4 Top Tips

4 Top Tips

It may not be marked on the calendar in your kitchen but this week is National Gardening Week. To celebrate,  we took a trip to our Kitchen Garden to see what Kitchen Gardener Adrian Reeve is growing and get a few top tips.

  1. Pak Choi

    Two varieties are grown in the Kitchen Garden; You Shou and Tat Soi.

    Pack Choi You Shou
    Pak Choi: You Shou

    Pak Choi Tat Soi
    Pak Choi: Tat Soi

    These plants were originally sown in trays and have now been transplanted to the raised beds for final growing space.

    Pak Choi is an easy crop to grow. It is also known as Chinese Cabbage, but tends to look more like lettuce and has a slight mustardy taste. The crisp leaves can be used in salads or stir-fries as a baby leaf. When the plant is semi mature it can also be used in oriental dishes as a cooked vegetable.

    Kitchen Gardener Top Tip: Thin out young seedlings to two per pot, the young leaves can be harvested for salads. Keep the plants well-watered throughout the growing period to ensure they keep their intense flavour.

  2. Mustard Red Frills

    If you would like to add colour to your salad then choose Mustard Red Frills. True to its name the burgundy-red leaves have a taste of mustard and are great for spicing up a salad. This plant can be sown little and often and eaten as mini micro leaves or used as a garnish.

     

    Mustard Red Frills

    Kitchen Gardener Top Tip: This plant grows best in a sunny position and in fertile soil. It can be sown directly into open ground or in raised beds such as ours. If you are short for space it can also be planted in grow bags.

  3. Calendula (Marigolds)

    These wonderful edible flowers come in a variety of colours including yellow, orange and pink. Once in bloom the petals are fantastic for transforming the presentation of a dish. They also offer a wide range of flavours from spicy to bitter, tangy to peppery.

    Here at Rudding Park we grow a variety of edible flowers for dishes at Clocktower, including Nasturtiums, Sweet Violets and Primula vulgaris.

    Calendula

    Kitchen Gardener Top Tip: Marigolds are great for bees and are best planted in full sun on well drained fertile soil.

    If there is one thing to try this year it is …

  4. Agreiti Rosano

    Agreiti Rosano in raised beds

    This Italian delicacy is not so popular in retail stores, but if you get chance it is definitely worth a try – in fact it’s the new must-have ingredient for chefs. Its needle shaped leaves have a flavour similar to chives and or samphire and add a great crunch to salads.

    Kitchen Gardener Top Tip: Start cutting from the plants when they are about 8 inches tall. Cut the tops off the plant to allow it to regrow.

Your turn – what’s your favourite salad?

If you’ve tried any new salads this year or have any you would particularly recommend we would love to hear from you. If you would like a tour of our Kitchen Garden why not book a Plot to Plate experience and sample some of our delicacies grown in the garden. To mark the last day of National Gardening Week, we are offering 10% discount on this online gift experience for today only – use promo code: NGW10 at checkout.