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Growing individual vegetables

Each year after establishment
remove all but the four strongest
suckers. T o obtain big flower
heads, lateral buds surrounding
the main head may be removed
when about as big as a hen's egg.
The buds of globe artichoke can
be prepared in several ways. The
small side buds may be eaten raw
or fried, but the main bud is
usually boiled and the fleshy inner
and outer bracts or floral leaves
are eaten rather like asparagus,
with melted butter, salt and
he globe-shaped flower head is the edible portion o f the globe artichoke. pepper.
Remove any rough scales and
;lobe artichokes Propagation wash well in salty water before
ne gobe artichoke (cynara Suckers froni old plants can be cooking. It will take at least 30
scolymus) is the only true adi- transplanted in the early spring minutes of boiling before the buds
choke. I t is perennial, making a when 200 mm high- become tender.
bushy plant about 1 . 5 m high and in rOWS 2 metres apart and 1 metre
resembles a large thistle. The between plants. Jerusalem artichokes
edible portions are the immature Seed can be 25 mm Although the Jerusalem artichoke
globe-shaped flower heads and drills, 300 mm apart. The seed- (Helianthus tuberosus) will grow
their fleshy bases. l-hese are lings can be transplanted in the in any odd corner of the garden,
picked when most scales are un- spring, when they reach the adequate care is necessary to pro-
opened and are bluish-green. size of cabbage transplants. duce good quality tubers.
The harvest season extends Beds should be prepared as for The quality of the artichoke
from June through November, but pumpki"s or other vine vegetables, tubers will also be improved if a
the heads will not keep long. me with plenty of organic matter under heavy dressing of organic manure
open heads are quite decorative. each plant. Three Or plants is dug into the soil. Apply 250 g
~h~~ are sometimes grown in are sufficient for the household. of NPK 6:6:6 complete fertiliser
flower beds. A plantation of arti- Rep1ant suckers for every 10 plants. The bed
chokes may last for up to five three years. should be well-drained, but
years, but crops on poor soils are Maintenance otherwise the location is not im-
likely to be disappointing after In late spring when harvest is com- portant as the Jerusalem artichoke
two years. plete the stalks should be cut to grows well either in the open or
Globe artichokes grow well within 300 mm of the ground and in fairly heavy shade.
where winters are moist and mild the plantation given a liberal
but will not withstand much frost. dressing of organic manure or 30 Planting tubers
If summer temperatures are high, to 5 0 g of NPK 8:4:10 complete Select sets of a desirable size and
the edible stage soon passes as the fertiliser per plant. Beds should shape which are not more than
floral organ develops quickly and be kept well watered during the 25 to 35 mm in diameter, plump,
the succulence is lost. ,drier months. and without too many protuber-
ances. Larger tubers may be used, Jerusalem artichoke should be '
but should be cut into 25 to 35 cooked gently for at least 30 min-
mm pieces with two eyes or buds utes in boiling water, with an
per set. Too many buds are a
disadvantage as the resulting plants
tend to bear a large number of
undersized tubers.
onion and some salt, and served
mashed or whole with white sauce.
It can be baked after having been
immersed in boiling water for a

July is the best month for plant- few minutes. This artichoke
ing artichoke sets. Plant sets makes a delicious soup.
100 mm deep in heavy soil, and
150 mm deep in sandy soils, at
450 mm intervals along the row.
Asparagus (Asparagus oficinalis)
Ten plants should be quite enough
for the needs of a family of five.
As artichokes often grow to a
can be grown in the home garden
with very little effort, provided
height of 2.5 m they form a use- careful attention is given to the ,
ful windbreak. initial preparation of the bed.
Plantations which are well cared-
Cultivation and harvesting for will last for up to 20 years.
The quality and texture of the Asparagus grows best in deep
artichoke tuber is adversely a e c - friable soils, especially sandy loams
ted by the development of the and peaty soils. Heavy soils, which
flower. The flower buds should cake, distort spears. Because
therefore be nipped out as soon asparagus is such a long-term crop,
as they appear. Tubers may be it is well worthwhile spending time
lifted from four weeks after the in the initial preparation of the
formation of flower buds and used bed. If soil is heavy, work a
as required until the following mixture of loam and sand into the
June. At the end of June all bed.
tubers should be lifted with a fork. Good drainage is essential and
Those required for later use can beds must receive full sunlight.
be stored in sand. Yield and quality will be poor if
Jerusalem artichokes are best the soil does not warm up quickly
planted each year. Neglected beds in the spring.
can rapidly become a real prob-
lem and it is best to treat Jerusa- Raising asparagus plants
lem artichokes as an annual crop. One or two-year-old crowns are
planted out in the permanent bed.
Cooking Plants are raised from seed which
Cooking quality is largely a mat- is sown in August or September.
ter of freshness. Sprouted tubers As asparagus seed is extremely
should not be used. Wash and slow to germinate, it should be
scrub Jerusalem artichokes to re- soaked in water overnight before
move skins, in water to which sowing. Drill seed about 25 mm
two or three teaspoonfuls of deep into a seed bed. Many com-
J r ~ r ~ s r r l eartichoke
~i~ plant. vinegar have been added. The mercial growers sow radish seed
with the asparagus seed. This manure should be worked into the This weakens the crowns and re-
germinates rapidly and indicates base of the bed and the top-soil duces the next year's crop.
the rows; thus simplifying weeding. dressed with 150 to 300 g of NPK The fern is then allowed to grow
Plants should be thinned $0 75 5:8:4 complete fertiliser. Alter- up. It should be cut off 50 mm
mm .apart at Ian early stage. natively, when planting, place a above the ground when it turns
As the plants grow, the taller band of fertiliser along each side yellow and before the seed ma-
male plant will become distinguish- of the trench. tures. After the tops are removed
able. The foliage begins higher Beds can be about 1 - 2m wide the beds should be lightly forked
UP the stems than on the female
plants which have fronds almost
with a 600 mm pathway between.
Plant two rows per bed as shown
and, if they are hilled, pulled back
to a level surface.
to the ground. The male plants in the diagram. Dig the two Apply 150 g of lime to the
yield more spears than the female trenches about 200 to 250 mm square metre; followed by a
piants, so they should be retained deep; 250 mm wide with 450 mm heavy dressing of animal manure.
for transplanting. between them. Along the bottom A dressing of 120 to 150 g of
Young plants may be placed in of the trench, build a small ridge NPK 8 : 4 : 10 complete fertiliser,
the permanent bed in the first of soil. may be necessary if the fern has
winter but it is best to wait for The crowns are straddled across shown lack of vigor.
another year as this sex difference this ridge, and the fleshy roots Yield is largely determined by
is more obvious in the second arranged evenly in the trench. the amount of fertiliser the beds
summer when the female plants Space the crowns 400 mm apart. receive. It is almost impossible
bear berries. Press each crown into the soil and to over-feed asparagus. Weekly
Mary Washington 500 and a cover with 125 to 150 mm of soil. applications of liquid manure can
selection of this variety, UC 66, Do not leave any air pockets. The be applied when cutting begins.
--1 the main varieties grown. beds are then built up as the Yields are improved if the beds
spears grow. are kept moist, but do not over-
Plaluting crowns water the plants.
Crclwns are planted out in June Maintenance of asparagus beds Many people prefer green
or July, but beds should be pre- Two-year-old plants may be given asparagus to the white blanched
pa1.ed much earlier. Trench the a light cutting in the second season, sticks. Green asparagus is easier
soilI to at least 600 mm and incor- but one-year-old plants should not to grow as it is only necessary to
:ate sand with the sub-soil if it be cut until the third season. It slightly hill the beds. Sticks can
very heavy. is important not to cut even estab- be blanched by hilling up the beds
Large quantities of organic lished beds after mid-December. with soil from the side until they

Plant asparagus crowns in trenches 200 m m to 250 m m deep and 250 m m wide.
Spread the roots out evenly over the soil along the bottom of the trench and cover
with 125 m m to 150 m m o f soil. Fill the trench as the crowns grow.
Blanched asparagus spears are cut
under the ground as soon as they ap-
pear. A long-handled knife is used to
cut the spears.

are 250 mm high.

The sticks should be cut when
they first appear through the soil.
It is necessary to rake the soil up
over the beds several times during
the cutting period to keep sticks
Cut blanched sticks below the soil
with a special asparagus knife.
To avoid damage to latent shoots,
insert the knife at an angle, hold
the stick to be cut with the left Clirnbirtg Oenrzs are well slritcd to srrlall gardens. They save spacr as they curl 1
hand, and cut when the knife be grown agninst fences o r on trellises.
touches the base of the stick.
Cut blanched sticks as soon as
the:y appear through the surface,
Beans The four main groups of beans
ancd green sticks before the leaf Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are a commonly sown in the home gar-
SCZlles open. No sticks should be popular summer vegetable in the den are butter beans, French
111,o - ~ e dto develop foliage during
L'JL3 home garden and, with successive beans, stringless beans and climb-
tht:cutting p d o d . plantings, fresh beans are available ing beans. I

For best quality, cut sticks just for many months. Beans grow Cherokee Wax is a popular
fore cooking. If asparagus must best in warm to hot, humid, wind- butter bean variety. Brown Beauty,
be held before cooking keep the Windsor Long Pod, and Hawkes-
free weather conditions. They are
cut ends standing in water. bury Wonder are the most com-
warm season plants and are sen- monly grown French bean varieties
Asparagus will also hold for a sitive to frost. November and in the home garden. Hawkesbury
short time in a refrigerator. December sowings of beans are Wonder produces a heavy crop of
most successful in central and good quality pods over a long
southern Victoria (zones 1 and 2). period and is tolerant of halo
A windbreak of sweet corn or blight disease. Brown Beauty and
other tall-growing crop should be Windsor Long Pod grow w611
established before the crop is sown. under a wide range of climatic con-
ditions and produces a flush crop
of excellent quality pods.
Brown Beauty is still a very
popular variety. It can be sown in
November and December.
Windsor Long Pod is grown ex-
tensively in the spring and autumn.
It is often hard to judge the
maturity of Windsor Long Pod. It
has very long and attractive pods
which do not deteriorate in appear-
ance rapidly. Home gardeners
should have little trouble with this
variety if it is picked several times
each week.
The stringless varieties, intro-
duced for the processing industry,
are now becoming extremely popu-
lar with home gardeners. They
are not as adaptable as the stringed
types and are more sensitive to
temperature and low humidity and Clirnbir~gheurrs .r/~nrtltfhe sow3rl 1 1 1 row3s one r ~ e t r e(2p~7rtarltl 200 rirri~ hrric<een
hence must receive good supplies seeds.
of moisture. Redlands Pioneer, the fence line. Do not sow climb- stone placed in the drill-row with
Tendercrop, GV 50, Canyon and ing varieties before the middle of the fertiliser at 30 g per metre of
Apollo are the varieties grown in October in southern or mountain drill-row. Although a legume, the
Victoria. Canyon and Apollo are districts. bean is not very efficient at fixing
resistant to Summer Death. its own nitrog& from the atmo-
Climbing beans are a great space Bean seed sphere. Because of this nitrogen
saver in small gardens as they can Seed-borne diseases can cause should be included in the fertiliser
be grown against fences and on severe losses to bean growers and, mixture.
trellises. They produce many more wherever possible, certified bean As the seed has a thin coat and
beans than an equivalent area of seed should be used. Halo blight is sensitive to injury, bean seed
bush beans. is the most serious of these seed- should be sown so that it will not
Blue Lake is a stringless climb- borne diseases and the use of contact the fertiliser. Place the
ing bean with straight, round disease-free seed will ensure heal- fertiliser on each side of a furrow
fleshy pods of excellent quality. thy crops unless an affected crop 100 mm wide and 75 to 100 mm
As all the varieties mentioned is growing close by or diseased deep at the rate of 30 g per metre.
so far are annuals, seed must be bean plant residues carry the Cover the fertiliser with soil and
sown each year. The perennial disease over to the next year. sow the seed in the centre of the
beans are more satisfactory in the All bean seed should be dusted row, from 25 to 50 mm deep.
cool districts. Over the years with thiram before sowing, as a In northern districts, a 4:l mix-
Scarlet Runner has proved the protection against seed rotting ture of superphosphate and sul-
most adaptable. The beans, if organisms. phate of ammonia at 30 to 60g
picked when young, are tender Soil preparation and fertilisers per metre of drill-row should be
and fleshy. Beans grow well on most soil types, used. In southern districts 60 g
Perennial climbing beans except very sandy soils. Dwarf of NPK 3:6:7 complete fbrtiliser
(Phaseolus coccieneus) are diffi- beans, in particular, have a very should be applied.
cult to grow under very hot con- shallow root system and suffer Sowing and trellising
ditions because flowers are unable severely if the top 50-150 mm of Climbing varieties should be sown
to set. Consequently, most years soil dry out rapidly. in rows one metre apart with 200
they are late croppers. Pod setting Beans are moderately tolerant mm between seeds. .Dwarf varieties
is helped by spraying the flowers to soil acidity but benefit from are sown 450 mm apart with 100
with water during hot weather. liming on very acid soils. Lime mm between seeds. In good tex-
Scarlet Runner and White Czar may be broadcast three weeks be- tured soils sow seed 5 0 mm deep
last from four to seven years and fore sowing at 150 to 300 g per but in stiffer soils 25 mm is prefer-
are best suited to growing along square metre or agricultural lime- able. Mulch the surface of the soil
over the drill-row to prevent cak- Chocolate spot and broad bean Poor growth of broad bean
ing of the soil surface which would virus are two diseases which will crops may occur if seed is sown in
otherwise make the emergence of attack broad bean crops planted in a bed which has grown a broad
the young bean seedlings difficult. the late autumn. For this bean crop recently. Soil-borne
Climbing beans must be sup- reason late July and August diseases attack the roots and cause
ported above ground. Some of is the best time to sow the plants to collapse. Rotation is
these varieties can be trained on broad beans to produce disease- the only solution. Infected ground
trelises about two metres high. free plants. The pods will not should not be sown to broad beans
Fences with an easterly aspect are mature much later than those sown or peas for six or seven years.
very suitable. Vines can be sup- in April, because flowers will not Failure of broad beans to r
ported on string or wire. set until the weather warms up in pods, especially early in the sprir
the spring. can be caused by excessive nitr
However, there are advantages gen in the soil or by extreme varjia-
Weeds can be controlled by shal- in sowing a broad bean crop in tions in temperature. Aphids can
low cultivation, but only when ab-
the autumn. There will be beds also cause damage to flowers a nd
solutely necessary as the bean is vacant to take the crop at a time young pods and should be cc.-
a relatively shallow-rooted plant when the choice of crops to plant trolled with spray.
and the roots are easily damaged. is limited, and if weather conditions
Wind causes possibly more dam- do favor the development of dis- Harvesting
age to bean crops than to any ease, the crop can always be turned Harvest broad beans before pods
other vegetable - crop. sowing under as a green manure crop. become over-mature, as quality
two rows close together gives rapidly deteriorates. Young im-
added support to each plant. mature pods can be eaten whole
sprinklers are most satisfactory Soil preparation and fertilisers
Broadcast 150 g of lime to the if sliced like French beans, or they
for watering as they raise the hu-
midity. This helps flower setting square metre before finally digging can be shelled and cooked, skinned
under hot dry conditions. up the bed, and again just before or unskinned.
Harvesting Apply NPK 5: 8:4 complete
Beans should be harvested as soon fertiliser, or 5 :1 blood and bone
as they have grown to a suitable and potash at 60 g to the metre of
size as they can rapidly become drill row in bands 50 mm to the
over-mature. Beans should be side and 50 mm be!ow the level of
picked at least every week. All the seed.
full size pods should be harvested Sow the seeds about 100 to
to encourage the setting of later 150 mm apart in single rows 600
flowers. Rough handling of the mm apart, or in double rows 200
bush should be avoided as stems to 300 mm apart and with about
are tender and damage to leaves a metre between the double rows.
and stems may seriously reduce Plants sown in double rows sup-
the life of the bush. port each other.
Place the seed in furrows 75
mm deep down the centre of the
Broad beans row without contacting the fer-
Broad beans (Vicia faba) grow tiliser. Cover with 50 mm of soil,
well during the cooler months and leaving a slight depression along
withstand frosts. They need little the row.
attention and are a welcome addi- Dust the seed with thiram to
tion at a time of the year when protect it from seed rotting orga-
fresh vegetables in the home gar- nisms.
den are scarce. When the plants become laden
The broad bean grows well in with pods, support the bush with
n wide range of soil types, but a string stretched between stakes.
does best in a reasonably heavy, Soil formed around the base of
well drained soil. However, it the stems will also support the
will not tolerate extremely acid plants. Occasional watering may
conditions and some liming may be necessary on lighter soils if the
be necessary. rainfall is too light.