NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Growing Tips -

Al­mond trees have some of the ear­li­est blos­soms, start­ing in late win­ter, so they are best planted in re­gions where frosts are not com­mon dur­ing July and Au­gust, oth­er­wise pro­tec­tion with frost cloth will be needed. Al­monds are not only pretty and pro­duc­tive, they’re very easy to grow. Va­ri­eties for home gar­dens in­clude ’Mono­vale’ and ’All-in-one’, both self-fer­tile va­ri­eties grow­ing 3-4m tall. ’All-in-one’ is ideal for north­ern ar­eas as it needs less win­ter chill­ing than oth­ers. Dwarf ’Gar­den Prince’ is per­fect for small gar­dens and pots, grow­ing to just 1m.

Hunt for frost traps

Are your hedges do­ing more harm than good? While hedges and fences can pro­tect plants from wind, they can also block air flow and cre­ate freez­ing points where frost col­lects, caus­ing dam­age to even moder­ately frost-ten­der plants. A patch of morn­ing mist con­gre­gat­ing at ground level, when other ar­eas

have cleared, is a good in­di­ca­tor of a frost pocket. Prun­ing a thick hedge can help, but it may be nec­es­sary to cre­ate a gap by re­mov­ing one or two plants. Top­ping also re­duces the amount of shade cre­ated by a hedge and lets in win­ter sun to thaw out any frost on the ground. Make sure you have small open­ings in fences too.

Vi­tal­ity’s ris­ing and con­di­tions im­prov­ing for the sow­ing of leafy veg­eta­bles. Cul­ti­vate to get your plot ready and mix ma­tured com­post into your gar­den soil. Sow root crops if soil con­di­tions al­low. Gar­den­ing by the moon New moon 2:49 PM

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