40 Tuesday August 22 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Gardening SELWYN TIMES Easy to grow echinops otoring I OFTEN think it can be nice to have some • By Henri Ham plants in your garden that don’t require much work. Kind of like a set-and-forget approach – once it’s planted it will take care of itself. Echinops ritro, also known as globe thistle, is one of these easy-care plants. It is a hardy plant that tolerates frost and heat, and thrives just about anywhere. And, garden a long time. (For beginner garden- asty Bites because it’s a perennial it will stay in your ers out there, annuals are plants that only last one year or season. Perennials will keep popping up season after season.) Like the name globe thistle suggests, it looks like a round version of a Scottish thistle in oney that lovely deep blue/purple colour. However, it’s actually a member of the aster family and not a thistle at all. Which is great, because this means it doesn’t have any spiny prickles. If you have a perennial garden or want to create a cottage garden look, echinops ritro would make a great addition. It looks nice planted amongst other tall, cottage garden-style plants foxgloves, lupin, hollyhocks and delphinium. It also looks lovely grown with coneflower Echinacea in a border – their similar appearances really complement each other. And, if you still need further convincing about growing echinops ritro, bees love it! Once you have seedlings it’s time to look for somewhere to plant them. I recommend making the most of their hardiness and growing them in full sun. Plant each seedling approximately 30cm apart. When they start flowering in early summer, you can expect to enjoy stunning blooms for around eight weeks. Echinops ritro make good cut flowers and wonderful dried flowers. As dried flowers they can last for years in a good condition. When they’ve finished flowering I sometimes cut them back to around a third of their height. This gets rid of all the old leaves and encourages the plants to come away stronger the following spring. It will also stop them re-seeding if you do it early enough – when the colour starts to fade in the flower heads. Otherwise it’s fine to take advantage of their easy-care nature and just let them do their thing. 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: HOURS 8am -12pm Mon - Fri: 7am - 5pm Visit us via our new entrance Saturday: on 8am- Manion 12pm Road Weedons Ross Rd to Rolleston We are here We are here Berketts Rd Trents Rd Main South Rd / SH1 Your Local Timber Merchant Jason Pester 1304 Main South Road, Christchurch firstname.lastname@example.org P 03 3477465 F 03 3477032 STUNNING BLOOMS: Echinops generally flower early summer. gardening without guesswork Question: Answer: What do I need to do with my citrus plants at this time of year? Spring is a great time to fertilise your citrus plants, so get prepared now. The spring growth will begin towards the end of September, so you need to make sure that the tree has time to soak up the nutrients so they can fruit and flower. This will give your tree the best opportunity to reward you with juicy lemons, so it pays to not skip this step each season! Citrus have shallow roots, so during their growing and fruit development season, they need plenty of water and fertiliser. They need fertilising 3 times per year; September, December and February. Plants must be wellwatered regularly, especially during the hot dry weather that we get in February and March – as this is when the fruit is developing. Application rate: For trees in the ground, apply at 300 grams per square metre around the outer foliage of the tree (the drip line). If you have trees in pots, you would be using our Intelligro Topdressing Fertiliser at a rate of 1-2 grams per litre of pot size. for more information, check out our website: www.intelligro.co.nz or visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/igro.co.nz Thanks to Tina for her question. QualITy prOducTs frOm ThE WEB TO ThE shEd! WIN! a $50 INTEllIgrO gIfT VOuchEr! Send us your question and BE IN TO WIN! Email to: email@example.com or post your question on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/igro.co.nz New questions to be received by Tuesday 5th September. might as well prune while you’re there! The pruning of citrus is usually done just before they start to grow in early September, so now is a great time to do it if you haven’t already. To do this you will thin out the centre of the plant, removing any thin spindly growth. It is also a good idea to trim around the outside, reducing some of the branches so that air can circulate through the plant. As you harvest the fruit, trim back the branches they have come from. This will help to promote future growth.
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