New year, new gar­den­ing

The Tribune (NZ) - - GARDENING - WALLY RICHARDS

Wel­come back to a new cal­en­dar year of gar­den­ing. The gar­den­ing year it­self is ac­tu­ally half way through, start­ing on June 1 last year.

The long­est day may have passed, but there is still am­ple time to plant more veg­eta­bles, though new plant­ings of ten­der crops such as toma­toes will need a glasshouse.

Plant leeks and bras­sica seedlings now for au­tumn and win­ter har­vest. Pro­tect bras­si­cas with Neem Tree Gran­ules in the plant­ing hole and on the soil sur­face and use crop cover to keep but­ter­flies away.

Quick grow­ing salad crops, mainly let­tuce, radish and spring onions, can be planted for suc­ces­sion – a few plants ev­ery two weeks for a cou­ple of months.

Win­ter flow­er­ing plants will be ap­pear­ing in gar­den shops soon and once they do, plant out for those early dis­plays. Check spring bulbs lifted last year to en­sure they are sound. Throw away soft ones to pre­vent rots af­fect­ing healthy bulbs. Plant­ing out will start about March if con­di­tions are suit­able.

Spring was not kind for many gar­den­ers (in­clud­ing my­self). Ex­tremes of tem­per­a­ture with cold winds, meant

Prob­lems?

Phone 0800 466464 Gar­den Pages and News at www.gar­de­news.co.nz

that ten­der plants sulked.

As the weather set­tled in De­cem­ber, toma­toes, cu­cum­bers, pump­kins, corn, pep­pers, straw­ber­ries and roses re­sponded and have been grow­ing well since then. Clearer skies this sea­son have meant more di­rect sun­light hours which has made a dif­fer­ence to corn and flow­er­ing of pump­kins and cu­bits.

I amim­pressed with my tomato plants and new tamar­il­los. I am­tri­alling sil­i­con cell strength­en­ing prod­ucts in co­or­di­na­tion with yel­low sticky cards and so far, the only psyl­lids I have seen are on the sticky cards. If the toma­toes carry on with­out psyl­lid dam­age into late au­tumn, I can give the thumbs up to this new an­tipest pro­gramme.

Most of read­ers’ tomato prob­lems turned out to be psyl­lids or her­bi­cide dam­age from pur­chased compost.

Tips for get­ting the most out of your gar­dens for the new year in­clude this bit of 3500 year-old wis­dom: ‘‘Upon this hand­ful of soil our sur­vival de­pends. Hus­band it and it will grow our food, our fuel and our shel­ter and sur­round us with beauty. Abuse it and the soil will col­lapse and die, tak­ing hu­man­ity with it." - Vedas San­skrit Scrip­ture 1500 BC

The soil is a mass of liv­ing mi­crobes and fungi along with many other soil dwellers such as earth worms. Your gar­dens and con­tain­ers will pro­duce healthy rich pro­duce if you sim­ply hus­band the soil.

This means not de­stroy­ing the soil life with chem­i­cal fer­tilis­ers, chem­i­cal sprays, or weed­killers in­clud­ing glyphosate.

Think about not wa­ter­ing your gar­dens with chlo­ri­nated tap wa­ter. In­stead re­move the chlo­rine with a 10-mi­cron car­bon bonded fil­ter and hous­ing.

Use an­i­mal ma­nures. Chicken ma­nure along with prod­ucts Cal­cium & Health, Rok Solid and Magic Botanic Liq­uid, al­low the soil life to grow and re­store soil health. My­cor­rcin also feeds soil life in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tions and al­low­ing plants to feed bet­ter and grow stronger.

Re­move dis­ease (pathogens) from your soil with Ter­racin, a new nat­u­ral prod­uct.

If you per­sist though in hav­ing a chem­i­cal gar­den, us­ing th­ese prod­ucts will not make an iota of dif­fer­ence.

PHOTO: FAIRFAX NZ

There is still time to plant a suc­ces­sion of salad greens for har­vest­ing through un­til au­tumn.

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