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Selwyn Times: January 10, 2017

22 Tuesday

22 Tuesday January 10 2017 Gardening SELWYN TIMES Get gorgeous gaillardia growing in your garden • By Henri Ham LIKE THE flowers I mentioned last month (portulaca, livingstone daisies and gazania), gaillardia is another fan of the warm weather associated with summer. It grows well in the sun and dry conditions and will add more bright, striking colour to your garden. Though unlike the three previously mentioned flowers, gaillardia is a perennial. For those of you still learning the difference between perennial and annual flowers, perennials are plants that go dormant each winter and continue to grow year-afteryear. Annuals generally bloom for one season and then need to be replaced with something else. Try arizona sun which produces masses of bright orangered flowers with yellow on the tips or red shades which, as the name suggests produces flowers with slightly different shades of red. They both grow to a height of around 35cm and will flower all through summer and well into autumn. They grow well in pots and they also do well in landscape plantings as they tend to ‘blanket’ the ground. Which is not surprising given gaillardia are also known as blanket flowers. And, if you still need a bit of convincing that gaillardia is the plant you need in your garden, it’s also great at attracting bees. Once you’ve got your seedlings simply plant each one around 35cm apart from the next. To encourage more flowering, don’t forget to deadhead regularly. VIVID: Arizona sun produces masses of orange-red and yellow flowers. Forget weeds – plant in containers GARDENING IN pots is a spectacularly rewarding and low labour hobby. Instead of battling the elements, treating tired old soil, weeding and digging frantically, you simply tip the prepared perfect potting mix into the container, follow it up with the plants, water and wait. It’s hard to go wrong. You just move the pot around until you’ve found the perfect sunny or shady spot, without disturbing the root system, because a container garden is portable. You can move it about your home, patio or garden to fill bare spots at any time of year. And best of all, when you move house, you don’t have to leave your cherished garden behind – they all shift with the furniture. Furthermore, container gardens look great anywhere – as hanging baskets on terraces and pergolas, half round containers spilling colour down a wall or fence, or simply sitting on paved areas, decks and steps. For best effect, plan your planter by height as well as colour. You can mix annuals with a central perennial until the perennial gets well established, and in the meantime, enjoy a miniature garden rather than a miniature plant surrounded by bare earth. You can dispense with the annuals when the perennial takes over. Container gardeners can pretty much give up weeding altogether. But you don’t need to do a bit of soil maintenance from time to time, because the plants aren’t in a self renewing environment – they’re relying on you to give them nutrition and moisture. gardening without guesswork Question: I have come back from a break away and my garden is suffering a bit. It looks dry and lack-lustre, what can I do to fix it and help prevent this happening again? Firstly, hopefully you had a lovely Answer: break away! With the temperatures still climbing through this month and next, you will want to get on to adding some mulch now. This will help to conserve water and protect your plant’s roots when the temperatures soar. Intelligro stocks a variety of barks suitable for mulching, with differing looks to suit a variety of gardens. We recommend a good 10cm layer of the bark to get the best results. We often get asked “What is the best one to use?” There is no right or wrong answer to this, a lot comes down to personal preference. It is a good idea to have a look at our website to see what we offer, or come down and have a talk with our team onsite. If bark isn’t your thing, add some of our Organic Compost and dig it through the soil. Make sure you water regularly, giving it a long soak every few days rather than a light sprinkle daily. If you want something decorative on top, and bark isn’t the look you’re going for, we also have a good variety of stones and chips. Top tip: remove the weeds first. They take up a lot of the water and nutrients your plants need, so get rid of them quick! for more information, check out our website: www.intelligro.co.nz or visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/igro.co.nz Thanks to Emily for her question WIN! a $50 INTEllIgrO gIfT VOuchEr! handy hint Watering is key. Send us your question and BE IN TO WIN! Email to: info@igro.co.nz or post your question on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/igro.co.nz New questions received by Tuesday 17th January. Watering is going to be vital with the soils drying out faster at this time of year. Early morning or late evening are the best times to water as this reduces the amount of evaporation. Raised garden beds will need frequent watering due to their generally shallower water reservoir. If you find it is drying out too fast, talk with our helpful sales team about how you can combat that with a good quality product. QualITy prOducTs frOm ThE WEB TO ThE shEd!

SELWYN TIMES Tuesday January 10 2017 23 School holiday boredom buster • By Henri Ham IT’S BEEN a while since my daughter required entertaining in school holidays, but I can still appreciate the need to have a few tricks for boredom-busting up the sleeve. And given we lived, and still do, on-site at a nursery it’s probably no surprise that my number one trick is to get gardening – particularly growing vegetables. Getting busy in the garden is a great way to entertain kids but it also gets them outside and can help instil from an early age a love of nature, plants and growing. My three tricks for gardening with kids are – keep it quick, keep it easy and keep it fun. Keep it quick means plant fast growing vegetables that can be harvested early. Veges like radishes, lettuces, peas, spinach and zucchini all mature quickly and can be eaten off the plant or before they fully mature. Next, keep it easy. This means making sure you pick the right spot for their garden. Don’t fob them off with a dreary part of the garden. Give them a prime spot to plant. This will help them get EASY: Growing vegetables is child’s play. the best results and ensure they stay encouraged and interested. It’s also important to make sure you plant the seedlings in places it’s easy for small people to reach and work on. If you can, get them their own kid-sized tools to make it easy for them to dig and plant some are bright and colourful and perfect for small hands. And, as a general rule, plant seedlings over seeds. Unless you’re planting something like sunflowers, it’s easier and far more likely to get you better results if you plant seedlings. The reason is he hard work of getting the seeds germinated and established as plants is already done – a process which isn’t easy and can take anywhere from six to 12 weeks. That’s a lot of time in a kid’s world. Next, keep it fun. Grow anything that’s different and colourful or can be eaten straight from the garden. Try rainbow beet for its colour, italian broccoli for its space-aged looking shape and sugar snap peas and butter beans for their tastiness straight off the plant. And don’t let the fun stop at planting and eating. Get your kids involved in any form of pest control. Who doesn’t remember trying to catch white butterfly with nets? Or for a more modern approach, send your kids out with water guns to get the butterflies, or water the plants. 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” Chris Thorndycroft Phone 0800 27 24 46 | www.archgola.co.nz The team at Canterbury Timber & Hardware wish all their clients a safe & merry Christmas and look forward to being of service in the new year. Decking Retaining Wall Timber Landscaping Timber Trellis Residential Fencing Poles and Piles H3 and H4 Timber Dressed Timber Christmas hours: 23rd December – 7.30am – 3pm 24th – 27th December – Closed 28th December – Open 8am – 4pm 29th December – Open 8am – 4pm 30th December – Open 8am – 4pm 31st December – 3rd January – Closed 15 months INTEREST FREE Normal lending criteria apply Urban Section HOURS Mon - Fri: 7am - 5pm Saturday: 8am- 12pm Weedons Ross Rd to Rolleston We are here Berketts Rd Jason Pester 1304 Main South Road, Christchurch jason@cthl.co.nz P 03 3477465 F 03 3477032 Trents Rd Main South Rd / SH1 Your Local Timber Merchant HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE TEAM AT INTELLIGRO We hope that 2017 brings you much happiness, and fun in the garden. OPENING HOURS Mon – Fri 8am – 5pm Saturday 8am – 5pm Sunday 9am – 5pm (Extended weekend hours until the end of daylight saving) Entrance now available off Weedons Ross Road. Please follow all speed and safety signs. Main South Road entrance is still open, but Weedons Ross Road entry is advised. www.igro.co.nz | Phone 03 347 9415 | :igro.co.nz