Epic kale 200/ Spe­cials!

Plant this dar­ling of leafy greens now to en­sure a healthy sup­ply over win­ter, writes Mary Lovell-smith. 0Off Open­ing

The Dominion Post - Your Weekend (Dominion Post) - - Gardening -

EDI­BLES

• Sow broad­beans and plant gar­lic. • Plant kale, for a tasty sup­ply of greens over win­ter, and a change from silverbeet. Per­pet­ual spinach is also a win­ter-hardy green. • Any clear ground may be limed in prepa­ra­tion for spring – about a handful per square me­tre is ad­e­quate. • Spread com­post onto as­para­gus beds. • Give leeks a side-dress­ing of fer­tiliser. • Take hard­wood cut­tings of soft fruit • Plant fruit trees and fruit bushes.

OR­NA­MEN­TALS

• In milder ar­eas, sweet­peas may still be sown – in

rich, free-drain­ing soil in a sunny spot. • Move any pots of ten­der plants to frost-free spots, such as un­der eaves (prefer­ably on the north-fac­ing side of a build­ing), on porches or in glasshouses. Other ten­der plants in the ground may be needed to be cov­ered with frost cloth. These in­clude young cit­rus, bougainvil­lea, hibis­cus, fig and fuch­sia. • Take root cut­tings of plants that nat­u­rally pro­duce new shoots from their roots. These in­clude peren­ni­als such as acan­thus, Ja­panese anemone, echinops, Ori­en­tal poppy, phlox, prim­ula and ver­bas­cum; and more woody species or climbers, such as camp­sis, chaenome­les (Ja­panese flow­er­ing quince), clero­den­drum, li­lac, potato vine and robinia. This is best done late au­tumn to early win­ter when the plants are en­ter­ing, or in, dor­mancy. • To pre­vent stress on turf, lawns should be cut longer dur­ing the cooler months – about 5mm longer is enough. The op­ti­mum length (ap­par­ently) for a lawn is be­tween 2cm-4cm. • House plants gen­er­ally need less wa­ter over win­ter, so re­duce their in­take.

GEN­ERAL

• Try not to walk on soil too much if it is too wet

as it com­pacts it and can dam­age its struc­ture. • Turn the com­post heap. If it is not cov­ered then cover to pro­tect from the win­ter rains. Cor­ru­gated iron, a tarp or sheet of black plas­tic will do the trick.

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