32 Wednesday November 29 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Gardening SELWYN TIMES Be patient, kumara takes some time • By Henri Ham LIKE POTATOES, kumara would have to be one of those vegetables that is a pretty regular feature in my pantry. They’re versatile (there’s a long list of dishes I can add kumara to) and they taste great, I’ve enjoyed growing kumara in my garden for some time. Not sure how many you’ll need? Well, this is how I work out how many to plant. If all goes well with my kumara growing I expect each plant to produce around a bucket of tubers. So, a regular-sized bundle should produce around three to four buckets of kūmara. Once you’ve worked out how many seedlings you need, the next job is to find the right spot to plant them. Each seedling needs to be planted around 50cm to 1m from the next, so you do need a bit of space to have a kūmara crop. Kūmara like a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. If you’re not sure what pH your soil is, you can buy a simple to use pH kit from your local garden centre. If the pH isn’t high enough add a bit of lime to sweeten the soil. Don’t add too much, or any if you don’t need it, because too much lime will mean you end up with small kūmara. Now, it’s important that you raise a mound of soft soil for the kūmara to spread out in. Cultivate your soil with a rake and then mound it up in to a hill around 40cm high. Next make a small trench ROOTS: Kumara grow in mounds, make them up to 40cm high. approximately 5cm deep and lay the seedling so that the root is lying in the trench parallel to the top of the soil, rather than pushing the root down like you might with another vegetable. But make sure you bend the seedling so the leaves are sticking out of the top of the soil (a J shape). This will ensure the plant’s roots (via the leaves) get plenty of warmth from the sun. Water gently around the plant – it’s important not to water forcefully as this might make the mound flatten out or the plant roll off the mound. Do this for the first few days and then ensure they get some water weekly. Depending on what summer is like this year you may not need to do any extra watering at all. But if it’s hot and dry keep an eye on things and water at least weekly. Generally, try to lift the runners so they don’t put roots into the ground. The runners are the shoots that run along the ground off the main plant – much like strawberries. Lifting them off the ground will stop them from putting roots down and wasting energy that could go into forming tubers. However, if you want to increase the size of your plot you could let a couple of runners put roots down and then cut them off and replant them. Kumara need at least four months of sunshine before they are ready to harvest. So, around February, March or April is when you can expect to start digging into your crop. It’s important you harvest before the first frost. Around this time the leaves may start to yellow, which is a sign they’re ready. So, around four months after you’ve planted put your hand in the ground and gently see if the kumara feels ready – this is called tickling. When you know they’re ready, harvest very gently. Broken kumara won’t store. You may have to really follow the plant around with your hands under the soil to ensure they come out without breaking. If you want to store them for a long time it’s important they are cured properly. This is when the starch is converted to sugar and a second skin is created that allows them to last longer in storage. If they’re cured well they can last for up to a year in storage. Prepping the garden For ThE SummEr monThS LET’S GET GardEninG General Gardening Mulch!! Yes, this word pops up all the time, but it is a saving grace when it comes to protecting your plants. If you haven’t already got bark on your garden, add a layer of organic compost now. Mix it through your existing soil. Keep the watering up over the next few weeks, then look to add your bark mulch before the heat really fires up. If you have got a thin layer of bark, try and boost it up to a good 10cm, this will help get the best results. If you have already added your bark – well done! You will need to keep the watering up now to stay ahead of the game. Water is essential for healthy plant growth and development. Establish a good watering routine, ensuring you give your plants a good deep soak every few days rather than a light sprinkling every day. Weeding isn’t exactly the most enjoyable part of gardening, but skipping out of doing it is going to be costly for your plants. Not only do they look unsightly, they take up a lot of nutrients and water that your plants need, as well as fight for space. Dedicate time to remove them as soon as they pop up, it will seem less of a task if you do it that way rather than letting them build up over a month or more. Popular Potatoes If you are growing your own potatoes, now is a good time to mound up the soil up around the tops of your potatoes. This helps to encourage a larger crop. Early spuds like Swift and Rocket may be ready for harvest. Once the crop flowers and the stems begin to wither it indicates the crop is ready. Spuds require plenty of water as the crop begins to develop. Happy Citrus To ensure you have enough juicy lemons, keep the water up to your plants while they are in flower now. Dry lemons are directly related to lack of water as the crop develops over summer. A layer of mulch works wonders, apply mulch after watering the soil. INTELLIGRO OFFERS: ✓ Expert gardening advice ✓ High quality products ✓ South-Hort growing mixes ✓ VIP rewards ✓ Buy in-store and online ✓ Handy delivery service For more information, check out our website: www.igro.co.nz or visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/igro.co.nz NEW ENTRANCE: 261 Manion Road, Weedons Access to Intelligro from Manion Road is now available from both the Weedons Ross Road end, and Curraghs Road entrances. Manion Road is the new road built between Weedons Ross Road & Jones Rd www.igro.co.nz | Phone 03 347 9415
SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi [Edition datE] 33 6 HOME PROFESSIONALS Wednesday November 29 2017 Local News Now Fire rages, homes at risk Fresh new garden centre now in action With all hands on deck, Southern Woods have now moved into their new garden centre. Their purpose built centre incorporates a brand new and improved nursery layout featuring display gardens, a fernery and a considerably larger area for their extensive range of plants. The retail area also has indoor displays, modern offices and space for customer consultation. “There’s lots more space allowing us to showcase a larger selection of our range,” says Rico Mannall, Marketing Manager of Southern Woods. With a dedicated consultation space in a comfortable sheltered environment, the centre is ideally setup so the experts at Southern Woods can spend time with customers, giving advice on plants, assisting with planting and landscape plans, quoting plant costs, and sourcing specific plants for customers. The team have many years of accumulated knowledge so are the perfect people to talk to about any horticultural matters, whether it relates to suitable species for your garden, ideal plants for shelter belts or forestry, or how to care for fruit trees, and anything in between. A wider selection of Japanese and European garden tools, are now available in a dedicated display area. You will find quality secateurs, pruning saws and loppers along with other useful equipment. This is also a handy place to pick up smaller bags of compost, fertilisers, plant foods and other planting accessories such as stakes. Southern Woods have plenty of late spring crops coming in now with a great selection of natives, edibles and ornamentals. “We have some very interesting natives and a good variety of locally sourced, hardy dry species like Pittosporums, Coprosma and Olearia which grow well in the Selwyn area,” advises Rico. Favourite edibles that flower late spring and around Christmas can also be found in store. These include berry fruits such as raspberries, grape vines, Feijoas, Chilean Guavas and Citrus trees with lemon, lime, mandarin and orange. Southern Woods have a great range of summer flowering perennials too, like Lavenders and Rosemary which are wonderful for attracting the bees, along with topiaries, standards, and an ever expanding range of cloud pruned trees. If wanting plants that will stand up to the dry summer conditions typical on the Canterbury Plains or for locating in a dry spot in your garden, South African natives like Proteas, Leucadendrons and Grevillas are ideal and Southern Woods have some stunning examples available. The team at Southern Woods have been enjoying welcoming customers into their new garden centre which can be found at 1002 Robinsons Road on the corner of State Highway One. They are open 8-5 weekdays, 9-5 Saturdays, and 10-4 Sundays. For more information, call 0800 800 352, email firstname.lastname@example.org or www.southernwoods.co.nz, where you can also place an order for delivery locally or freighted elsewhere in New Zealand. New garden centre open! Selwyn’s plant specialists Come in and see our new retail space. - Landscaping plants for all projects - Ornamental & Specimen trees - Canterbury’s largest range of natives - Hedging & Topiaries - Fruit & Nut plants MAINSCAPE Garden Supplies Making your great outdoors greater SPRING SPECIAL Mushroom Compost $18 scoop Come and see our range of garden supplies FREE loan trailers available. Get great planting advice from our friendly team - Open 7 Days Corner SH1 & Robinsons Rd - 0800 800 352 - southernwoods.co.nz Canterbury C Decking T H Retaining Decking Timber Wall Timber & Hardware Landscaping Retaining Wall Timber Timber Trellis Landscaping Timber Residential Trellis Fencing Poles Residential and Piles Fencing Poles and Piles Visit us via our new entrance on Manion Rd 50mm Premium Bark Nuggets Excellent for your garden beds and will give it that “WOW” factor you’ve been dreaming of. Mill Bark We are here We are here Looking for a cost effective ground cover? This unscreened mill bark from the west coast has more wood in it and is great for tidying up those larger areas. It is also a good moisture retainer and suppresses weeds. HOURS H3 and We are H4 here Timber Mon-Fri: Dressed H3 and H4 Timber Timber 7am - 5pm Dressed Timber Saturday: 1543 Springs Rd OPEN 6 DAYS 8am -12pm Phone 021 241 7908 Mon-Fri 8am - 5pm, Your Local Timber Merchant EFTPOS Available Sat 8am - 3pm Your Local Timber Merchant Jason Pester 1304 Main South Road, Christchurch www.mainscapegardensupplies.co.nz Your Local Timber Merchant email@example.com Jason Pester 1304 Main 03 3477465 South Road, Christchurch 03 3477032 Jason firstname.lastname@example.org Pester 1304 Main South P 03 Road, 3477465 Christchurch F 03 3477032Mainscape Garden Supplies email@example.com P 03 3477465 F 03 3477032 Urban Section Urban Section HOURS Mon Fri: HOURS 7am 5pm Saturday: Mon - Fri: 8am- 7am - 12pm 5pm Saturday: 8am- 12pm Weedons Ross Rd Weedons Weedons Ross Ross Rd Rd to Rolleston to Rolleston Berketts Rd Berketts Berketts Rd Rd Trents Rd Trents Trents Rd Rd Main South Rd / SH1 Main South Rd // SH1 Punga (Ponga) Logs Punga fences are useful for garden edges, vegetable garden box frames, (decorative) retaining walls, garden screens, shelters and sound proofing, pergolas, feature designs including native features. 5-12mm & 12-20mm Springfield Lime Chip Orange/yellow chip for paths, patios or driveways. That will crush down over time.