July 26, 2014
Asparagus : As temperatures warm up, check asparagus plants daily to see what is ready to harvest. Early morning is when asparagus is at its best. Choose young shoots around 20cm long, snapping them cleanly at the base. Any overgrown shoots should be removed to encourage plants to continue producing new spears. Harvest solidly for around four to six weeks, then allow spears to ‘fern out’ and develop leaves which produce energy that is stored in the roots for next year’s crop.
Celery : Celery needs five to six months of cool temperatures to mature so needs to be planted late summer in warm areas. Don’t let plants dry out. They need lots of regular watering as well as feeding, otherwise the stalks become stringy and overly bitter. A little bitterness is normal, but blanching the stalks (denying them of light) will help reduce this. Simply wrap and tie the bases with newspaper two to three weeks before harvesting.
Dill : You can use the leaves and seeds of dill to flavour cooking. Use sharp scissors to cut the complete fern-like leaves at their base where they join the main stem. When flowers have finished and the seeds are brown and mature, snip off complete spent flower heads and put them in a paper bag. When the seeds have released into the bag, store them in a clean glass jar for use in cooking or to sow more dill plants.