11 months ago

Selwyn Times: November 22, 2016

34 Tuesday

34 Tuesday November 22 2016 Gardening SELWYN TIMES MAINSCAPE Garden Supplies “Making your great outdoors greater” free Hire trailer 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 Flowering heroes in the sun Geraniums flourish in the heat and can make colour statements in a range of garden areas says Rachel Vogan UP UNTIL very recently I have loved to loath old-fashioned types of geraniums. You know the ones – with that hideous smell, which makes some people sneeze or gag. The intensity stemmed from my childhood, when Nana had them planted all over her garden on the dry, barren clay banks of her garden at the head of Akaroa Harbour. Every time a friend would pop over and admire her garden they would be sent home with a pile of cuttings, often including geraniums. As her apprentice, she would ask me to hold them, but the aroma would give me a sneezing fit and seemed to linger on my fingers for hours. But I sucked it up, as I adored my nana. Last season, however, I did a massive U-turn. I started growing geraniums in pots and in parts of the garden that struggle to get enough water and attention – basically in areas the hose doesn’t reach and in which the soil is so barren and hard I can’t get a fork in. And they flourished, so much so I am now a convert – as long as I do not need to go near them or touch them, we get on just fine. Geraniums are one of the most widely grown and highly regarded flowers in the world. Little else can match them for durability and flower power throughout the year, blooming for over nine months, and in some cases in a sheltered spot all year round. Plant breeders have gone mad and bred piles and piles of new hybrid varieties. Many flower for longer, have brighter-coloured blooms, the growth habits are more compact and they seem to be more disease resistant as well. gardening without guesswork Question: When is the best time to fertilise my Rhododendron? Do they need a specific fertiliser? Rhododendrons are acid Answer: loving plants, so they require a specific fertiliser that caters to this. Intelligro sells a fertiliser that is designed specifically for these plants, and is also suitable for your other acid loving plants such as Camellias and Azaleas. There are 3 main times to do this, in early spring, then again immediately after flowering, and again in early autumn. We recommend that you apply the fertiliser at a rate of 100 grams per square metre around the dripline of the plant (where the outer leaves are). When you apply the fertiliser, be sure to leave a ring around the trunk of the plant so the fertiliser doesn’t come in contact with it. After application, make sure you give it a good water. Unsure how much 100 grams actually is? An adult handful is approximately 70 grams. for more information, check out our website: or visit our facebook page: Thanks to Jean for her question QualITy prOducTs frOm ThE WEB TO ThE shEd! WIN! a $50 INTEllIgrO gIfT VOuchEr! handy hint Intelligro Azalea, Camellia and Rhododendron fertiliser not only supplies these plants with the essential nutrients they need for healthy plant growth, but is also excellent for blue hydrangeas as well. Apply at the same rate as mentioned above, following the same directions. Send us your question and BE IN TO WIN! Email to: or post your question on our Facebook page: New questions received by Tuesday 29th November

SELWYN TIMES Tuesday November 22 2016 35 Many also self-clean, so that when the flowers finish, the old blooms just fall off and new flower stems appear. These geraniums thrive in sunny, dry spots, and are ideal for those of us who may forget to water their pots. 5 WAYS TO USE GERANIUMS 1. Patio pots, planters and window boxes. They thrive as container plants and, in most regions, flower from October until winter knocks on the door in June. 2. En masse. Create colourful bedding displays. Allow 50cm between plants. 3. Hanging baskets. The tumbling and ground-hugging varieties make brilliant basket cases. Make sure the basket has plenty of root room. 4. Walls of colour. Look for the climbing varieties to cover banks and walls in cloaks of colour. Initially, they may need support to help them cling. 5. Indoor plants. Every now and again, rinse them under the hose or shower to freshen up the leaves and they will more than likely bloom all year round. TREAT THEM MEAN Sounds terrible, but the less you feed geraniums, in terms of fertiliser, the better they seem to bloom. Therefore not a lot of extra food is required. GERANIUMS FOR FREE Geraniums easily root from cuttings or snippets taken from plants. Simply remove the lower leaves and place into a glass of water or pottle of seed-raising mix and within four to six weeks roots will appear. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS Pluck the tips out of new plants to encourage more side branching. These tips can be used as cuttings. DID YOU KNOW? Numerous types of geraniums exist, well over 400 species; a few include ivy, zonal, regal, cranesbill and numerous cultivars and named hybrids. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT ‘Fairy White Blush’ is a pretty wee gem. It commands your attention with its multi-toned blooms; Look for tumbling types to plant in baskets and window boxes; ‘Vancouver Centennial’ has bright carmine red flowers and wonderfully contrasting green and plum coloured leaves; Pac geraniums are bred to flower for a longer period, making them reliable container options. OPPOSITE PAGE Flowering for over nine months of the year, geraniums pack a punch when planted en masse. SummEr is almost here! LET’S GET GardEninG And hopefully it brings with it some warmer and sunnier days. The downside to this weather however is that our gardens can pack a punch with a serious lack of rain, hot days and the potential for water restrictions. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to get the garden sorted for the summer heat. Keep on top of the watering A good soak of water every few days is ideal. A light sprinkle each day is pretty ineffective and can cause the plants to only search near the surface for the water. Deep watering helps to encourage the plants to search further down for the water, which reduces the chances of the plant’s roots drying out. These are also on our website, so have a look on there, or better still, come and see us and we can show you what we have! Planting Veggies! Growing your own veggies is great. Not only is it really handy to just pop out the door and grab some when you need them, you also have the satisfaction of knowing you have grown them yourself, in top growing mixes. Our Veggie Garden Mix is an excellent option, as is our Garden Soil Mix. Have a chat to our team and they will point you in the right direction for what growing mix you need for the types of veggies you are planting. 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 add the bark! 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 If bark isn’t your thing, then we have a great range of stones, chips and pebbles. Have a go planting some of these: • Radishes • Lettuce • Courgette • Peppers • Herbs • Tomatoes • Carrots • Cucumber • Sweet Corn • Beans • Beetroot • Broccoli There are plenty of options available, so head down to your local garden centre and have a talk to them about some other varieties that you can grow at this time of year! For more information, check out our website: or visit our facebook page: 1394 Main South Road, RD7 Weedons | Phone 03 347 9415