HELEN LANG: A gardener’s new veggie list

I have some interesting news for gardeners provided by Linda Gilkeson, a very knowledgeable gardener and speaker.

Honestly, this is almost too much!

I wrote one of my best garden columns two days ago but didn’t send it in, just in case something world shaking in the gardening world might occur, such as the discovery of a new type of turnip that is already peeled and half-cooked (seeds available sometime next year).

The whole thing disappeared in a flash (there was thunder, too). It’s enough to make a body nervous just sitting in front of a computer. I keep glancing over my left shoulder in case of another shock!

I have some interesting news for gardeners provided by Linda Gilkeson, a very knowledgeable gardener and speaker who addresses groups around coastal B.C. regarding making the best use of their garden space.

I’ve had the pleasure of hearing her and she really knows what she is talking about!

She has provided a list of new vegetables you might like to try:

• Purple Peacock Broccoli — you can eat everything: leaves, stems, and the florets. Salt Spring Seeds carries the seed.

• Sweetheart Cabbage — Sweet and crunchy leaves. Great in salads. Grows rapidly. Get the seed at West Coast Seeds.

• Crispus Brussels sprouts — is resistant to clubroot, which can be a real problem in many gardens.

Linda also provided a method of  growing sweet potatoes  or yams. Start with a small tuber lying on its side  half buried in potting soil or damp peat moss. Keep it in a really warm spot   for several weeks until you see tiny green leaves starting at one end. Move it to the warmest, sunniest spot in the house.

Later in spring you’ll see shoots sprouting from the tuber that have roots attached. Very carefully, detach each shoot with a good root system (use a very sharp knife, or a small scoop) and pot it up to grow on.

Good luck!


Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.

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