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The Star: April 06, 2017

28 Thursday

28 Thursday April 6 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi The Star Gardening Autumn is known for its wealth It’s all about autumn in the garden. Rachel Vogan lists the tasks which you will need to prioritise this month HOW WONDERFUL do those autumnal colours on deciduous trees and shrubs look at the moment? As the flower garden begins to fade a little and starts to close up shop for the season, the changing foliage colours add $7.90 incl. GST Give fine-leafed plants a trim visit pukeahu national war memorial park upcycle an old wheelbarrow growing with you following the fantail Learn more about this bright little bird for the love of wild flowers geoff & Liz Brunsden’s quest to spread colour all over the country Humble bumblebees How to encourage more of these hard-working pollinators into your garden Autumn crops the edibles that deserve your growing attention compAnion plAnts for fruit trees + planting advice for cherries & tamari los April 2017 | 100% Real-life gardeners Elaine Schreiber of Bushview Gardens, New Plymouth + Vicky Barrett of the Dig It! Royal Oak Organic Garden, Auckland off to mArket setting up your own plant or produce sta l For more gardening inspiration, pick up the latest issue of kiwigardener something rather special to the garden. Over the next couple of months, rather than looking down on your garden let your eyes wander upwards and appreciate what’s going on above your head. Vegetables Pumpkins: take the tips out of tendrils now, to force the plant to put more energy into developing its fruit. It is wise, this month, to give the plants a good soaking of water once a week. Broad beans: Anzac Day is the time gardeners aim to sow broad bean seeds. The seeds are large enough to gently push into the soil, about 3cm deep, with 10- 15cm between each plant. Brussels sprouts: may need staking (a bamboo stake is enough), as the stems can become top heavy, and blow about in the wind. The lower leaves can be removed to allow more light and air movement in around the base of the plant. Save seeds of poppies and other summer flowers now. Seed saving The sense of self-satisfaction of collecting and saving your own seed is immense, especially when you see those tiny seeds you saved germinating and growing next season. It’s easy to do; simply pick mature flower heads, tie the stalks together and place them upside down in a paper bag and allow them to dry for a few weeks. Over time the seeds will fall out into the bottom of the bag. Clearly label them and store them ready for sowing next season. Flowers like sweet peas, poppies, dianthus, calendula, Queen Anne’s lace, larkspur and nasturtiums are good ones to try. Easy vegetables to save seeds from are lettuce, carrots, beans, pumpkin, peas and sweet corn. Lawns If you are looking to sow a new lawn, do it now while the soil temperatures are still warm, which will aid in germination. Fingers crossed autumn rains will be on the forecast to keep the ground moist. Prepare the area by removing all weeds, sticks, stones and any other debris, rake in lawn fertiliser then sprinkle on the lawn seed. Water carefully, aiming not to allow puddles to form anywhere, and try to keep the kids and pets off the area for a month or so. The seed should germinate within a fortnight, or earlier if you use a premium seed blend. Flowers for free Take a wander around the garden and look out for any flower seedlings that have germinated over the season, as these can be transplanted into new spots. Lady’s mantle, scabious, Astrantia sp. and Aquilegia sp. readily self-seed as do hellebores and snowdrops. Now is the best time to lift and move them before winter sets in. Give any extras away to friends or donate them to the local school or community garden. Weeds A hoe offers a quick and easy method of control, especially in the vegetable garden where plants may be in rows. Hand weeding works, too. Aim to pull the entire plant and root out of the ground. Thick layers of mulch will also prevent weeds from establishing and sprays are a good option, especially on paths and driveways. Ouruhia ‘The greatest little nursery in town’ www.ouruhianursery.co.nz SPECIALIST LANDSCAPE NURSERY • 20% off Fruit Trees, Citrus & Berry plants (excludes Persimmons) • Huge Native Sale • Moptops • Topiary from $12.99 HUGE NATIVE SELECTION Plus lots more! On site garden design Cnr Marshland & Turners Road 8.30-5pm • 7 DAYS • Ph 323 8588 Eftpos, credit cards and most garden gift vouchers welcome CELEBRATING AUTUMN Vibrant flowers & plants from alpines to bonsai AUTUMN GARDEN SHOW SATURDAY & SUNDAY 29 & 30 APRIL 10AM-5PM Free Entry Christchurch Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre & Marquee Plant & produce for sale, horticulture discussion, free entry jointly presented by Canterbury Horticultural Society Christchurch Botanic Gardens

The Star Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday April 6 2017 29 of great colour Colour Even though we are only in the second month of autumn, it is wise to make the most of the warmer soil temperatures and plant out seedlings ready for a riot of colour over the coldest months. Rip out any tired-looking bedding plant displays; JIRI VACLAVEK/SHUTTERSTOCK • By Henri Ham IT’S JUST under two months until winter is officially here. Which means if you haven’t got your winter vegetables in the ground yet, you need to get moving. Plant them while the soil is still warm and they’ll get the start they need. Plant them when the soil is already cool and you might be eating them in spring. Now you need to choose what to grow. I’m a big fan of broccoli during winter, and not just the regular variety. I like to plant your run-of-the-mill romanesco broccoli but also broccoflower and italian broccoli. Broccoflower is a hybrid between cauliflower and broccoli and has a milder and slightly sweeter taste than cauliflower. It has small cauli-shaped heads and is lime green. Italian precoce broccoli forms highly decorative light green clusters of heads that resemble sea coral. The unusual tip of each spear is conical rather than round but the taste is true broccoli at its very best. Mixed vege bundles are great if you’re feeding a small household or like to stagger your planting. Each bundle has a couple of each variety of plant, rather than lots of the same variety. Once you’ve got your seedlings you need to find somewhere to plant them. Because broccoli is from the brassica species, it’s important you grow them somewhere you haven’t planted any other brassicas (like cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts etc) recently. This will prevent your plants getting club root – a disease which stops the heads on your brassicas developing fully. Next I recommend adding some lime to the soil prior to planting. This will also help prevent club root. Then plant each seedling around 35cm apart. This will ensure the seedlings have room to expand and grow. Because broccoli can take a long time reinvigorate the soil with fertiliser and a good amount of compost and plant out large healthy seedlings of pansies, violas, snapdragons, Bellis sp., flowering kale and polyanthus. You won’t regret getting your plants in early. ZAITSAVA OLGA/SHUTTERSTOCK Get your broccoli planted SUPER FOOD: Broccoli should be ready to eat in 10 weeks. to mature, during the earlier weeks you can plant other quick growing seedlings, like spinach and silverbeet, in the spaces between each seedling. This is a great way of maximising the use of space in your garden. Your fast growing seedlings should be ready in about six weeks – depending on the weather where you are. And your various varieties of broccoli in around eight to 10 weeks. Once they’re ready, harvest your heads before the plant flowers as, once it does, it will die. Simply use a knife to diagonally cut off the heads you have selected. This will encourage new heads to grow and will also ensure a long cropping season. If you harvest too much just chuck the excess in the freezer. They will keep for two to three months. Lastly, after growing brassicas it’s a good idea to inject some nutrients (particularly nitrogen) back into the soil. Try growing a cover crop like blue lupin. Lupin is a good choice of cover crop as it’s not a member of the brassica family (like mustard). When the cover crop has matured, dig it into the soil. This will get the soil all ready for next season’s planting. Camellias & Rhodos Camellias and Rhodos are wonderfully versatile. They can be grown as specimen trees, a hedge, a standard, some even grow as a groundcover; Camellias can be espaliered against a wall or fence, grown as a container plant as well as making a successful bonsai specimen. Camellias and Rhodos also work well as fillers under large deciduous trees or as a background plant to provide a glossy green foil for summer flowering plants. Planting Semi-shaded conditions are ideal, but some varieties will also survive in full sun. The important thing with is not to let their roots get too hot, therefore a layer of mulch is desirable. Camellias & Rhodos like slightly acidic, moist, free draining soil; if you have heavy clay incorporate plenty of compost, peat and gypsum at planting time to aid drainage. If your soil is still waterlogged you may need to make a raised bed, as they can develop root rot in waterlogged sites. Fertiliser Camellias and Rhodos are acid loving plants and don’t liked to be over feed. Use any good acid fertiliser when planting, adding sheep pellets also to give 33 OFF Lavenders For cottage or structured gardens, lavenders are aromatic and a standout in any garden. Includes Dentata, Hidcote, Blue Mountian, Pacific Blue, Major. 28 OFF % % $4 $ 6.99 . 99 EACH GOL Camellias & Rhodos These named varieties are a brilliant starter grade (growing on line). A great way to have a garden full of rambunctious colours. Open 7 Days, 8am – 5pm Head in-store or visit oderings.co.nz 5 Varieties FALL IN LOVE WITH $ $9 14.99 . 99 22 OFF Tui Acid Food Suitable for all acid-loving plants including azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons, ericas, daphne, gardenias and blue hydrangeas. Barrington 92 Stourbridge St Linwood 485 Linwood Ave them a boost. Yellowing leaves is often due to a magnesium deficiency; in this case, you should apply Epsom Salts or Sequestron Plant Tonic. If you’re not sure, bring us a few leaves and we can diagnose any issue you may have. Pruning General pruning to keep the plant tidy is all that is required. Pruning should be done no later than the end of October otherwise you are removing next year’s flowers. Pests Generally, not a big issue, but the main insect Rhodos will get is thrips. If you are experiencing any major infestations, then you must consider its position. Is your plant getting too much wind? Not enough water? Or are its roots too hot and dry? Containers As with all container plants, regular watering is essential; fertilising, little and often with Oderings Total Replenish is best. A mulch of compost is ideal, to keep the roots cool and stop the potting mix drying out. Some shade is also beneficial. For more info on thrips, Rhodos or Camellias visit us in store or online. Westringia Grey Box The perfect, modern day hedge. Grows 45cm by 45cm with lovely grey foliage and white flowers. A natural ball shape or trim as a formal hedge. Cashmere 205 Cashmere Rd Philpotts Rd 116 Philpotts Rd Specials valid until 12.4.17 or while stocks last. We cannot sell or redeem Go Gardening gift vouchers. Other vouchers – Yes. EACH Backed by Oderings Quality Guarantee % Autumn Plant Now & Save! 50% GREAT PRICE $6 $ 8.99 . 99 1.5KG OFF Oderings Peat Healthy soil equals healthy plants. Peat adds rich organic matter to condition soils, helps with water retention, and to break up clay soil. Yaldhurst 20 Main West Coast Rd We know them ‘cause we grow them. $ $8 17.99 . 99 EACH $5 $ 6.99 . 99 25L ODR/STA/7435