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

Chit­ting’s just an­other word for sprout­ing. Lay seed spuds out in a tray, box or egg car­ton in a warm, well lit spot in­doors. Over the next few weeks, the eyes will bulge and be­gin to grow. When the sprouts are 1-2cm long, you can pop them into the soil know­ing that they will hit the ground run­ning in spring. If you have a glasshouse, tun­nel­house or sunny con­ser­va­tory, you can plant seed pota­toes in pots or buck­ets now. But don’t plant out­doors yet as frost will kill them.

Mulch to sup­press weeds

There’s less than one month un­til the official start of spring, which means there’s only a few weeks left be­fore the in­evitable in­va­sion of an­nual weeds. If you have va­cant beds, cover the soil now with a thick layer of com­post, fine bark, tree mulch, pea straw or news­pa­per to sup­press weed growth – stop­ping

weeds be­fore they have a chance to grow. Mulching is one of the quick­est and most ef­fec­tive things you can do to pro­tect, en­rich and main­tain the health of your soil. As a bonus, it’ll help warm the soil prior to spring sow­ing.

Har­vest leafy win­ter crops. Cul­ti­vate, don’t sow. Vi­tal­ity is low. Sow root crops out of doors, if soil is not too wet. Gar­den­ing by the moon Last quar­ter Sow more root crops such as car­rots, gar­lic and shal­lots.

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