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Selwyn Times: May 16, 2017

ISSN 2423-0219 24

ISSN 2423-0219 24 Tuesday May 16 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi SELWYN TIMES Gardening Onions – the must-have vegetable VERSATILE: Stagger plant your onions for a constant source of supply. • By Henri Ham YES, I know I harp on about must-have vegetables and herbs. The problem is, once you start growing and enjoying homegrown food, the list of must-haves seems to grow too. But I really do think onions are at the top of that list and should be grown in every vegetable garden. In my vegetable garden I like to grow red onions. But I don’t stop there. I also stagger-plant spring onions, regular brown pukekohe longkeeper onions, pearl drop onions and red bunching spring onions. For the newbie gardeners out there, stagger planting (or staggering) is when you plant a few seedlings of the same varieties (ie broccoli or onions) every few weeks to ensure you have a constant supply of produce ready to harvest. You can grow onions pretty much anywhere in the garden – they also grow well in pots. But make sure the soil is friable (goes crumbly when you touch it). If it’s not, simply give it a good dig over and add a bit of compost and fertiliser. Red and pukekohe longkeeper onions need to be planted 10cm apart. And if you’re growing them COLOUR: Red spring onions make good companions for the larger varieties. in rows, make the rows 20cm apart. I like to companion plant spinach in between the rows. Or you could try growing spring onions in between. They will be ready to harvest much earlier at around six to eight weeks, so will be out of the rows before the larger onions need the space. Simply, plant your spring onions around 4cm apart from the next. You can harvest your spring onions at any time. But the longer you leave them the bigger they will get until they go to seed. Your larger onions will take around 20 to 24 weeks to get ready and you can tell when they are because they start to pop right out of the ground. If they start to flower, we also recommend harvesting them as onions that have started to bolt or go to seed don’t store very well. Don’t worry if they’re green, you can still eat them. We design gardens DESIGN IT from a blank canvas and transform outdoor living areas into pleasing, relaxing spaces for the client to enjoy year after year. Our design skills extend also to large lifestyle properties, making the most of the extensive land to fit perfectly with the client's needs. LANDSCAPING IN CANTERBURY FOR OVER 30 YEARS WE DO: Decking Paving Driveways Irrigation Fencing Excavation Bunds Lawns Retaining walls Cartage Ponds Use your outdoor living areas all year round • Warm & dry in winter • UV protection for summer • Stylish & permanent • 5 year warranty At Evergreen Landscapes, BUILD IT our staff are specialists in their areas of expertise; we have experts in excavation, paving, building, irrigation, planting, maintenance. We offer a professional standard of service with friendly staff who understand the importance of starting and finishing jobs to a very high level. PLANT IT We provide an advice and plant set out service for where your trees and shrubs should be placed in your garden areas. If you prefer, we can do the tasks of planting, composting and mulching with our skilled labour teams. We have planted out many reserves, parks, swales and street trees: we have years of experience in quality tree and shrub planting. EVERGREEN LANDSCAPES LTD 60 Ivey Road, Templeton, Christchurch Ph: 03 349 2929, Mob: 027 559 2929, E: design@egn.co.nz Open: Mon to Fri, 8:30am - 4:30pm w w w . e g n . c o . n z WE HAVE: Diggers Loaders Tip trucks WE SUPPLY: Design services Trees / shrubs Bark / soil Decorative stone Landscaping from Residential, to Lifestyle, to Commercial Sites Chris Thorndycroft Phone 0800 27 24 46 | www.archgola.co.nz growing with you SprIng Is here – It’S Sow Time how to get the best results from seeds and seedlings 100% NatIve In The capItal Unravelling the secrets of Otari-wilton Bush The New Zealand landscape awards The people behind the projects $7.90 incl. GST Save our roSeS How a rose register is protecting our heritage September 2016 | 100% It’s time to grow! New look and more content than ever! MeeT LeSTer Brice A Garden coach auckland Botanic GardenS Why we love our public grounds now bigger than ever The magazine for gardeners who like to get their hands dirty SubScribe from $43. 50* *6 issues/6 months 15 months INTEREST FREE Normal lending criteria apply SUBSCRIPTIONS FREEPHONE 0800 77 77 10 www.gaRdeNER.kiwI

SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Tuesday May 16 2017 25 Timing bulb flowering not an exact science • By Paul Hoek CAN BULB flowering be timed for special occasions? More often than not, this question is asked in relation to a wedding. And I can understand why – growing your own tulips, lilies or other bulbs would save money and look fantastic in bouquets or in the background of photos. Unfortunately, the timing of bulbs flowering is heavily reliant on nature. And, as Cyclones Cook and Debbie have recently reminded us, nature and weather can be fickle and hard to predict. So, the question of timing flowering for special occasions is one that is pretty well impossible for us to answer accurately. What I can do, is give you a bit more information about spring and summer flowering bulbs to help you decide whether or not it’s doable for your particular situation and region. Spring flowering bulbs In a nutshell, spring flowering bulbs (like tulips, hyacinths and daffodils) can’t just be planted later to make them flower later. Without any artificial chilling, these bulbs have to be planted in autumn (makes no difference at which point in autumn) as they require all the chilling that comes with winter. MAJESTIC: Summer bulbs such as gladioli and lilies don’t need cold weather to trigger flowering. Exactly when they flower will depend on how cold the winter is, how much rain there is, and how early or late spring comes. The only way to make spring bulbs flower later than normal is to plant them in pots and hold them in a chiller, progressively lowering the temperature from 9 deg C to 0 deg C over a period of 10 weeks. Then hold them at zero and take them from the chiller two to three weeks before you want them in full flower. This approach won’t work with unplanted bulbs. To make potted spring bulbs flower earlier, you can use the chilling method above and simply take them out early rather than late. But there’s only a small window in which you can make them flower earlier. Tulips can’t be chilled until late March because the immature buds inside the bulbs need to reach a certain development stage before they’re ready. And, they need to be chilled for a minimum of 12 weeks. So August would be the earliest you could get tulips to flower – around three to four weeks ahead of normal. For potted daffodils and hyacinths you can start chilling earlier, in early March, and have flowers in early July. You can also get unplanted bulbs to flower earlier. But instead of putting them in at 9 deg C, you can put them straight in at 4 deg C. Do this in late March and then plant them out in late May, they’ll flower at least a month earlier than normal. Summer flowering bulbs Summer flowering bulbs (like gladioli and lilies) are a little easier to manipulate into flowering earlier or later, as they don’t require a cold period to trigger their flowering. To make them flower earlier or later you can plant them earlier or later from July right up to Christmas – but only if you keep the bulbs in a good condition. The eventual difference in flowering time will not be as great as the variation in planting time from July to December. This is because the soil and growing conditions are cold in July to September, and bulbs planted at that time will progress much slower than bulbs planted in October or November. Likewise, bulbs planted in December will flower much quicker as they are doing all their growing in warm soil and summer temperatures. Nevertheless, planting from July to December will see a spread of flowering times over around two to three months. So, as you can see – forcing bulbs to flower for a set time or a special occasion is by no means an exact science. But if it’s still something you’re interested in, I leave you two questions to think about. Firstly, will it ruin the big day if the bulbs haven’t flowered yet, or are already past their best? And secondly, is it worth the risk? – NZ Bulbs Intelligro entrance changes The work is almost done on the new road behind Intelligro! This exciting change will take effect in June, so in order for the contractors to get the road ready, some of it needs to be sectioned off so they can seal it. Access from Weedons Ross Road will not be available during this time! This means starting from Thursday 18th May for the next 4-6 weeks you will need to access Intelligro from one of 2 entrances. The original Main South Road entrance will remain open, or you can come along the new road, Manion Road, beginning from Curraghs Road end. Follow this along the railway line and you will find us where “261” is on the map. While these changes are out of our hands, we would like to extend our thanks to you all for your patience and understanding as these changes take place. The new road will definitely make things a lot safer for everyone, so we are looking forward to having it all completed. Once the road is all sealed, you will be able to access Intelligro from both the Weedons Ross Road, and Curraghs Road entrances. Our new address will be 261 Manion Road. If you are at all unsure about what is going on, give us a call 03 3479 415, email us info@igro.co.nz or check out our website www.igro.co.nz for more updates. Intelligro opening hours Monday to Friday, 8am – 5pm Saturday, 8am – 4pm Sunday, 9am – 3pm Please refer to our website for any public holidays opening hours www.igro.co.nz | Phone 03 347 9415 1394 Main South Road, RD7 Weedons