing and careful watering.
Tomato seedlings planted now will need some nurturing and careful watering.

Young tomato seedlings planted out now will need to be kept growing strongly.

They need to be examined regularly to remove any side shoots which appear in the axils of the lower leaves.

Watering must be done with discretion at this time, erring if anything on the lighter rather than on the heavy side, until the first trusses of flowers begin to set. 

To help your sweet peas along remove side shoots and fertilise now.

To help your sweet peas along remove side shoots and fertilise now.

Sweets for the sweet 

Sweet peas should be growing rapidly and to help them through this most important stage of pre-flowering is paramount to success. 

Top quality displays of flowers are produced by keeping individual plants to a single stem and removing all sideshoots.

The regular application of a liquid fertiliser is also beneficial. 

Bountiful Beetroot   

The humble beetroot with its attractive purple/red, white or yellow bulbs and an earthy flavour has become very popular again, often featuring prominently in the very latest culinary creations.   

For best results soak seeds for four hours before sowing then plant 15 centimetres deep, five to 10 centimetres apart in rows 25 to 30 centimetres apart.

Keep the soil moist, not wet, during germination.   

Pick when the beetroots are about golf-ball sized because if left too long, these little gems tend to become woody and unpalatable.  

Basil!

The culinary sweet basil has tender, bright green foliage with a spicy, clove-like aroma that adds a wow factor to Italian dishes and livens up a green salad.  

Basil loves well-drained, rich soil, a sunny (not hot) sheltered position, lots of water and a regular application of a liquid fertiliser to produce lush, healthy leaves.  

Pinch out the flower buds when they appear to encourage more leafy growth and to prevent the plant running to seed.

Apart from soil preparation and fertilising, a regular watering regime is essential for fast-growing vegetables to produce quality, flavoursome crops. 

Morning is the preferred time to water plants as evening waterings, especially in humid weather, may cause fungal problems. 

The pomegranate is a versatile option offering both edible and ornamental fruit.

The pomegranate is a versatile option offering both edible and ornamental fruit.

The Pomegranate Process

The pomegranate is well worth growing in the garden for its exceptional ornamental value and unusual, edible fruit. 

In spring scarlet flowers cover the tree and by late summer, the green immature fruits start to turn a lovely shade of red. 

It has been a staple of Middle Eastern gardens and used in Middle Eastern cuisine for millennia with the ruby, red seeds considered a delicacy. 

This deciduous small tree needs a dry summer and plenty of water to set fruit. 

 A deep loamy, well-drained, slightly alkaline soil is desirable.   

For a very attractive hedge plant trees at spacings of  2 to 2.5 metres apart.

Prune in winter to keep at a manageable height.

This story Around the garden first appeared on The Advocate.