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Selwyn Times: November 15, 2016

28 Tuesday

28 Tuesday November 15 2016 Gardening SELWYN TIMES Get eggplant in the ground for February harvest • By Tod Palenski WHAT’S NOT to love about having eggplant in your garden? The fruit of this tropical perennial is a perfect addition to vege stews, an essential ingredient in Mediterranean moussaka and French ratatouille, and great simply sliced, sprinkled with salt and barbecued. Look in your vegetable garden for a well-drained and sunny position to grow your eggplant, otherwise known as aubergine. If you planted capsicum and cucumbers recently like I recommended, try popping your eggplant seedlings next to them. They’re good companion plants, as they all like the same conditions. They also like to hang their fruit, so grow well planted in a pot or raised garden bed. Grab some seedlings and simply plant around 20cm apart. If you don’t have a suitable raised bed or tub, add some straw or newspaper around the base of the plants to stop the fruit from sitting on damp soil and rotting. To help your seedlings establish well, making mini glasshouses out of old milk bottles. Cut the bottom off a recycled and clean milk bottle. Put the top over the plant but remove the lid to allow for a bit of wind circulation. Once they get growing you can remove the milk bottles. The key with eggplants is not over watering. They like it quite dry and sunny and will rot if they get too much water. If you do water them, make sure you avoid overhead watering. In around February, your fruit should be ready to harvest. For a tasty addition to your late summer barbecues, simply slice the fruit into about six to eight pieces (around 1cm thick each), brush with olive oil on both sides and barbecue. Once cooked, add some rock salt for taste and serve as a side. Lastly, although eggplant is technically a perennial (a plant that dies down and pops up again for many growing seasons), in New Zealand it tends to behave like an annual because of our temperate climate, which means once you’ve harvested all your fruit simply remove the plants and replant next year. GOOD COMPANIONS: The key to growing eggplant is not over watering. MAINSCAPE Garden Supplies “Making your great outdoors greater” Use your outdoor living areas all year round • Warm & dry in winter • UV protection for summer • Stylish & permanent • 5 year warranty “AS SEEN ON TV” free trailer Hire We deliver 6 days a week or pickup from our yard Mon & Fri 8am–5pm, Sat 8am–3pm Eftpos available Call us on 021 241 7908 1543 Springs rd, lincoln See our range of products on our website www.mainscapegardensupplies.co.nz Chris Thorndycroft Phone 0800 27 24 46 | www.archgola.co.nz growing with you SprIng Is here – It’S Sow Time how to get the best results from seeds and seedlings 100% NatIve In The capItal Unravelling the secrets of Otari-wilton Bush The New Zealand landscape awards The people behind the projects $7.90 incl. GST ISSN 2423-0219 Save our roSeS How a rose register is protecting our heritage September 2016 | 100% It’s time to grow! New look and more content than ever! MeeT LeSTer Brice A Garden coach auckland Botanic GardenS Why we love our public grounds 15 months INTEREST FREE Normal lending criteria apply now bigger than ever The magazine for gardeners who like to get their hands dirty SubScribe from $43. 50* *6 issues/6 months SUBSCRIPTIONS FREEPHONE 0800 77 77 10 www.gaRdeNER.kiwI

SELWYN TIMES Tuesday November 15 2016 29 Don’t let the rain stop you from gardening EVEN THOUGH it has been a wet start to the summer months there are plenty of tasks to do in the garden. All summer vegetables should now have been planted. This includes; beans, beetroot, cabbage, celery, corn, cucumber, lettuce, courgettes, spring onions, peas, pumpkin, radish, spinach, tomatoes, silverbeet and kumara. Make sure your developing vegetables are well watered – without over watering them. Continue to ‘lateral’ (nip out shoots that appear between the junction of a leaf and the stem) tomatoes and tie them to stakes for support. Keep staggering your vegetable plantings for continuous cropping over the season. New season herbs should also be planted by mid-November. It’s now safe to plant herbs like basil and coriander as the chance of frosts is minimal. Remember herbs grow best in a fine, well-drained soil in full sun. They struggle in heavy clay soil and in shady parts of the garden. Often the best month for roses, full, clean blooms are growing on healthy plants. Side dress with fertiliser every 4-6 weeks. Dead head regularly to aid continuous blooming. For hedges, aim to trim them ‘a little and often’– they are best trimmed after a flush of new seasons growth. Water and fertilise plants regularly to help achieve a strong dense hedge. This is especially important with newly planted hedges. Mulching is incredibly important over the summer months to keep your garden healthy. The best mulch is a form of organic matter that is applied as a layer on top of your soil in your garden, around plants, trees, and especially in your pots, to help protect them against the elements and retain moisture. Timing the application of mulch is very important and it’s better to wait until soil temperatures have risen. In the colder areas of New Zealand; such as parts of the South Island, apply mulch in mid-late November. In warmer regions, mulch can be applied from late October/early November. This is the last month to sow or patch large parts of your existing lawn before it becomes too dry. For a lush green lawn, fertilise regularly with fertiliser and water it in well. LAYERING: Timing the application of mulch is important. Feeding, mulching and watering azaleas, Camellias and rhododendrons Apply 100 grams per square metre of fertiliser 3 times per year. Early spring, immediately after flowering and then again in autumn. Apply around the dripline (where the outer leaves lie) of the plant and be sure not to let the fertiliser touch the base of the plant. Water well after application, and continue with a regular watering pattern, giving the plant a deep watering rather than a light sprinkle. Add organic compost in late winter and then again in January. Keep a ring around the base of the plant free from mulch. Look after those lemons! To ensure you have enough juicy lemons, keep the water up to your plants while they are in flower now. Dry lemons are directly related to lack of water as the crop develops over summer. A layer of mulch works wonders, apply mulch after watering the soil. Weed war Get rid of those pesky weeds! Not only do they look unsightly, they take up a lot of nutrients and water that your plants need, as well as fight for space. Dedicate time to remove them as soon as they pop up, then the task won’t seem so daunting if you walk out one day and all you see is weeds! Once you have removed them all, add some Organic Compost and mix through the soil. This will replenish the organic matter in the soil, and create a better environment for your plants. Weed, Water & Mulch nOVEMBEr in theGardEn There are plenty of things to get done in the garden at the moment. Here are a couple of tasks to keep you busy this month. Keep up the watering Keep the watering up now to stay ahead of the game. Water is essential for healthy plant growth and development. Establish a good watering routine, ensuring you give your plants a good deep soak every few days rather than a light sprinkling every day. Mulch it Adding a decent layer of bark mulch to your garden will be a huge benefit to your plants. The main reasons being it will help to reduce the weeds, conserve moisture in the soil (which is especially important through our hotter, drier months) and protect your plant’s roots from the weather extremes. All of this helps to give your plants the best chance at healthy growth, as well as improving the overall look of your garden. Intelligro have a great selection of barks and mulches, come down and have a look for yourself, or head to our website www.igro.co.nz LET’S GET GardEninG INTELLIGRO OFFERS: 3 Expert gardening advice 3 High quality products 3 South-Hort growing mixes 3 VIP rewards 3 Buy in-store and online 3 Handy delivery service For more information, check out our website: www.igro.co.nz or visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/igro.co.nz 1394 Main South Road, RD7 Weedons www.igro.co.nz | Phone 03 347 9415