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Selwyn Times: September 12, 2018

30 Wednesday

30 Wednesday September 12 2018 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi SELWYN TIMES LET’S GET GARDENING The September 1st marked the official start of spring, but the weather has definitely felt like winter. That aside, the coming months are the best time to get your garden looking fabulous after the winter. Patience is required for planting out, as we can still get a late frost that could undo all of your hard work. Preparation is key with gardening, so make sure your garden beds get a freshen up, and your raised beds are cleared and prepped for the new season planting. Veggie gardens Creating a raised veggie garden If you are starting from scratch use our veggie garden mix, it is designed to be planted straight into as it has all the necessary nutrients needed to encourage healthy growth and development. For established gardens now is the time to dig through some compost and some fertiliser. If you prefer a more organic approach then use sheep pellets or blood and bone. What to grow, lettuce, carrots, beetroot, onions, celery, broccoli, peppers, coriander, beans, spinach, spring onions, peas. Growing from seeds, use our seed raising mix to raise seeds such as, carrots, radishes, peppers, peas, silverbeet, chillies, tomatoes, cucumbers. Seed Potatoes, Now is the perfect time for planting seed potatoes, there are 3 main types – we have Jersey benne & Rocket (1st early crop), Agria (2nd early crop) and Nadine (main crop). For an easy to follow guide, head to our website and use our Seed Potato Guide. Weed War Weeds love competing with your plants for space and nutrients in the garden. You will need to keep on top of removing them at this time, whilst your new plants are establishing themselves. When removing them, make sure you remove the roots as well, being careful not to spread any seeds at the same time. Lawns can be sown or repaired now. We have a handy lawn guide (under garden advice) on our website and our team would be happy to talk through any issues you may have and point you in the right direction. We also stock a very good lawn seed it both 1 & 5 Kg bags You can also fertilise your existing lawns now. Safety in the garden Spring brings the risk of legionnaires if you don’t handle potting mixes correctly. Remember to use gloves and masks and open bags in open spaces, not in enclosed areas like sheds. Dampening down the mixes before use is also recommended. Wash your hands after every session in the garden. For more information, check out our website: www.igro.co.nz or visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/igro.co.nz 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 For more information www.igro.co.nz | Phone 03 347 9415

SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Wednesday September 12 2018 31 Gardening WHILE THE indoor plant Euphorbia milii, better known as crown of thorns, can be described as ‘prickly’ it is without doubt beautiful and intriguing. It is one of those plants likely to prompt a lot of conversation with friends and family from its sunny vantage point in your lounge or sunroom. With its seriously spiky stem and poisonous sap, place your crown of thorns out of reach of children and pets, and wear gloves when attending to its branches and soil. Other than that it is an easy indoor plant to care for and, in the right location, it will reward you with gorgeous, waxy, red, yellow or pink flowers almost all year round. If you miss an occasional watering, this hardy plant is unlikely to turn up its toes. It originates from a droughtresistant country so is best watered when dry as it is used to surviving through difficult times and challenging environments. Whatever you do, though, do not overwater it. It will not thank you for it. Native to Madagascar, the history books suggest the crown of thorns was introduced to the Middle East in ancient times and its name is believed to have originated from the stems being used to adorn the head of Christ at his crucifixion. If you compare the spikes of your plant with those in famous paintings of this event, you will immediately see the similarity. Growing a crown of thorns plant outdoors in a garden in Thailand is regarded as good luck and they claim to have grown the largest specimen there. The more flowers your plant produces every year determines how much good luck you will have in that year – so growing lots of potted specimens in your home could be a very positive and rewarding move. In New Zealand it is best grown indoors in pots and needs at least three hours of direct sunshine each day. It performs best when grown in free-draining cacti and succulent mix. It requires only an occasional liquid feed throughout the year. As the days get warmer and the soil gets drier your plant will need to be watered a little more often; when it starts to get cold again less watering will be required, unless you have a heat pump or an effective fireplace that will dry your plant out quickly. In this type of atmosphere you need to water the plant accordingly. To test if your crown of thorns needs to be watered, push your finger into the potting mix and if it comes out totally dry, take the pot outside and give the soil a soaking, making sure you do not leave water in the saucer. After two years’ growth, repot your plant into a larger container so it can continue to grow and produce even more flowers and make more ‘good luck’ for you and your family. PROPAGATION If your friends and family are making noises about wanting a crown of thorns plant, it is very easy to propagate this succulent once it’s of a good size. Grab your sharp secateurs and your gardening gloves, cut off a branch from the main stem with an angular cut, remove two thirds of the foliage and the thorns (do not attempt this without good protective gloves), pop the cut end into cloning gel and plant it into fine pumice or clean river sand. Place a small plastic bag over the foliage and put the plant in your bathroom or near your shower (not in it) where it is humid, and wait until the roots have developed. Then, pot. www.gardener.kiwi Local News Now Madagascan beauty with attitude • By Shannon Hunt SIMPLE, uncluttered garden design is especially appropriate when space is limited. Whether you want a serene look or something dramatic, you can achieve it by mass planting just a few carefully chosen plant species, each with strong features. Flowers are not essential (year round good looks and healthy foliage are more important), but as seasonal highlights they can make the garden all the more interesting. Mass planting by itself can be dull. Break up the monotony by choosing an accent plant that can be repeated throughout the Fire rages, homes at risk POT PLANT: The crown of thorns likes a dry environment and three hours of sun in a day. Simple is best – don’t clutter your garden TIDY: If you are going to have a feature in your garden, make it plain. design. Planting in pots adds extra zing and makes it easy to change or relocate your accent plants when you feel like a new look, or a change between seasons. As well as accents, every garden needs a strong focal point. Often a sculpture, this could also be a piece of furniture or garden architecture, a water feature, or just one stunning plant in a spectacular pot. Container gardening is a great way to enjoy getting your hands dirty. The trend is towards simplicity – bigger pots and less of them. Classy containers deserve classy plants, and those that last the distance. For pots in prime positions choose plants with a strong well-defined shape, preferably symmetrical so that they look good from all angles. When we plant whole groups of a few carefully chosen varieties, the effect is bold and deliberate, bringing strength and character to the garden. But not all plants are suitable for mass planting. Anything with a downtime is going to be a blot on your landscape for a large part of the year. So the first priority is to choose a plant that looks great for at least most of the year. Lifestyle fencing now sold at canterbury timber and Hardware please call in for your free quote today! new product www.taitapugardentour.nz Tickets available from Eventfinda Your Local Timber Merchant NEW ENTRANCE: 167 Manion Road, Rolleston Jason Pester P 03 347 7465 F 03 347 7032 E jason@cthl.co.nz Mon-Fri: 7am-5pm Saturday: 8am-12pm canterbury c t H timber & Hardware We are here