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The Star Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday May 4 2017 25 Gardening Beautiful broad beans • By Henri Ham I KNOW it’s easy and not too expensive to buy broad beans at the supermarket, but I enjoy eating them fresh from the garden. They taste great and it’s nice knowing exactly what’s taken place during the growing process. Broad beans are one of my favourite varieties to grow. Like most other vegetables, you can grow broad beans from seed (actually it’s the bean itself). But I recommend growing from seedlings. Doing this shortens the time before harvest (around six less weeks) but, more importantly, takes out a lot of the hard work. Once the root systems are well formed (yet still separate from each other), almost guaranteed they will grow well. Once you’ve got your seedlings, you need to find somewhere to grow them. I like to grow mine in a raised vegetable garden, but they also grow well in FRESH: Broad beans like full sun or just partial shade. pots. Make sure it’s full sun or partial shade where you plant. Broad beans are pollinated by bees, so it’s helpful to grow them near a beefriendly plant like lavender, rosemary or cornflowers. It pays to check the pH level of your soil. Broad beans like the soil to be around 5.5 to 6.5pH. Not sure what the pH level of your soil is? Most garden centres sell kits, alternatively there are also companies which will test your soil for a small fee. If the pH level of your soil could go higher, try adding a little bit of lime from your local garden centre. If you’re not sure of the pH level, it wouldn’t hurt to add a little bit of lime anyway. Then simply dig a little hole and plant each seedling around 15cm apart in rows approximately 30cm apart. Once the plants are around 1m you can stake them individually but I prefer to put a stake at either end of the rows and loop a big piece of string around the whole lot to keep them growing together. Your plants will lean against each other and grow across the ground. The seedlings will take around eight to 12 weeks from planting to produce beans ready for harvesting. Harvest the beans when the pods are around 75- 100mm. Blueberries If you love to pick and eat fresh, have you tried growing your own blueberries? We have all heard of blueberries, but what a lot of us do not know is that they are easy to grow. Blueberries are a wonder food and are a fantastic addition to the garden whether you grow them as specimen plants in containers, or as a low hedge. Blueberries like soil which is slightly acidic with plenty of nitrogen. A slow-release fertiliser, such as Oderings Total Replenish in spring before the new growth appears is ideal. You may not realise this, but some blueberry varieties can be killed if there is too much calcium present in the soil, therefore avoid lime fertiliser and gypsum. Water is vital for the full development of your berries, which swell rapidly in the last two weeks of ripening. Lack of water can mean a poor crop and dark, undersized berries. While blueberries are resistant to most diseases, it is prudent to spray to prevent mildew and cover them to protect the ripening berries from birds. The plants are hardy to minus four degrees, although FALL IN LOVE WITH Autumn Plant Now & Save! frost will damage flowers. They can also suffer from iron and magnesium deficiencies. If your plant leaves are a reddish-yellow colour, especially near the edges it is most likely a magnesium deficiency and if the leaves turn yellow with green veins it is most likely an iron deficiency. Knowing how to prune blueberries is important, because fruit is borne on last season’s wood and the most vigorous wood bears the largest fruit. The flower buds that will produce next year’s crop develop on the outer part of this year’s growth in late summer as stems mature. Minimum pruning consists of the removal of dead or damaged wood, any weak growth or twiggy old branches. Remove some of the oldest branches after four to five years to encourage new growth. While light pruning is possible year around, winter is the best time for heavy pruning. To read more, pop in store or online for our copy of the Oderings Gardening Guide Vegetables. Half Wine Barrels $86 .25 EACH Forest Floor/ Arbor Mulch $5 .80 pEr sCoop Black Forrest $35 .95 Exclusive to Parkhouse pEr sCoop NO GREEN WASTE IN ANY OF OUR COMPOST Landscape Lane (off Lunns Rd) P. 348 2915 OPEN 7 DAYS Remember... we are NOT in Parkhouse Road 33 OFF Mother’s Day – Mum-Mazing The Mum-Mazing Apron $29.99-19.99, Mum-Mazing Tea Towel $12.99-8.49 and the Tabby Cat Cup $19.99-12.99 each. 30 OFF % % 33 OFF % 30 OFF % 3 Varieties $ 19.99 $ 13 . 99 Blueberries Very popular self fertile varieties, producing heavy crops of delicious berries. Great in pots. Plant two different varieties to get heavier cropping plants. EACH The magazine for gardeners who like To geT Their hands dirTy www.gardener.kiwi 100% $27 . 99 Potted Orchids A great selection of potted orchids are the perfect ready made gift. Open 7 Days, 8am – 5pm Head in-store or visit oderings.co.nz E.G. $ 39.99 $ 39 $ 59.99 . 99 EACH EACH ARS Pocket Secateur 130DX ARS 130 uses top quality Japanese steel for a sharp long lasting secateur. Small handles make it the perfect gift for mum. Barrington 92 Stourbridge St Linwood 485 Linwood Ave Cashmere 205 Cashmere Rd Philpotts Rd 116 Philpotts Rd Specials valid until 10.5.17 or while stocks last. We cannot sell or redeem Go Gardening gift vouchers. Other vouchers – Yes. Backed by Oderings Quality Guarantee Gift Cards Made to any amount over $10, and redeemable at over 100 different reputable garden centres NZ wide. Yaldhurst 20 Main West Coast Rd We know them ‘cause we grow them. ODR/STA/7456