grow­ing

Ad­vice and in­spi­ra­tion from our ex­pert gar­den­ers

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Your Poultry -

Plant sprouted Jerusalem ar­ti­chokes

into well-drained soil that has been en­riched with com­post. As plants can grow 3m high and will spread, al­low for plenty of room. I rec­om­mend a sep­a­rate bed. Set in shal­low trenches about 5cm deep, 30-40cm apart, with 90-120cm be­tween rows. Sow seeds in trays for plant­ing out later: beet­root, cab­bage, cau­li­flower, cel­ery, leeks, let­tuce, onions, parsnips, silverbeet, spinach and spring onions. In warmer ar­eas sow beet­root, car­rots, radish and parsnip di­rectly in the ground. Sow early peas as the days be­come warmer. Pro­tect with bird net­ting, and cover with news­pa­per or cloth at any hint of frost. Well-sprouted early pota­toes can be planted out. Use a tun­nel house in cooler re­gions. Rhubarb cut­tings taken in win­ter will root in spring. Lift es­tab­lished plants. Use a spade to chop off a large chunk of the crown, en­sur­ing there is at least one healthy­look­ing, fat bud. Re­plant.

PRUN­ING AP­PLES

and pears or de­cid­u­ous trees this win­ter? Do so with care. If re­mov­ing large branches, al­ways cut from the un­der­side of the branch first. Cut un­til you get about a third of the way up, then prune from the top. This helps pre­vent branches from split­ting and break­ing off, caus­ing a lot of dam­age and leav­ing them open to disease.

Aap­plele andd pearer trees rees

are best pruned each year in late win­ter, be­fore any new growth starts. Prune strong branches back by a quar­ter to a third and trim back young lat­er­als (side shoots), leav­ing 3-6 buds. Prun­ing to just above an out­ward-fac­ing bud will en­sure branches grow out­wards rather than into the cen­tre of the tree. Re­move any spindly or down­ward-fac­ing branches, and branches that rub against one an­other.

It’s still of­fi­cially win­ter, but there’s plenty to do be­fore the days get longer and warmer. WORDS JANE WRIG­GLESWORTH

Con­tinue to sow broad beans.

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