NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Garden Tasks This Week -

Sat­suma man­darins are ripen­ing en masse now, so cover your trees with mesh net­ting to stop op­por­tunis­tic birds peck­ing holes in the fruit. A sin­gle peck is enough to cause the whole fruit to start per­ish­ing and pecked fruit won’t keep once picked. When har­vest­ing, al­ways cut with se­ca­teurs – don’t pull – so their “belly but­ton” stem stays in­tact. This helps them last longer in your fruit bowl. Cut the stems just above a side bud to keep the out­side fo­liage of the canopy neat and not too dense.

Plant Brus­sels sprouts

You can still plant seedlings now but they won’t heart up un­til late spring or early sum­mer as they take 4-5 months to ma­ture. You can help your crop along with fort­nightly ap­pli­ca­tions of or­ganic liq­uid fer­tiliser. Do this now, while the weather’s still warm-ish. Cov­er­ing seedlings with a cloche/

poly­tun­nel is also use­ful in speed­ing up es­tab­lish­ment. When plants are 30-40cm tall and the buds up their upright stalks are start­ing to swell, pinch out the grow­ing tip at the top of the plant (in the mid­dle of the tuft of green leaves). After that, they’ll ex­pend all their en­ergy on fat­ten­ing the sprouts. .

Plant flow­er­ing bulbs that suit an au­tumn plant­ing. Ex­tra-keen grow­ers of gar­lic can pop some cloves in now too but don’t sow plants that pro­duce their edi­ble parts above the ground. The full moon beams down upon the first few days of May, and lit­tle can be done by way of seed sow­ing dur­ing this phase. Cul­ti­vate and dream. Gar­den­ing by the moon It is time for ac­tion but not for sow­ing. Weed, tidy, cul­ti­vate, build and make com­post.

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