|Gardening notes: August 2012|
Gardening Note 1: Gardening is value for money
When you consider the benefits of gardening, giving us a space of beauty and inspiration, reducing stress and improving overall well being, its popularity comes as no surprise.
Even more so when you consider that you can add plants to your collection that has the same value as the family’s weekly take away menu but will give you joy for years to come, while the take-away meal will give satisfaction for about twenty minutes.
If you buy vegetables and herbs to the same value you will even add nutritional and health benefits to it all, not to mention the satisfaction of a home grown and home-made meal.
Value your Family - Value your Garden.
Gardening Note 2: Herb focus – Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)
The pungent horseradish sauce that delivers a kick to salads, sauces, mustard and even mayonnaise, is made from the grated raw root. The ground root also has many healing actions; as a mild antibiotic, expectorant and diuretic that promotes perspiration making it useful for breaking fevers, especially those associated with colds and flu. In other words, it is a good winter herb.
Horseradish is a fairly substantial deciduous perennial with a 1metre spread and garden height of 40cm. It requires full sun and well drained soil. Before planting prepare the soil to a depth of at least 30cm and add lots of compost to the top soil so that the soil is friable and drains easily.
It is a good companion plant for potatoes, and plum trees and an infusion of the root can be used as an anti-fungal spray for fruit trees and as a repellent for cucumber and potato beetles.
The main harvest of the roots is in autumn, although fresh roots can be lifted at any time during the year when needed. Digging up the entire plant and pruning the roots as well as the top growth, prevents the plant from spreading and becoming invasive. New growth will sprout in spring and the very young leaves can be added to salads or cooked like spinach.
Gardening Note 3: The Family Garden