what to do in the gar­den in may

NZ Lifestyle Block - - IN JANE’S GARDEN -

• Win­ter prun­ing of fruit trees can be­gin once the leaves drop off and the trees en­ter their dor­mant phase. At the very least, cut out dead or dis­eased and criss­cross­ing branches that will im­pede light get­ting into the heart of the tree.

• Fin­ish late har­vest­ing of any­thing that cold wet weather is go­ing to de­stroy.

• Pre­pare gar­lic plant­ing ground with lime, then in a few weeks add bro­ken down ma­nures and com­post.

• Sort the gar­lic, add new strains and swap with friends whose gar­lic crops are amaz­ing.

there are so many great types of gar­lic – what will you plant for 2016?

• In tem­per­ate ar­eas con­tinue to plant broccoli seeds which will slowly grow over win­ter and be ready to eat next spring; it’s easy at this time of year due to the lack of cater­pil­lars.

• Pre­pare for the cold by hav­ing frost pro­tec­tion ready: cloches, frost cloth and move­able shel­ters will all help more frag­ile plants sur­vive the cold.

• Green salad good­ies can also be planted out for adding in large hand­fuls to soups and casseroles. Cos let­tuce, mizuna, chervil, rocket and cress are all tasty. Keep them warm with the help of a plas­tic-cov­ered cloche or plant them in a sunny spot with a frost cloth shel­ter around them to max­imise warmth and of­fer pro­tec­tion.

• If you live in a re­ally cold area, bean sprouts or mi­cro greens in a warm kitchen will con­tinue the pro­duc­tion of fresh food for you through win­ter.

JANE BELLERBY lives in Golden Bay at the tip of the South Is­land with part­ner Brett. She loves to gar­den, to run with her dog Sam and to ride her horses.

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