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Selwyn Times: August 29, 2017

26 Tuesday

26 Tuesday August 29 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Show home Guide Competitive pricing from $1498 per sq.m Standout Homes for a Standard Price New Showhome - Now Open 6 Craig Thompson Drive Flemington, Lincoln Wednesday to Sunday 12pm - 4pm Office and Showhome 2 Harvard Avenue Wigram, Christchurch Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm (03) 341 3000 or 029 201 2453 www.homesbyparklane.co.nz SELWYN TIMES Homes by Parklane “Standout Homes for a Standard Price” Flemington, Lincoln 6 Craig Thompson Drive Wed to Sun 12pm - 4pm Wigram 2 Harvard Avenue Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm Master Builders House of the Year 2017 Gold Award Winning Showhome (03) 341 3000 or 029 201 2453 www.homesbyparklane.co.nz Strategic Homes Halswell 6 Derek Anderson Drive Longhurst Estate Wed to Sun 12pm - 4pm 4 2 2 2 Ph (03) 963 8841 or 0274 359 333 www.strategichomes.co.nz David Reid Homes Casebrook 231 Highstead Road Fri, Sat, Sun 12pm - 4pm Prebbleton 80 Farthing Drive - opening September Ph Jason 021 514 424 or Lynda 021 335 707 www.davidreidhomes.co.nz Build 7 - Christchurch Prebbleton - Flemington Viewing by appointment only Ph Jamie 021 783 001 www.christchurch.build7.co.nz Peter Ray Homes Prestons 28 & 30 TeRito Street 12pm to 4pm Tues to Sun Wigram Skies, Wigram 32 & 34 The Runway, 12pm to 4pm Mon to Sun (7 days) www.peterrayhomes.co.nz To advertise in The Showhome Guide Contact Elaine: (03) 364 7436 elaine.moon@starmedia.kiwi 231 HIGHSTED RD, CASEBROOK OPEN FRI-SAT-SUN 12-4PM 80 FARTHING DRIVE, PREBBLETON OPENING SEPTEMBER JASON 021 514 424 or LYNDA 021 335 707 Showhome - Viewing by appointment Phone Jamie on 03 595 0894 www.christchurch.build7.co.nz Gabbie and Alexis have a busy family. Luckily we created plenty of space for them to play and relax. Start your own story 03 348 1994 www.peterrayhomes.co.nz

SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Tuesday August 29 2017 27 Gardening Potatoes – the veg for gardens of all sizes • By Paul Hoek NOT SO many years ago every quarter-acre section boasted a large potato patch to feed the family. As a tasty, versatile and affordable addition to any meal, it just made sense to grow your own. But as property sizes shrunk, the demand for growing your own spuds also diminished. Not so any more, we’ve seen a big resurgence in home potato growing. Gone are the days when you were obliged to purchase a 2kg bag of seed potatoes to get your own crop growing. Packs of five, 10 or 20 seed potatoes cater for all garden sizes. Whether you’ve got a small or large garden, potatoes are a musthave vegetable. Growing potatoes is a great way to get children into gardening, and nothing beats your own home-grown spuds on the Christmas table. So, where to start? With quality certified seed potatoes. Seed potatoes look just like regular potatoes but are usually smaller, and are certified free of disease, so you know you’re getting the best start. Some of the well known varieties are jersey benne, agria and rua. The type of potato you choose to plant will depend largely on what you want to do with it and when you want to harvest. Seed potatoes fit into three categories – early, early-main and main crop. Early potatoes are ready to harvest early, and really need to be harvested early as they are not long-term growers. They also taste a lot better when harvested early – the classic early sweet-tasting new potato. Early-main crop potatoes can be harvested early to get ‘new’ potatoes, or can happily be left in the ground until the top growth dies back and the skins thicken up. Harvested later, they are no longer ‘new’ potatoes, but larger and thicker skinned. And main crop potatoes need longer in the ground and should be left in until the tops die back in autumn before harvest. They will be larger, thick-skinned and also keep well. If you want to ensure you’re serving home-grown spuds at Christmas, plant early potatoes such as rocket, swift, jersey benne or cliff kidney. These ones can be harvested after about 90 days so, if planted in September, will be ready for Christmas. Potatoes also vary in their make up. Some are called ‘waxy’ potatoes and these are lower in starch and hold together much better when cooking – they are more suitable for salads, boiling and casseroles. Others varieties are called ‘floury’ potatoes and these ones are higher in starch and FRESH: The best way to check if your potatoes are ready is to loosen the dirt around a few of the plants, put your hand in the soil and gently pull out a spud or two to check progress. ideal for wedges, chips, roasting and mashing. The earlier potatoes tend to be more the waxy types, and the later varieties more floury. If you’re looking for a general purpose potato, try desiree or rua – these are suitable for most uses. Leave your seed potatoes in a light, dry place for a few weeks so they can start to shoot. When the shoots are approximately 2cm long they’re ready to plant. Before doing so, work in some compost to the soil to make it more friable and easier for the potatoes to grow, as well as easier for you to harvest. Next, dig a v-shaped trench about 15cm deep in your garden and place the potatoes in the bottom of it – approximately 40cm apart. You don’t need to fill the trench back up at this stage, just cover the planted potatoes with at least 5cm of soil. New spuds hate frost, so keep an eye on them and as the shoots start to push through, cover them a little more each week until you have turned your trench into a mound of 15-20cm in height after six to eight weeks. The more growing stem beneath the soil, the more opportunity for the plant to produce potatoes and the bigger your crop. To keep diseases away, don’t overhead water your potatoes excessively. Once planted the rain should be enough to keep them going until they’re ready for harvesting. I also recommend covering your potato crop with some insect-proof netting which will keep out the potato-tomato psyllid, a small insect that can cause a lot of damage. The best way to tell if your potatoes are ready is to ‘tickle’ a few up to check. Get out your trowel and loosen the dirt around a few of your potato plants, put your hand in the soil and gently pull out a spud or two to check progress. If your potatoes are small, cover them up again with dirt and leave them to grow. 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