Plenty to plant dur­ing win­ter

Matamata Chronicle - - Gardening - RACHEL OLD­HAM


• If your com­post isn’t break­ing down, the heap might not be in the ideal spot. The best place for com­post heaps is a warm, sunny space to aid de­com­po­si­tion.

• Slimy com­post is often a sign that your heap is out of bal­ance and has too much ni­tro­gen-rich ma­te­rial. The most com­mon cul­prit is grass clip­pings which get com­pacted and be­come a smelly mess. To com­bat this, add smaller amounts of clip­pings or al­ter­nate in lay­ers with car­bon-rich ma­te­rial such as dry leaves, twigs, straw, card­board and shred­ded pa­per to al­low more air to cir­cu­late.

• En­sure your gar­den hose is long enough to reach your com­post heap. Too much wa­ter isn’t good for com­post, but nei­ther is al­low­ing it to be­come too dry. Dig down a lit­tle to check the mois­ture lev­els and give a spray with the hose if re­quired. This col­umn is adapted from the weekly e-zine, get grow­ing, from New Zealand Gar­dener mag­a­zine. For gar­den­ing ad­vice de­liv­ered to your inbox ev­ery Fri­day, sign up for Get Grow­ing at: get­grow­ per­son to en­joy these de­li­cious berries all sum­mer. Plant in a sunny spot with free-drain­ing, fer­tile soil. Dur­ing win­ter, crowns can rot if they get too wet so dig in plenty of com­post at plant­ing time. If you grow straw­ber­ries in pots or berry tow­ers (pic­tured), an easy op­tion is to plant them into Dal­tons Straw­berry Mix – it has all the nutri­ents they need. Sum­mer is still a long way off, but if you plant straw­ber­ries now, they will be in flower by the mid­dle of Au­gust and you should get your first taste around midOc­to­ber.

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