10 months ago

Selwyn Times: June 28, 2016

30 Tuesday

30 Tuesday June 28 2016 Gardening SELWYN TIMES Rewarding time to be outdoors Rachel Vogan talks you through what to be doing in the garden now SOME SEE the coldest season of the year as an excuse to hang up the garden gloves and nestle indoors or take up other activities. And who can blame them? For the hardy among us, however, it’s one of the most rewarding times. So much can be done while there are no leaves on the trees, weeds pack up their bags and disappear for a few months, and the birdlife seems to triple as feathered friends are looking for food, nesting spots and materials. Any time spent in the garden is good for the soul; the bracing air and flushed cheeks, coupled with the sense of satisfaction once a job is complete, all seems more rewarding on the shorter days. Snowdrops create a sublime white carpet. LEAVES If fallen leaves are still lying around, rake them up onto garden beds. They keep the soil protected by adding a blanket of insulation, and they also filter heavy downpours, allowing the soil to slowly soak up the water, rather than ponding on top of the soil. Another use for them is to stuff them into plastic rubbish bags to rot down to a lovely fine leaf litter to use in seed-raising mixes in the spring. The compost heap is also a good way to remove them. Remember to add layers of green matter so there is a blend of the two components. For open compost bins, cover them in winter to help them heat up, and to speed up the rotting process. GLASSHOUSE Do you have one? Or would you like one? Now is the time to invest some time into looking at what options there are. If you are the DIY type, why not make one from recycled windows and glass doors? Or make a simple timber frame and cover it in clear duralite PVC or tunnel house plastic. Plenty of kitsets are available, too. Always think about ventilation – plants need air movement, and while it may be about keeping crops warm at the moment, come summer air movement will be needed for plants to flourish. Paths are important, too. Rather than adding a room to the house, why not add one to the garden? You can never have too many English violets. SNOWDROPS & VIOLETS These delicate-looking winter wonders are as tough as old boots. Both will thrive on neglect once established and are so forgiving that even after the driest of summers they bounce back with winter blooms. Snowdrops provide carpets of white blooms for a good eight weeks, while the spicy fragrance of English violets is truly one of the garden’s greatest gifts. Pick a few, place them in a bud vase or shot glass, and pop them under your nose, near your desk or side table – the perfume is just delicious. Violets are easy to divide and strike easily from cuttings or by digging up clumps. Save your dollars and ask a friend for some pieces if you don’t have any – you can never have enough of these sorts of plants. VEGETABLES Garlic and shallots should be on the to-do list now as far as planting goes. Clear away any debris from last season’s crops before banging them in the ground. Slip in a few more silver beet seedlings along with some salad goodies like mizuna, kale, rocket, chervil and miner’s lettuce. Thin out existing rows of parsnip and carrots, and don’t be in a hurry to pull your parsnips as they will naturally sweeten. gardening without guesswork Question: What can I do to look after my garden in winter so it doesn’t get damaged by the cold weather and possible frosts? As we head Answer: into the heart of winter, it is a good idea to make sure that your garden and plants are protected from the reduced temperatures and possibility of frosts. If you haven’t added some Organic Compost in the last year, add a layer of that now. This will increase vital organic matter in the soil, giving your plants an additional boost. Next, choose a bark mulch to add to the top. Bark helps to keep the moisture in, keep weeds down, and maintain a more even soil temperature. All of these things help to keep your plants healthy and in the best growing environment. Choosing a bark is mostly a personal preference, depending on what look you are going for, and how much you want to spend. Super Scree is a popular choice for an all-round general bark mulch. Our Black Beauty is the one for you if you are looking for a stand out on the garden. We would recommend having a look on our website at what we have to offer, or better yet, come into our yard and see it for yourself! Thanks to angie for her question. for more information, check out our website: or visit our facebook page: QualITy prOducTs frOm ThE WEB TO ThE shEd! WIN! a $50 INTEllIgrO gIfT VOuchEr! Send us your question and BE IN TO WIN! Email to: or post your question on our Facebook page: Questions must be received by Monday 4th July. how much bark do I need? Working out how much bark you need is fairly simple. Measure the area that you are looking to cover (keeping the units all the same) and then multiply the length, by the width, by the depth. This will give you the number of cubic metres required to cover the area. We would recommend a 5-10cm layer to get all of the benefits. E.g. 10m (length) x 5m (width) x .1m (depth) = 5x10x.1 = 5 cubic metres of bark.

2 [Edition datE] SELWYN TIMES Tuesday June 28 2016 31 SELWYN RURAL LIFE Funding agreements to support world-leading research farm Five sponsorship agreements to the value of $850,000 will contribute to the creation of a world-leading farm systems research facility at Lincoln University. Professor of Dairy Production Grant Edwards says Lincoln greatly values the industry support, which has helped to develop the Ashley Dene Research and Development Station. “In particular we are grateful to Opus International Consultants, who will supply engineering expertise and project management support, Waikato Milking Systems, who will supply and install advanced milking systems in the dairy shed, CLAAS Harvest Centre, which will supply farm equipment and advice on equipment needs, and PGG Wrightson Seeds and Genetic Technologies (Pioneer® brand products), who will offer expert advice and supply seed.” The goal of the three-year project is to conduct farm systems research to improve the profitability, environmental and welfare performance of dairy and livestock farming systems. The facility will comprise a suite of dairy farming systems, with close integration of the arable and livestock sector. “It has been a great pleasure to engage with the supporters over this dairy conversion and what it means to New Zealand,” Lincoln University farms director, Dr Teresa Moore says. “These supporters wanted to get in behind Lincoln University and enable us to undertake the valuable environmental research that is needed to ensure everyone’s longevity in farming. “They saw great merit in what our objectives are for this farm, and wanted to provide the support they could to make it worthwhile and effective. We have an impressive group of supporters that we really look forward to working with to make this research and development dairy farm a success.” According to Deputy Vice-Chancellor, scholarship and research, Dr Stefanie Rixecker, the Ashley Dene Research and Development Station “includes significant contributions from current Lincoln Hub partners and enables new research programmes and opportunities across the partners”. “It is exciting to see research teams come together to investigate and solve complex problems for the betterment of our environment and to the benefit of rural and urban communities,” Dr Rixecker says. Ashley Dene Roundwood Farm posts Deer Fencing Post and Rail Fencing Yarding Timber Oregon Rails Oregon Gates Sheep and Deer Netting Gallagher Strainrite Fencing Systems Rural Section HOURS Mon - Fri: 7am - 5pm Saturday: 8am- 12pm Weedons Ross Rd to Rolleston We are here Berketts Rd Trents Rd Main South Rd / SH1 Organic Training College Learn from the experts Start a career in organics. Reduce your footprint and produce a regular supply of your own fruit and vegetables Programme Information | 03 3253684 Courses • Organic Distance Programme Part time 1 year, enrol anytime • Year 1 Introduction to Organics 44 weeks, starts August 2016 (Lincoln Campus) • Year 2 Applied Organics 46 weeks, starts August 2016 (Lincoln Campus) All fees under $500 Your Local Timber Merchant Jason Pester 1304 Main South Road, Christchurch P 03 3477465 F 03 3477032 Diesel Blower Heaters • An industrial diesel powered blower heater, which is ideal for warming a large area. • Clean burning technology and diesel economy allow it to operate for up to 14 hours on a single tank. • Designed especially to keep operation noise to an absolute minimum. • Plug the heater into a standard three pin plug power point and turn the thermostat to the desired heat setting and the burner starts automatically and will continue operation until it reaches the preset heat setting, automatically turning itself off and on as required to maintain the temperature. • A truly powerful, versatile and economical heater 30 kW - $695.00 GST incl 50 kW - $795.00 GST incl BUY DIRECT FROM THE IMPORTER! Lifestyle Tractors & Machinery Ltd • Tel. 03-347-4956 • Mob. 0274 770 070 Email.