Timeline for the best kumaras
soups and stews. with dry potting mix or sphagnum moss to stop them rolling around. Store in a cool place. Begonias grown in the ground can be left in warm areas. Otherwise lift the tubers before the first frost and store as above. In late August put the tubers (concave side up) in a bright spot out of direct sunlight to sprout. Barely cover the sprouted tubers with fresh potting mix and begin the cycle all over again. problems. Drosophila have a keen sense of smell for the rotting fruit where they breed and the fungi that the larvae feed on. If you see them swarming around your tomatoes or fruit trees, take a closer look. Chances are there’ll be bird-pecked or over-ripe fruit, a fungal disease or a drain blocked with rotting leaves.
Don’t worry about fruit flies in the compost bin or the worm farm. They are just getting on with their recycling job. (Avoid a faceful of tiny flies when you lift the lid by burying fresh scraps under older material.)
In the kitchen, keep things under control by cleaning up the fruit bowl and vege bin. Also watch for spills around your bokashi bin or compost bucket, unrinsed bottles in the recycling bin and pet food bowls.
Make a trap for blowflies but bait it with fruit juice, wine or a piece of fruit or a spoonful of jam in a little water. Add a drop of detergent to lower the surface tension. The flies are lured in but can’t get out and eventually drown. 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: getgrowing.co.nz
Beetroot, carrots, coriander, leeks, spring onions, lettuce, radishes, spinach and silverbeet can be grown from seed but transplant broccoli, cabbages and cauli seedlings. It’s worth making an extra effort when planting seedlings into dry soil. Stand the punnet in a weak solution of fertiliser or worm wee until no air bubbles appear. Fill the planting hole with water and allow to drain. Firm the soil around the roots of the seedlings and water again. Mulch well. Water deeply so that the roots grow downwards from the start, safe from hot weather and drying winds.