APRIL 2018 | Nell Carr
THE VERY prickly Berberis are the first to take on their Autumn colouring. B, thunbergii “Kelleris” (pictured), turns pink in late summer, then a brilliant light red in March. The tiny ovoid berries are orange.
The foliage of Berberis x ottawensis turns an intense purple at this time in striking contrast with its tiny bright red berries. Enquiries to the very few nurseries in Meander Valley found that Wychwood nursery in Mole Creek has stocks of these desirable shrubs which brighten the Autumn garden picture.
Welcome rains over the last two weeks of March have made a big difference to the countryside, and have been a great relief for vegetable growers after almost three weeks of negligible rainfall.
In the Veggie Garden Sweet corn should be harvested when the beard at the top of the cob turns dark brown. Harvesting time is crucial, as forgotten cobs become quite inedible.
To freeze, remove only the outer husks, and place them straight into the freezer. Thawed in cold water, it is impossible to tell them from fresh ones.
Brassica seedlings can go in now when the cabbage butterfly has disappeared for the winter. They will grow quickly if planted in well manured soil, and given regular side dressings, or liquid feeds of nitrogen fertiliser.