NZ House & Garden - - GARDENS -

To deal with rub­bish: I don’t make com­post as such. I make crème brûlée! Our free-range chooks deal to all our food waste and spent crops and give us eggs in re­turn, while pulled weeds and prun­ings are just piled up out of sight un­til they rot down enough to be dug back into the soil.

I don’t use pes­ti­cides or fungi­cides: But we do use her­bi­cide on the drive­way. I keep the gravel gar­den tidy with Ki­wicare Weed Weapon Nat­u­ral Power, an or­ganic fatty acid spray that stinks to high heaven but makes the weeds shrivel up be­fore your eyes. It’s a mir­a­cle cure; pre­vi­ously I used to hand-weed the whole area.

We’re lucky: I don’t need to keep bees be­cause our neigh­bours are bee-keep­ers, so our gar­den is full of their busy bees. When they got their hives, our plum har­vest went through the roof.

When things go wrong: We make mulch. The great thing about a coun­try gar­den is that you can re­cy­cle your mis­takes. Once a year my hus­band hires an in­dus­trial-grade mulcher and we make a moun­tain of mulch that sits for a full year be­fore be­ing shov­elled out by the bar­rowload to keep the weeds down.

This month I’m sow­ing: ‘Golden Nugget’ bush pump­kins, ‘Iznik Mini’ snack cu­cum­bers, ‘Blue Lake Run­ner’ beans, ‘Med­ley’ spinach, ‘Detroit Red’ beet­root, co­rian­der, corn and car­rots.

Lynda Hallinan

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