PRO­TECT BRAS­SICA HEADS

NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Growing Tips -

Hail storms oc­cur sud­denly and of­ten without warn­ing. Try this on your broc­coli and cauliflow­ers and you’ll be re­warded with full, un­dam­aged heads should it hail. Ty­ing good-sized leaves over broc­coli and cauli heads will save you the dis­ap­point­ment of that coleslaw-in-the-raw ef­fect brought on by fall­ing ice. If you pre­dicted frosts and used buck­ets, laun­dry bas­kets or rub­bish bins to cover your crop for a tem­po­rary mea­sure (place a brick or heavy ob­ject on top to stop them blow­ing away), be sure to re­move them once the storm has passed so your plants don’t over­heat.

Start your toma­toes

It’s early, but not too early if you’re ob­sessed! Tomato fa­nat­ics and ad­ven­tur­ous souls start sow­ing seeds now. But don’t try this at home un­less you can do it in a warm, light spot in­doors. Sow toma­toes in peat pots and cover with pa­per un­til the seeds have

sprouted. Start­ing now means your plants will be a good size by the time the ground has warmed up enough to plant them out­side. Oc­to­ber is the rule of green-thumb, but use your dis­cre­tion if you are get­ting cold nights still, or pro­tect your plants at night with a cloche.

First quar­ter Sow any­thing that pro­duces leaves and flow­ers above ground that can cope with a win­ter start in life. Sow let­tuce un­der glass, and take hard­wood cut­tings. Gar­den­ing by the moon

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