NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Handy Hint -

Alexan­ders, parsnips, car­rots and fen­nel that set their seed from late spring on­wards re­pro­duce best when their seeds hit the ground while still ten­der, rather than later on when the seeds have hard­ened. Sweet ci­cely ( Myrrhis odor­ata – pic­tured above) is per­haps the most strik­ing ex­am­ple of a bi­en­nial from the api­aceae fam­ily. This flow­er­ing herb, whose leaves can be used to sweeten dishes, can keep a you wait­ing for over a year for re­pro­duc­tion by seed, if those seeds are left to turn black and hard. Many of them will still sprout, but not for a while.

Weed-free zone

Get your fruit trees set up for up­com­ing hot, dry pe­ri­ods. Keep ar­eas around trees weed free so they don’t com­pete for wa­ter. Use a non-resid­ual weed killer out to the drip line. Once it takes ef­fect, ap­ply a mulch to thwart their re­turn. While all fruit trees ap­pre­ci­ate mulch ap­plied at the base, young trees, with root

sys­tems still get­ting es­tab­lished, will es­pe­cially ben­e­fit. Sprin­kle the wet­ting agent Sat­u­raid on the soil to the drip line, to help soil re­tain wa­ter, be­fore you ap­ply your mulch. Make sure the mulch is not touch­ing the trunk, or the trunk may rot. Choose your mulch care­fully as some, like hay and straw, can bring in weed seeds with them.

Gar­den­ing by the moon Do odd jobs around the gar­den, but don’t sow or trans­plant. Last quar­ter

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