The Leader (Tasman) - - GARDENING -


Sticky sap gums up se­ca­teurs mak­ing them hard to use and may po­ten­tially trans­mit dis­ease from plant to plant. Some se­ca­teurs can be taken apart for clean­ing and sharp­en­ing. Lay out the pieces in or­der so it’s eas­ier

to put them back to­gether. (Tak­ing pic­tures of each stage of dis­as­sem­bly is help­ful too.) Give them a wash in warm soapy wa­ter. You might need a sol­vent to re­move hard­ened sap – try meths or iso­propyl al­co­hol. I needed steel wool to re­move the dirt-in­grained star jas­mine sap off these two pairs. The red-han­dled tool is a di­a­mond file. It’s small enough to fit be­tween the blades for a quick touch up with­out tak­ing the se­ca­teurs apart. Use a whetstone for re­ally blunt blades. Oil the sur­face and sharpen only

Ar­bor Day isn’t the only time to plant trees! All through win­ter there are calls for vol­un­teers to help at parks around the coun­try. On Queen’s Birth­day week­end I joined about 180 other vol­un­teers at a tree plant­ing day at Tawha­ranui Re­gional Park on the coast east of Matakana, north of Auck­land. To­gether we planted more than 4500 plants (mostly manuka and flax) in only a cou­ple of hours. The event

was run by the Tawha­ranui Open Sanc­tu­ary So­ci­ety Inc (TOSSI) which works in part­ner­ship with Auck­land

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