Strawberries are such a wonderful fruit with a very diverse range of uses. Here at Neutrog, some of our favourite ways to enjoy them are freshly sliced over pancakes, mixed into a smoothie, or bobbing around in a glass of champagne.
One of our Neutrog team shared with us a story that we felt you all deserved to hear. This team member received a surprise delivery on their doorstep from a very kind neighbour, a whole bag of strawberry runners ready to be planted. Sadly, after recently losing their beloved family dog, our team member was a little down in the dumps and the idea of planting out these strawberries was a little overwhelming.
The seedling section of your garden centre is where you go to dream. To dream of how wonderful you could make your garden. We can all appreciate the enormous amount of work which goes into the floral displays which are often highlighting public parks and gardens. Areas such as these make a positive impact upon you as you’re driving or walking around them. They can be so inspiring. Colours might be blended to complement each other, other patches may be a beautiful burst of every colour imaginable and you may even have a mix of colours which you wouldn’t have ever considered; but somehow, they work.
The not so humble tomato is at the top of the “must grow” list for many gardeners. In most years, the challenge is to see who is the most successful in harvesting a crop before Christmas. There are so many varieties to choose from and there is such a great range of colour too.
The Neutrog team told us what they’re growing in their home gardens this year. We have Green Zebra for its wonderful green colour and yellow stripes which indicate when it’s ripe. Several varieties of cherry tomatoes in different colours. The fabulous and ever reliable Grosse Lisse. Plus, a couple of unknowns. One of the team had their property under flood in June 2016. In the summer of 2016-17 a tomato seedling popped up on their river flats. It was a delicious little truss tomato which was never watered, had cows trampling over it and it survived right through until the worst of the frosts the following winter. Seed was saved and it has been affectionately named Flood Red. Another is growing a tomato known as Mr. Curry. Known as Mr Curry, because that’s the old bloke who provided the original seed. This is a huge fleshy and extremely tasty tomato which fruits right through until late May.
Spring and autumn have been the traditional times when gardeners feed their gardens. At Neutrog, we believe that it’s because we can see a reaction in the garden – plants are actively growing, flowering and fruiting. As they say, ‘spring is in the air’. We recognise that they need nutrition to bring out the best that our plants have to offer.
If that is an accurate assessment, then the opposite is true for winter and to a lesser extent summer, as many gardeners don’t apply fertilisers during these periods. We tend to think of these times more in the way of maintenance, but in actual fact, applying nutrition to your soil and garden is as important – if not more so – during winter and summer.
This week I want to talk about microbes and waste disposal – or more accurately composting. Last year it was announced that geoscience researchers at Penn State University in the US are finally figuring out what organic farmers have always known: digestive waste can help produce food. Although farmers here on earth can let microbes in the soil turn waste into fertiliser which can then be used to grow food crops, the Penn State researchers are trying to find a way in which edible microbes could be grown in a minimal space using human waste as a food source, so that the spacecraft wouldn’t need to take as much food into space. Obviously, I am not trying to convince you to try this at home, however it’s just another amazing example of what microbes can do. What I found so interesting was the way in which the researchers were able to optimise…