Home' Clutha Leader : October 11th 2012 Contents 11.10.12 Leader
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Buying your bride the perfect
While it is becoming increasingly popular for
couples to decide to become engaged on a
whim and then venture down to the jeweller,
many women still feel there's something to be said
for the man who has already chosen one especially
Making the right choice is always an important factor
to ensure your loved one' happiness, so before you
even consider looking at rings, you need to first find
out a few basics. What is her ring size? Does she
prefer yellow or white gold? Would she be happy
with a simple style or a flashy rock that will be
difficult to miss?
Study the jewellery she wears as this will tell you a lot
about her tastes. If her jewellery is simple, a diamond
solitaire may be more appropriate than a flashy
engagement ring carrying a cluster of gems.
If you have browsed the jewellery counters together
in the past and she appears to be particularly
impressed by a certain ring, make a mental note of
the cut and shape of the stone and the colour of the
And remember the ring you choose should reflect
her personality as she will be wearing it for a long
Once you've decided on a style, it is time to
determine how much you are realistically able to
Traditionally, a man was expected to spend at least
the equivalent of two months salary, although as
most young people no longer live in their parent's
homes until marriage they have outgoings of their
own. Unless you are an especially high earner,
nobody will expect you to 'prove your worth' by
spending two months salary on an engagement ring.
What is important is that you spend enough to show
her just how much she means to you, based on your
own personal budget.
Once you've decided on a style and the amount
you're happy to spend, it's time to head for the
Companion planting is clever idea
Beneficial: Beans fix nitrogen in the soil, improving its overall fertility.
When it comes to
in the garden, take
note of the North
American Indian tradition and
plant your vege patch with the
This combination of corn, beans
and squash works well and has
been in existence for hundreds of
The corn (sunflowers were
planted as well) provides a
structure for the beans to grow
up, the beans fix nitrogen in the
soil, improving its overall
fertility, and shallow-rooted
squash becomes a living mulch,
shading the soil, reducing weeds
and conserving soil moisture.
The plants themselves grow well
together, and show clear evidence
of companion planting at its best.
To plant your own patch of three
sisters, choose a site that gets all-
day sun and dig in compost. A
slow release fertiliser may be
Create several mounds about 30
centimetres high and 50cm
across, giving your mound a level
The centres of the mounds should
be about 150cm apart.
For good corn pollination you
should be looking at a patch about
3m by 3m. A smaller patch may
result in uneven pollination.
In the centre of each mound, plant
six to seven corn kernels in a
You won't end up with this many,
but it's best to plant more than
When the corn seedlings reach
10cm high, apply a balanced
When they reach 15cm to 20cm,
sow six to seven climbing beans,
also in a circle, 15cm away from
the corn plants.
Wait another week, then sow your
squash or pumpkin seeds on the
edge of the circle, about 30cm
away from the beans.
When the corn plants are about
20cm high, thin them out to four
plants. Leave the healthiest
looking plants behind.
Do the same for your beans and
squash when they're a reasonable
size, thinning beans to four plants
and squash to two plants each
Do the same for the other mounds,
sowing seeds at the distances
mentioned above, and thinning
seedlings as you go.
Most sweetcorn varieties are
ready for picking 90 to 100 days
after planting, although maturity
often differs from year to year,
depending on the temperature.
In cooler areas, where the season
is shorter, it's best to choose early
Any climbing bean or squash
variety may be grown.
You can experiment with
varieties of beans or squash on
each mound, but stick to the one
corn variety or the varieties will
Water and feed plants regularly.
At such close quarters, plants will
be competing for nutrients.
Weed around the three sisters
until the squash leaves cover the
Your plants will grow, and a
bumper harvest should result.
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