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Selwyn Times: July 18, 2018

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SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Wednesday July 18 2018 33 News Menzshed members wanted • By Emily O’Connell MEN ARE being invited to go along and practice their skills at the Darfield Malvern Menzshed. The shed, which opened two months ago, already has about 20 members. Treasurer Geoff Lalor said it was “very exciting” seeing the shed open and it fits a need in the community. “It keeps a lot of older people in the retirement age involved, it keeps them off the streets,” he said. He said a number of people and organisations have contributed to the shed, some donating their equipment. “The Selwyn District Council has been very, very good in helping us get established,” Mr Lalor said. In spite of the name, the shed hopes to open for women in the near future. “It’s definitely not just for men . . . we’re trying to get it set up and operating in the beginning with men there but then we anticipate opening up to women,” Mr Lalor said. He said some of the projects members have been SKILLS: The Darfield Malvern Menzshed is welcoming new members following its opening two months ago. ​ working on include ramps for schools, stalls, seats and wooden planters for the garden. The shed is located at 26 McLaughlins Rd, Darfield. It’s open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, from 9am to 12pm. Mr Lalor said there is a cost to joining but it’s a “negotiable fee.” •For more information on the shed please visit http://menzshed.org. nz/darfield/ Backyard Critters Pesky beetles munch down on fresh fruit Mike Bowie is an ecologist who specialises in entomology (insects and other invertebrates). Each week he introduces a new species found in his backyard at Lincoln. His column aims to raise public awareness of biodiversity, the variety of living things around us. Check out the full list of invertebrates found at http://naturewatch.org. nz/projects/backyardbiodiversity-bugs-inlincoln A COMMON introduced insect you may encounter on fruit waste in your compost is the dried fruit beetle carpophilus hemipterus. The dark, 4mm long beetles have a tapered abdomen with distinctive two yellow dots. Larvae are cream FEED: The dried fruit beetle carpophilus hemipterus is a pest of fresh fruit such as figs, dates, stonefruit and grain in tropical and subtropical regions. coloured, tapered at both ends and grow to 6mm in length. This species is a pest of fresh fruit, such as figs, dates, stonefruit and grain, in tropical and subtropical regions. In temperate regions, its pest status is restricted to dried fruit. They are also known to feed on fungi and are implicated in spore transfer. Eggs are laid on damaged or rotting fruit and hatch in a matter of a few days. A full generation can take between three weeks to four months, depending on temperatures. SURF’S UP SCOTTY RAZOR ROBERTSON PROFILE KEEP IT SAFE & SECURE APRIL 2018 TJ’S CHASING GREAT ONE MORE COVER The power LINE of Perenara CALEB CLARKE Chip off the old block SUPER RUGBY’S G.O.A.T CORY JANE 6 issues (1 year) $44.50 12 issues (2 years) $79 18 issues (3 years) $115 Social Media Animal + PLUS... RRP $9.95 KEEPING WHO TABS ON MATSON 1ST XVs PLAY LIKE PROS A school boy rugby investigation SUBSCRIPTIONS FREEPHONE 0800 77 Chief 77 10 Tabai’s rugbynews.co.nz Tron tribe WHO WILL MAKE THE AB CUT? Get your perfect backyard shed! THICKER, STRONGER & MORE SECURE BIG RANGE OF GARDEN AND STORAGE SHED SIZES AND STYLES AVAILABLE CHRISTCHURCH 55 Hands Road Ph: (03) 338 9063 www.stratco.co.nz

$7.90 incl. GST 34 Wednesday July 18 2018 Gardening Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Local News Now SELWYN TIMES Fire rages, homes at risk The dirt on dianthus VIVID: (Clockwise) – Dianthus confetti grows to about 20cm. Dianthus Diana blueberry has a rich violet colour. Confetti is quite happy to grow in pots. • By Henri Ham EVERY MONTH I try to write about a couple of different plants that can be planted at the time of writing. I hope to share some information you might not know about and give some practical advice on how to plant them. This month I’ve decided to dish the dirt (so-to-speak) on dianthus. Dianthus (often called pinks) is a hardy cottage-garden flower ideal for planting in borders. This cheerful plant will be sure to provide you with many months of colour in your garden because, unlike many other flower varieties, you can plant it all year round. If you get your dianthus plants in the ground now they will do some nice growing through the rest of winter and be ready to flower in spring. In fact, two weeks ago I did just that – planted some confetti dianthus around the outside of a pot, and origami pink and white aquilegia in the middle. Come spring the pot will be a colourful and bright welcome next to my front door. Right, some more dirt on dianthus. It produces smallerthan-average flowers, that look like they have been cut with shears, on strong upright stems. And the flowers are fragrant and make excellent cut flowers for bright indoor arrangements. There are three different varieties of dianthus seedlings available – the confetti I just mentioned, blueberry and mixed. Confetti grows to about 20cm high and produces a variety of flowers in lively colours. It’s ideal for growing in pots, hanging baskets or borders of gardens. Blueberry grows a little bit taller to around 25cm and its flowers are a rich, violet colour. Its petal edges are jagged – looking lacy and frilled. Lastly, our bundle of mixed dianthus seedlings grows to approximately 20cm and produces larger, ruffled carnation-like blooms in a vibrant mix of orange, red, pink and yellow. Now, how to plant. To create a cottage garden feeling in your garden, I recommend planting an assortment of dianthus varieties in close proximity – at around 30cm spacings. Their dense evergreen foliage keeps bushy all year long and when planted they cover bare spots quickly. Dianthus cope fine with frost so you can plant them just about anywhere. Look for somewhere sunny with good drainage. Ideal companion plants to grow with dianthus are marigolds, roses, petunias, and livingstone daisies because they all like the same conditions. Once established, dianthus are easy to maintain. They are rarely struck by pests or disease and just require a little bit of care. In around spring, they will begin flowering and continue throughout summer. Regular trimming of the dead growth (just cut back a bit to encourage new growth) and removing the dead heads will reward you with two to three sets of blooms and encourage a denser crop of flowers. Lastly, on a culinary note, did you know dianthus flowers are edible? They make great decorations on cakes or bring colour to salads. An oregano occasion • By Henri Ham WITH WINTER well and truly here, casseroles stews and soups are a staple in our kitchen. To add freshness to these somewhat heavy meals, I love to use fresh winter herbs like oregano. I treat oregano in winter like I treat basil in summer – throwing it in with all things tomato based. Oregano is a perennial (it lasts longer than two years). And, if regularly trimmed and cut back in early spring by one third, it will return and produce for years. It is a pungent and spicy herb and I’m a fan of its slightly bitter taste. However, the potency of its leaves can reduce after three to four years, so at home I replant every few years. Planting oregano is easy. Plant seedlings in compost rich soil or in pots close to the kitchen. Remember to use potting mix if you’re planting in pots or containers. Short on space? Consider vertical planters to keep a variety of herbs easily accessible. Just make sure to hang them in a sunny spot. When growing oregano consider companion planting it next to your cabbages or cauliflower. Companion planting involves planting two plants in close proximity to mutually benefit each other through attracting certain insects or keeping other insect pests away. This method of planting is particularly popular with gardeners wanting to avoid the use of sprays or chemicals. Once you’ve planted your FLAVOUR: Harvest oregano before it flowers to get maximum potency. oregano give it a gentle watering in. You probably won’t need to water it much at the moment. But when the weather warms up, water two to three times per week – give a good soaking to encourage deep rooting. But don’t worry too much as oregano is a hardy herb and very forgiving if it gets neglected. Once its growth is established try drying some sprigs. Simply tie bunches together and hang upside down on the porch, or indoors in a paper bag. Cut a few holes in the bag and hang upside down until dried through. This will take one to two weeks. Once dry, run your fingers up the stalks to easily remove the leaves and store in jars. Oregano is one of the better herbs at retaining flavour potency when dried. To get maximum strength out of the leaves, harvest just before it flowers. Remember one dried teaspoon is equal to one fresh tablespoon of herbs. We all know about adding mint to summer cocktails, but have you tried hot herb teas? Add a sprig of oregano to a cup of hot water for a refreshing winter change, especially if you’re trying to cut down on caffeine. And, when the warmer weather approaches add oregano fresh to salads. The more you chop it up, the more flavoursome it will be. Oregano can be used in pasta and pizza sauces, bolognese, and on top of herby bready rolls. So, whatever the season you can always find an occasion for oregano. growing with you June 2018 | 100% Plants For winter wow Cool Choices For Colour & Contrast From swamp to sea views The journey begins with sarah the Gardener Snap it up Enter our annual Birdlife Photo Competition to win great prizes! clear the air Why groWing indoor PLAnTs is so good for you give it a grow from gArLic To chinese ArTichokes, We hAve your groWing TiPs covered the latest releases into the rose world + rose care through winter The magazine for gardeners who like to get their hands dirty SUBSCRIBE FROM $43. 50* *6 issues/6 months SUBSCRIPTIONS FREEPHONE 0800 77 77 10 WWW.GARDENER.KIWI 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 Grant Stewart Phone 0508 272 446 | www.archgola.co.nz 15 months INTEREST FREE Normal lending criteria apply