NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Crow For Health -

After four or five years, rhubarb clumps get crowded and form smaller leaves with thin stems. Clear away most of the leaves, then di­vide the clump into two or three pieces with sev­eral buds and as much root as pos­si­ble. Big­ger chunks will es­tab­lish faster. Give your new plants a good start with the rich nutri­ents they re­quire. Dig a big hole and half fill with com­post and fer­tiliser. Old books talk about us­ing a 45cm layer of ma­nure and hand­fuls of woodash. If nei­ther of these are handy, you can eas­ily make do with home­made com­post plus half a bucket of sheep pel­lets.

Pick up fallen fruit

Ripe ap­ples and pears of­ten drop from fruit trees onto the soft mat­tress of grasses and herbs, and un­less you pick them up and bring them in­side, they’ll be­come bird food or dessert for wasps. Some may al­ready have done so, though all is not lost. If you get to

them soon enough, you can cut off the pecked and chewed bits and stew them up to go on top of your break­fast oat­meal or muesli. If left ly­ing about, the sug­ary fruits can at­tract wasps and they’re no fun to stum­ble upon or wrap a fruit-col­lect­ing hand around un­wit­tingly.

Now is the time for sow­ing and plant­ing veg­eta­bles and flow­ers! Sow bras­sica seeds and pro­tect young plants with cloches. Sow peas and broad beans and wa­ter well as they strike. Gar­den­ing by the moon New moon 1.59pm First quar­ter

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