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Selwyn Times: May 10, 2016

24 Tuesday

24 Tuesday May 10 2016 gardening SELWYN TIMES It’s easy to grow peas VERSATILE: Plant plenty of peas. Whatever you don’t enjoy fresh can be frozen. Rachel Vogan goes green with envy over peas These tiny morsels of goodness are an easy crop grow at home, the office or at school. If left to my own devices I could easily fill half the magazine with growing tips, virtues, anecdotes, facts, funnies and figures about peas. However, I don’t really want to bore you to tears and put you off peas for life. If you have never tried growing your own peas, you must give them a go. In spite of looking so delicate, pea plants are surprisingly hardy. Try and get peas in the ground before the end of May if you live in the colder regions, that way you can enjoy them months before Christmas. Sow successive crops once every six weeks to extend the harvest period. Allow 10-15cm – about a palm width – between each plant, as they need air and light to stimulate leaf growth. Ensure the area gets plenty of sun. All peas enjoy a rich soil that holds onto moisture, which isn’t normally a problem over winter, unless you have sandy soils into which you will need to blend bucket-loads of compost and/or animal manure. And plant plenty! Pea shoots are tasty additions to salads and sammies, plus they are an easy microgreen and are popular eaten just at the sprout stage. For those who plant them regularly, please do me a favour and share the love and ease of growing them with a neighbour, friend or colleague and encourage them to get sowing some soon. Types to try Blue Shelling – a Dutch vintage variety that can be eaten in the pod whole when young or podded. The flowers are edible, too. One to plant for looks alone. Earlicrop Massey – a reliable dwarf variety to plant out now. It produces a hefty crop and matures early. Greenfeast – if you like big fat peas then plant this one. It definitely needs staking as plants mature well over 1m. Easy Peasy – almost too good to be true, a main crop choice that produces masses of peas in each pod. Novella – another dwarf variety. You can get away without staking this one. It produces a good sweet crop and what I especially like how the pods are all on the top of the bush, which makes them super easy to pick. Snow pea Kennedy Dwarf – this is a popular cultivar from Kings Seeds. Only reaching knee height it has a high yield and copes with cooler conditions. Sugar snaps – these sweet juicy peas can be eaten pod and all, or, if they are left a bit longer, fat peas will form in the shell and these can be used in the normal way. Wando Select – a super-sweet heirloom shelling pea variety that produces a good number of peas in each pod. Sow either in autumn or spring. What’s a pean? These are not actually peas, but a hybrid of the runner bean, with the distinctive flavour of fresh peas. They are usually only available in limited numbers from mail-order catalogues or heirloom stockists, sought after as they produce a prolific crop, and pods and all can be eaten. Support as you would runner beans – these vines are rampant. Seed is best sown in spring. TREATING Grass Grub GraSS Grub can be a pain! The recommended treatment for grass grub is to use a soil insecticide such as Lawn Guard. There are several in the garden centres available, usually containing the same active ingredient, but with their own brand name. Ask the local garden centre for their recommendation, and then FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS very carefully! Now is a great time to treat grass grub while the weather is still warm. It is a good idea to treat the whole lawn, then give it a sprinkle of fertiliser afterwards. Intelligro’s Lawn Fertiliser is excellent for creating a lush lawn. Come down and grab a bag, even if you aren’t treating for grass grub, if your lawn needs a boost, get in and fertilise it now. OPPORTUNITY AVAILABLE Intelligro Landscape Centre is looking for someone to join our team full-time (up to 40 hours) in our retail sales area. Days are flexible, but must include Saturday and Sunday. Position in our retail sector involves: • Customer service - answering calls, taking orders, loading bags into vehicles • Operating a front end loader, loading trailers and vehicles with landscape supplies • Using our Point of Sales and Eftpos systems Successful applicant must have: • A willingness to learn • A “can do” attitude • Good written and oral communication skills • Good computer and technology skills Training is provided. Horticultural knowledge is beneficial, but not essential. Please send a copy of your CV and application form to gemma@igro.co.nz Application forms available from our website: www.igro.co.nz www.igro.co.nz | Phone 03 347 9415

SELWYN TIMES Tuesday May 10 2016 25 Seeds Peas are super easy and quick to grow from seed and, at this time of year, plants are not in the shops, so you don’t have much choice. Most people tend to plant them out in spring, however, they are a good crop for those who want to keep growing food over winter. Pre-soaking pea seed speeds up germination. Soak them in water over night to soften the seed coat, making it easier for the first roots and shoots to break out. Encourage kids to plant them – the seeds are nice and big, and easy to handle. Save your own pea seeds, they store well and germinate easily. Make sure they fully mature on the plants in the pods before you pick them, as the seeds need to be hard before you harvest them. Slimeballs and feathered foes Slugs and snails just love the soft shoots of peas, so arm yourself with plenty of bait or lay grit or eggshells around the plants to deter these pests. Neither of them like crawling over sharp surfaces. Birds, especially sparrows, find pea shoots and seeds rather tasty. Drape some netting over the rows or put some twigs alongside the rows to keep them out. Once the plants are well up, the birds give them a wide berth. Support network Pea plants ideally should be kept off the ground to keep slugs and snails at bay and to ensure the best harvesting capacity. They are easy to train up frames, twigs or bamboo canes, or look to specialist frames or pieces of trellis. Other options are to grow them up through other vegetables – kale and cavolo nero offer a good robust framework – and they do the job well at this time of year. Sow new pea seed now. Get them in before the ground freezes; The Blue Shelling pea (above) looks as good as it tastes. Hailing from Holland, this one can be eaten shell and all when young; Peans (left) taste like peas, but are actually a bean; Peas are easy to train up almost anything – even other vegetables such as kale. Thinking of Landscaping? FOR : FOR: • Garden Makeovers • Grounds Maintenance • Landscape Design & Planting • Irrigation Systems • Garden Makeovers • Plant Supply • Paving [at discounted rates] • Landscape Design • & Decks Planting & Pergolas • Hydro & Ready Lawns • FREE Quotes • Plant Supply (discounted rates) Phone: • Hydro 03 349 & 4363 Ready Lawns Mobile: 027 260 2621 www.greenscapes.co.nz • Grounds Maintenance • Irrigation Systems • Paving • Decks & Pergolas • FREE Quotes Protect your home now Make it weatherproof, maintenance free, moss free and dry with spray applied silicone waterproofing SPECIAL STANDARD 3 BED HOME FULLY PROTECTED UNDER $1000 “EwE will lovE it!” - BaarBara Black Phone: 03 349 4363 Mobile: 027 260 2621 www.greenscapes.co.nz Call Peter for a FREE quote 027 777 4457 Bricks • Stone • Roofs Quality workmanship Guaranteed Wednesdays at 8pm Freeview Channel 40 Live stream and on demand at ctv.co.nz