11 months ago

Selwyn Times: June 13, 2017

34 Tuesday

34 Tuesday June 13 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi SELWYN TIMES

SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Tuesday June 13 2017 35 Gardening Window dressing No matter whether your garden is big or small, there’s plenty more room to grow on the windowsill says Rachel Vogan TIMES CHANGE and so do gardens. This winter sees me relocating to a new abode; a barn conversion. I have had a seismic shift of sorts, going from a large established garden to nothing. I am back to the start-from-scratch scenario, and it’s both fun and challenging. Therefore, my crops this winter have to be portable, productive, tasty and easy to grow. As there is little room for much outside just yet, all my edibles are growing on the windowsills around the new dwelling. It’s almost like living in an apartment. 1. ROCKET Where, oh where, would I be without rocket? I grow both the perennial and annual types and through winter the serrated peppery leaves of the come-again variety are one of my go-to crops. Either sow seeds now or treat yourself to some seedlings. The trick to keep the leaves coming is to pick and harvest on a regular basis. Not a lot of root room is required either, so a plant will readily grow in a takeaway coffee cup, if the container starts to get a bit ratty, slip a new one underneath the original one. Too easy. 2. BASIL Yes, crazy I know, but it will keep growing as a cutting in a glass of water over winter if your kitchen doesn’t drop below 10°C very often. And, so far, mine is chugging away with plenty of vigour, mostly due to the log burner, which is constantly burning to keep the temperatures from plummeting. 3. PARSLEY What a campaigner this crop is. The curly type is happy as, quietly hanging out on the windowsill. I use a lot of it, so it never gets too leggy. Pinch the stalks right back to the base of the plant to keep the new flush of flavour-filled leaves coming through quicker and faster. 4. LETTUCE The frilly lettuces are thriving. Whilst they can get a bit leggy if I give them too much water, or leave them too long between harvest, they quickly re-grow new leaves once I pluck them or give them a haircut with the nail scissors. I rotate the pots every few days so as the plants retain an even shape. 5. MICROGREENS These pint-sized seedlings are just the ticket in winter. They are bigger than sprouted seeds, but smaller than salad leaves. Last year I grew them for the first time and this year they are making an appearance once again. I sow them into those shallow takeaway containers with a few holes poked into the bottom. 6. ARTHRITIS HERB – GOTU KOLA (CENTELLA ASIATICA) This wee gem is sensitive to frost, so it needs to be tucked up inside. It will cope with a spot away from direct light, especially if the windowsill is getting a bit full with other crops. I grow mine in the bathroom. I grow this purely for medicinal reasons; it helps ease general aches and pains and has definitely helped reduce my blood pressure. Some people swear it eases arthritic pain. Two leaves a day does the trick, easily chopped finely into a salad or thrown in with the greens for a smoothie. COMPACT: Little lettuce (left) and gotu kola are easy to grow in tight spaces. 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 | 15 months INTEREST FREE Normal lending criteria apply gardening without guesswork Question: Answer: What can I do to look after my garden in winter so it doesn’t get damaged by the cold and the frosty nights? As we head further into winter, it is a good idea to make sure that your garden and plants are protected from the chilly temperatures and the frosts and possible snow. Firstly, if you haven’t added some Organic Compost in the last year, add a layer of that now. This will add essential organic matter, creating a great growing environment for your plants, and keep your garden in good health. Next, choose a bark mulch to add to the top. Bark helps to keep the moisture in, keep weeds down, and maintain a more even soil temperature. With the drop in air temperature, you want to keep the soil temperature as even as you can. Plants don’t like the big changes between cold and hot, it can put them in distress. Choosing a bark is mostly a personal preference, depending on what look you are going for, and how much you want to spend. Super Scree is a popular choice for an all-round general bark mulch. Our Black Beauty is the one for you if you are looking for a stand out on the garden. We would recommend having a look on our website at what we have to offer, or better yet, come into our yard and see it for yourself! We have a great delivery service available, and trailers you can hire if you don’t have one of your own. for more information, check out our website: or visit our facebook page: Thanks to Bernie for her question. WIN! a $50 INTEllIgrO gIfT VOuchEr! Send us your question and BE IN TO WIN! Email to: or post your question on our Facebook page: New questions to be received by Tuesday 20th June. how much bark do I need? Working out how much bark you need is fairly simple. Measure the area that you are looking to cover (keeping the units all the same) and then multiply the length, by the width, by the depth. This will give you the number of cubic metres required to cover the area. We would recommend a 10cm layer to get all of the benefits. E.g. 10m (length) x 5m (width) x .1m (depth) = 5x10x.1 = 5 cubic metres of bark. QualITy prOducTs frOm ThE WEB TO ThE shEd!