Gardening expert Sharon Gear talks vegetables

All go in the garden: A fresh harvest of carrots. Photo: Sharon Gear.
All go in the garden: A fresh harvest of carrots. Photo: Sharon Gear.

It's on for young and old from now onwards.

Spring is around the corner and the soil is getting warmer.

There are plenty of vegetables and seeds that can go in.

Sow seeds of carrot, parsnips, beetroots and onions.

Most brassicas can be sown or planted now too. Brassicas are the broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage family.

Carrots are very easy to grow if you buy seed.

I was advised never to buy carrot seedlings as carrots hate being transplanted.

Carrot seeds are very fine and its best to mix the seeds with dry sand and then dribble the mixture along the row.

For a continuous crop sow seeds every six weeks.

Baby carrots can be harvested at around 10 weeks. Others can be left to grow larger.

Beetroot can be planted throughout the year but the best yield and quality will come from autumn and spring when the temperature is moderate.

I usually sow seedlings and plant them about 10 centimetres apart.

I love eating raw and cooked beetroot and I use the leaves in salads.

I grow spring onions by cutting off the roots of store bought spring onions and planting them straight into the ground.

I then just snip of the tops and leave the roots in the ground. In this way I have a perpetual supply of spring onions.

Carrots, parsnips, beetroots and onions grow well without herbicides and pesticides.

Unfortunately there are a lot of bugs and grubs that love brassicas.

Every now and again I will grow a few broccoli or cauliflower but the frustration of trying to protect them from the grubs (without using pesticides) becomes too much trouble.

Grated beetroot and carrot salad - Serves six

3 large beetroot - peeled and grated 375g carrots OR pumpkin peeled and grated

2 cups mung beans.

Mix together into a serving bowl.

Dressing:

2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 tablespoons mustard.

Add the dressing ingredients into a screw top jar and give a good shake.

Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving.