Everyone I greeted on my usual Saturday morning walk up to Marrickville Road and back seemed to be of the opinion that today's weather is just about perfect. A beautiful day, a Goldilocks summer's day. Just right. Not too hot, such a gentle breeze you hardly notice it, and the shade of buildings and trees feels as cool and refreshing as a drink of lemonade. Shame it isn't like this every day of summer, so all you can do on a day like this is enjoy it while you can.
The problem with summer here in Sydney is that these lovely days are outnumbered by the hotter days, the searing days when the moment you step outside you can feel your bare skin slowly burning.
Sadly, this hot season isn't a great time to grow salad greens. That's ironic, as it's the ideal time to enjoy light meals of a grill with a salad on the side. My usual sunny vegie beds are just too hot for salad greens to last long in summer. Forget to water them just one day, or believe the morning weather forecasts of 'showers' and not bother to water the garden on a day that turned out to be dry and sunny yet again, and salad greens soon wilt and die. If they survive, they get through their life-cycle in what seems like a fortnight, shooting to seed in no time.
And so, the solution I use is to grow small crops of salad greens in pots, and put the pots in spots which get nice morning sun, then little or no sizzling afternoon sun. It works, but the trick with salads in pots is to water them every day, and don't trust the weather people.
|This is the basic set-up for two, a pot of rocket in|
front, and some mixed greens at the back.
Apart from watering daily, the other trick is light
liquid feeds, especially after you've harvested
a big swathe of leaves.
|This is a pot of radish seedlings, a new addition to the mix.|
I love the way radish seed sprout in 4 or 5 days.
|Some seed packets give you too little growing|
info, but Yates can't be accused of that. There
are enough instructions here to give even the
most basic beginner some confidence.