There are lots to look forward to in spring – picnics and barbecues, nature, sunshine and wildflowers, plus it’s also the perfect time of the year to revive your gardens, remove any winter weeds that have taken over and prepare for a summer full of home-grown goodness.
Check out our Perth region seasonal planting guide, for a handy go-to guide on what to plant and when. If you need more information, check out Steve Wood’s gardening advice. Steve Wood and Deryn Thorpe have a lot more to say about gardening here in WA via their website and podcast of the same name, All The Dirt.
Sometimes gardening space can be an issue so here are a few suggestions that require little space but can produce a good quantity.
Four spring planting suggestions
This nutritional powerhouse is not only good for you, it’s tasty too. Broccoli contains vitamins A and E, folate, calcium and iron. And, it has a higher vitamin C content than oranges! Talk about an overachiever.
Start the process of planting broccoli undercover in seed trays and then plant out in four to six weeks.
Serve it up: Broccoli can be eaten any way you want. It’s tasty fresh or simply steamed. Try steaming and then adding a little lemon butter and almonds slivers on serving for a fresh, crunchy and tasty side dish. It also adds a great crunchy addition as part of a cold or hot salad or thrown in with a stir fry.
The humble cabbage is a hardy vegetable, able to grow and thrive even in some of the more inhospitable climates.
Cabbage is well-known for being high in fibre which aids in digestion and it also contains powerful antioxidants.
Serve it up: Cabbage is best eaten lightly sautéed, boiled, stir-fried or even raw. When served raw, it has a natural peppery flavour, so try serving it shredded with a bit of vinaigrette or add some shredded carrot and sultanas and olive oil to have a sweet and peppery salad. If you find you have success in your cabbage patch and can’t get through it all, consider fermenting some!
Of course, cabbage is a key ingredient in coleslaw. An easy way to prepare this is with red onion, carrot and coriander and your preferred mayonnaise. Enjoy it as a side dish or as a topping on any dish including spicy foods to help ease the heat.
Now we know coriander can be contentious, but love it or hate it, coriander is a mainstay of many a dish. Most often used as a garnish, it can also be used in stocks to add flavour, chutneys, pestos and so much more.
Our favourite way to use it however is as a garnish to enhance flavour and add something fresh to a curry. Try it out in Kleenheat Kitchen’s easy chicken curry recipe which will give you all the flavour without all the fuss.
Start sowing coriander seeds in September.
Ahh, garlic! Best not to breathe out too heavy if you’ve had too much of it. Pungent and potent, garlic, which is actually part of the onion family, has been used for thousands of years for both eating and medicinal purposes.
Too much can throw out the flavour balance but add the right amount and it’ll work in harmony with the rest of the ingredients.
Garlic is a culinary staple with the majority of recipes asking you to add at least two or three cloves to amp up the flavour.
Try out a perfect pairing of garlic chives (using the green stem, not the clove) and pork by following Brendan Pang’s dumpling recipe and don’t forget garlic can be used in side-dishes just as much as a staple to any stir fry. You can also roast whole garlic cloves in their shell. After roasting, the garlic clove is soft and paste-like and is sweeter and less pungent than fresh chopped garlic added to dishes. Start sowing cloves in September.
Are you a green thumb or a beginner? Share your gardening tips, tricks and advice with us and your community, so we can keep learning about home-grown goodness. Share your comments below!
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