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Selwyn Times: January 24, 2017

28 6 [Edition datE]

28 6 [Edition datE] Tuesday January 24 2017 HOME PROFESSIONALS SELWYN TIMES Be Safe Around Water This Summer It only takes a moment for a child to drown! This is a common message and one we cannot forget when children are playing in or near the water – something they love to do. Beaches, rivers, lakes and pools are great places for family fun. Whether boating, water skiing, bodyboarding, surfing or frolicking around the water take care so have a happy day and lasting good memories. Children need constant supervision anywhere around water, with pools and spa pools the single most dangerous places for pre-school children. Fencing home pools and spa pools helps keep children out however, pool covers offer no guarantee that a child cannot access the water and children have drowned by climbing under these. This reinforces the importance of having a suitable pool fence that cannot be climbed over with a childproof pool gate that is always kept shut. Avoid stacking things against the pool fence too, as a child could use these to climb into the pool area. This includes cutting back trees and shrubs that are near the fence. The law requires all pool owners to advise their local council that a pool is on their property, and to have a wellmaintained childproof fence along with a self-closing childproof gate and opening system. Child drownings in home pools have been mostly due to a lack of supervision and some have been when other children have supervising. Older siblings may seem responsible but they can get distracted or not fully comprehend the danger for a younger child in deeper water. It means that children are only safe if diligently supervised by an adult. Toddlers from 18 months on can be taught basic water safety, like waiting for the adults before entering a pool area and taking care when walking near water. Three years of age is a good time for a child to have proper swimming lessons. This will give them confidence in the water however, it will not guarantee that they can save themselves if they get into strife, reinforcing the importance of constant supervision of children around water. to try to enter the pool area at other times so put these away. Display your pool rules where all can see in the pool area and have lots of fun this summer. While flotation aids help children stay afloat, they will not prevent drowning and poorly fitting devices can put a child at more risk. If pool playthings are left out when not in use they could entice a child Your pool will also be safer if you: LET’S GET GARDENING INTELLIGRO OFFERS: Expert gardening advice High quality products South-Hort growing mixes VIP rewards Buy in-store and online 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, Weedons info@igro.co.nz | www.igro.co.nz | Phone 03 347 9415 Sharon CroftS LandSCape d e S ign • Consultations • Design Concepts • Planting Plans P. 329 6229 M. 0274 311 558 s-crofts@xtra.co.nz www.sharoncrofts.co.nz • Have non-slip surfaces, • Cover drains and filters, • Ensure no plants or objects are near the pool fence, • Always lock pool chemicals away, • Teach your children water safety techniques, • Always supervise children at the pool, • Are trained in resuscitation and first aid. • Have strict rules for pool use including no alcohol or glass in the area, and no diving if a shallow pool. Decking Retaining Wall Timber Landscaping Timber Trellis Residential Fencing Poles and Piles H3 and H4 Timber Dressed Timber 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

SELWYN TIMES Tuesday January 24 2017 29 Gardening Put in a plan if you go on holiday IF YOU are spending the last week of the school holidays away from your garden, neglecting it can lead to problems. However, with careful planning, these problems can be reduced if not avoided. Firstly, try not having your vege garden ‘peaking’ at this time, this may mean not planting anything new until you return from holiday or planting short growing crops now which you can harvest before heading away. Mulch your garden and potted plants with pea straw or crushed bark. It’s vital in maintaining a healthy garden and hinders water evaporation, keeping the moisture in the soil. As a guide, a good layer of mulch should be applied approximately 50-100mm thick around plants. Watering is an essential part of a healthy gardening over the summer months. If you have an irrigation system, install a timer or ask a helpful neighbour to water your garden while you are away. Don’t forget about your indoor plants as they can suffer as temperatures inside intensify. If necessary, reposition your plants away from very sunny windows. There are watering solutions for indoor plants such as drip spikes or water globes. Simply screw the drip spikes onto a plastic water bottle and place it into the soil. It will release water to the plant. Have a good look in garden stores or HEALTHY: Spread mulch around plants to help retain moisture. online as to what is available. Alternatively, you can place plants in the bathtub with about 3-5cm of water (depending on type of plant) which will keep them going for around two weeks. Some top tips when it comes to watering you garden throughout summer are: • With many plants (trees and shrubs particularly), if they ESSENTIAL: Water your garden through a timer. Early morning or late evening are the best times to irrigate. are not watered well and regularly over the hotter summer months, they will stop growing. If you maintain a consistent regime then you can expect excellent results with continued growth through the hot summer months. • Be regular when watering your garden. Little and often is best, avoiding the hottest part of the day when plants are heat stressed. Once a day in the early morning or evening up to three times a week should be plenty. • Some plants such as roses do require deep watering to encourage deep root development. So apply extra water to those plant types in the early part of the day. Avoid getting foliage wet as this can promote the spread of disease on plants like tomatoes and roses. Aim for the root zone instead. •Water until it begins to puddle on top of the soil which means the soil has reached its water holding capacity. gardening without guesswork Question: Could you please give advice on how long you can leave potatoes in the ground without them rotting and when should you stop watering them? There are a couple of telling signs to Answer: indicate that it is time to stop watering your potatoes. The potatoes will have large tops and have finished flowering. The lower leaves will start to go yellow which means that the growing cycle has reached maturity and the tops are dying off. This is the time to stop watering. Depending on the soil type, potatoes may be left in the ground and lifted as needed once they have dried off their tops (this applies mainly to main crop potatoes from late March onwards). Some early potatoes may regrow if left in the ground in the summer time. Often people will leave their potatoes in the ground and only dig as needed. They find that they seem to keep better this way. As long as the crop has not been infected with any blight, you should find that it doesn’t rot. If you are wanting to use that area for new crops, then you would need to remove the potatoes by the end of August. Additionally, if the ground is very heavy or prone to water logging then you will want to lift the crop before the winter weather makes the soil too wet and cold. for more information, check out our website: www.intelligro.co.nz or visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/igro.co.nz Thanks to Julie for her question WIN! a $50 INTEllIgrO gIfT VOuchEr! handy hint preparing the ground after potatoes Once you have dug up your potatoes you will want to prepare the ground for new planting. Add some organic compost and some fertiliser to the soil to make the growing environment ready for the next lot of crops. You can still plant any brassicas, leeks and dwarf beans now. 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 31st January. QualITy prOducTs frOm ThE WEB TO ThE shEd!