Introducing a new contributor who has some sage advice in plant of the Week, a crunchy but sweet root veggie in vegetable heroes, No shade for outside dining in Design Elements plus Talking Flowers is back with pineapple lily flowers to delight.
PLANT OF THE WEEK
Sage as HerbalHerbs are great plants to grow in the garden because they’re so useful in cooking.
But perhaps you’re not using your herbs to fullest?
But what kind of benefits would you get from just drinking a freshly made herbal tea?
Let’s find out … I'm talking to new contributor Simone Jeffries, a naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist. www.simonejeffriesnaturopath.com.au
Sage is Salvia officinalis which you may already know, means it’s the one for medicinal use.
There’s no point buying a Pineapple sage plant and using it’s leaves, it just has to be the medicinal sage which is also the culinary sage.
There are heaps of benefits of drinking Sage tea but Sage tea is an acquired taste.
Put 6 fresh leaves in a cup of boiling water and let steep for a minimum of 5 minutes.
So, if you really want the benefits, then you’ve just got to drink it as Simone says, maybe add a dash of honey.
For sore throats: Make a strong tea and lemon juice and honey and gargle it.
If you have any questions either for me or Simone why not write in to firstname.lastname@example.org
- For cold areas of Australia the rhizomes can be started in styrofoam boxes in a greenhouse or on a warm verandah, usually in spring, and planted out when frost is past.
- Split the tubers into individual shoots with their tubers attached and plant into smaller pots.
- Yacon plants are quite sensitive to temperature, so plant them out when you would tomatoes.
- Normally you plant the large tubers into large pots and wait for shoots to start growing from each smaller tuber.
So when do you pick this strange vegetable?
- The plant takes 6 - 7 months to reach maturity.
- You know when it’s ready when the top growth withers and dies back.
- This is when you dig up the tuber.
- The tubers look a bit like dahlia or sweet potato tubers, and on average should weigh about 300 g but can weigh up to 2 kg.
- The tubers continue to sweeten as the plant dies back so the main harvest should only take place once all the top growth is dead.
- If you planted your tubers in November they’ll be usually be ready by the end of May.
- Don't leave it too long though, especially in areas that have mild winters, as the plant will start to shoot again as the weather warms up and the days get longer.
- When digging them up, separate the reddish rhizomes from the tubers and wash off any soil, taking care not to break the skin.
- The reddish rhizomes are kept out of the sun and covered with slightly damp sand, sawdust or coco-peat to stop them drying out and put aside for replanting in a dark, dry place.
- These offsets are then replanted for the next season.
- The plant needs to be dug carefully to avoid damage to the crisp tubers. After separation from the central stem undamaged tubers can be stored in a cool, dark and dry place with good air circulation for some months.
Grows in the wettest parts of South Africa where it orginates.
Member of the Asparagaceae family.
Pineapple lily is a bulbous perennial with a basal rosette of lime-green leaves.
Mercedes will say, Mr Pineapple Lily, because it starts from a bulb.
The thick stem carries hundreds of small star-shaped flowers with a tuft of green bracts at the top.
This sort of looks like a pineapple top, hence it's common name.
The Pineapple Lily as a cut flower will last for several weeks in the vase.
Cut the stem straight across, because the flower arises from a plant with a bulb, therefore Mr Pineapple Lily.
Remember to always use filtered water.
I'm talking with Mercedes Sarmini of www.flowersbymercedes.com.au
Video was recorded live during the broadcast of Real World Gardener at 2rrr 88.5 fm radio studios
DESIGN ELEMENTSGarden Walkways
Concrete, brick or other types of paving for paths can be a bit harsh in areas where the garden is quite natural.
In this segment, garden designer Peter Nixon explores some softer alternatives.
Let’s find out…
Peter’s not a fan of pebbles on paths.
Instead why not try a combo of bark chips and shell grit, or decomposed granite, perhaps Lillydale topping and bark or woody mulch.
You would need to run the plate compactor over these surfaces to compact the path.
If you have any questions about what to do for your garden paths in your garden, or have some information to share, write in