Gar­den­ing

Spring has fi­nally ar­rived! We can watch the gar­den awake from its win­ter slum­ber and have the op­por­tu­nity to sow and grow so many fab­u­lous plants. Happy spring gar­den­ing ev­ery­one!

Horowhenua Chronicle - - LOCAL CLASSIFIEDS -

Grow your own beau­ti­ful blue­ber­ries

If home grown, freshly picked blue­ber­ries sound tempt­ing, then it’s time to find a spot at your place for a blue­berry bush or two. Blue­ber­ries gen­er­ally pre­fer warm days and cool nights. Some va­ri­eties re­quire higher lev­els of chill­ing hours, so choose a blue­berry that’s suited to your cli­mate.

Blue­ber­ries pre­fer an acidic, well-drained soil. In ar­eas with al­ka­line soil (a pH higher than 7), ap­pli­ca­tions of Yates Soil Acid­i­fier Liquid Sul­fur ev­ery month will help lower the soil pH. Blue­ber­ries can also be grown very suc­cess­fully in pots. Choose a good qual­ity pot­ting mix, such as Yates Pre­mium Pot­ting Mix, and a large 40cm to 50cm di­am­e­ter pot to give them enough room to grow.

Blue­ber­ries will ben­e­fit from reg­u­lar ap­pli­ca­tions of a com­plete plant food dur­ing spring. Yates Thrive Straw­berry & Berry Fruit Liquid Plant Food is ideal for blue­ber­ries as it’s for­ti­fied with ex­tra potas­sium to en­cour­age lots of flow­ers and de­li­cious berries.

Spe­cial man­darins

As the main man­darin sea­son draws to a close, one of the last va­ri­eties bear­ing fruit dur­ing early spring is Richard spe­cial man­darins. They have large sweet juicy fruit that are easy to peel, as well as be­ing packed with vi­ta­min C good­ness!

Richard spe­cial man­darin trees have lovely bright green fo­liage and grow to around 3m tall. They pre­fer grow­ing in warm spot (though will tol­er­ate light frosts) and need a sunny lo­ca­tion with well drained soil. You can also try grow­ing a Richard spe­cial in a large con­tainer (a 500 mm pot is ideal) filled with good qual­ity pot­ting mix such as Yates Pre­mium Pot­ting Mix.

Early spring is an ideal time to plant a new man­darin tree, along with all the other fan­tas­tic types of citrus. When plant­ing a new citrus tree into the ground, mix some Yates Thrive Nat­u­ral Blood & Bone into the bot­tom of the plant­ing hole. Yates Thrive Nat­u­ral Blood & Bone im­proves the qual­ity of the soil and sup­plies the newly planted man­darin with gen­tle, or­ganic nu­tri­ents as it es­tab­lishes. It’s also boosted with root pro­mot­ing New Zealand seaweed.

Keep the new tree well wa­tered, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing its first sum­mer. Ap­ply­ing a layer of mulch, such as bark chips, around the root zone will help keep the soil moist and pro­tect the top soil and shal­low root sys­tem. Keep the mulch around 5cm away from the trunk, so that the trunk it­self doesn’t stay moist.

Man­darins, like other citrus, are heavy feed­ers and re­quire lots of nu­tri­ents to sup­port all the fo­liage, flow­ers and de­vel­op­ing fruit. From spring un­til the man­darins are har­vested, feed ev­ery one to two weeks with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food. Di­lute 2 cap­fuls into 9 litres of wa­ter and ap­ply around the root zone.

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