Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 20-01-2015 Contents Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 12
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TIME TO SOW
Low calorie, no-cholesterol beetroot
Freshly picked beets from an organic garden.
In the garden
A garden diary is a useful reminder for
those of us who tend to miss planting
dates in early summer.
Fortunately, while tomatoes are still
ripening, there is still time to sow a
new year salad of French beans, peas,
lettuce, radish, spring onions, silver
beet and spinach.
Beetroot is another salad staple, but
one with varieties such as baby beets,
the popular derwent globe and super
king that offer a harvest through to
Cylindrica has tubular roots, which
not only take less room each row but
yield more evenly sized slices for
Golden or white beets change the
whole beet on the plate'' image as
does the horizontally red and white
ringed variety called target.
Whether roasted, pickled and sliced
or grated into muffin mix, low calorie,
no-cholesterol beetroot offers valuable
fibre, vitamins and minerals. Young
leafy tops can be added to salads while
older foliage can be steamed as a green
vegetable like spinach.
Beet seed is actually a cluster of
several, though not all will germinate.
Pre-soaking overnight before sowing
is a tip that might increase the odds, as
is an old-timer favourite that a sprinkle
of salt along a row of newly sown seed
is a sure--fire way of raising a good
Beetroot will not grow well in acid
soils, nor in over limed ground --
leading to a deficiency of trace
elements boron and manganese.
Adding manure prior to sowing will
not cause forking as with carrots,
however, too much nitrogen leads to
more leaf than root.
An ideal plot will have previously
raised a nitrogen hungry crop such as
lettuce. Check for a pH of about
6.5-7.5, then add about 50g of
complete fertiliser each square metre
Beetroot sown to mature in cool
weather can normally be left in situ
Carefully remove any
unwanted suckers that might
be arising from the base of
some grafted plants like
crabapples, flowering cherries,
plums and even roses. You
might need to remove some of
the soil to trace them back to
the rootstock where you can
cut them off cleanly with a
Tuberous begonias make
magnificent container or
basket plants in brightly lit but
sheltered sites out of the full
summer sun to avoid scorched
foliage. Water them with care
when the soil starts to dry out
-- a constantly saturated
medium tends to encourage
January is the most
important month in which to
prepare the soil for winter
vegetable crops so choose the
cool of the day to either spray
or dig out any perennial weed
growth. Loosen hard ground
with a fork and apply gypsum
or clay breaker to heavy (clay)
Cut back summer annuals,
such as petunias, by at least a
half. Apply half strength liquid
fertiliser weekly and look
forward to a second crop of
bloom through to the first of
Call to action
1986 tree plan
The full length of the Benjamin Way
median strip in Belconnen would be
tree lined if ACT Opposition deputy
leader Alistair Coe has his way.
The Ginninderra MLA is calling on
the ACT government to consider
planting more trees as part of the
revised Belconnen town centre master
Previous master plans going back to
1986 show trees slated for the entire
length of Benjamin Way, from
Belconnen Way through to Emu Bank,
but the plan wasn't fully realised.
The trees stop about halfway down
the street at Cameron Avenue.
"Trees and a footpath would
improve the amenity of what is
supposed to be the heart of
Belconnen,'' Mr Coe said.
"The new master plan should
include planting trees in the median
from Cameron Avenue to Emu Bank.
"The master plan should also
include a footpath for the length of the
POSTAL BOX TO BE
Australia Post has announced plans to
decommission the post box on
Ferdinand and Jackson streets in
A public consultation period is
under way to make nearby residents
aware of the changes planned for
A recent audit found the box
received less than six items a day, far
fewer than the 25 items received a day
figure used as the Australia Post
measure of low patronage.
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