Gar­den Cal­en­dar

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Contents -

- jobs for Jan­uary

- how to grow big, fat leeks

Pro­tect let­tuce from the mid­day sun.

High heat and lack of wa­ter can cause your salad greens to de­velop a bit­ter taste. Let­tuce leaves need plenty of wa­ter to re­main sweet and crisp. Brown edges are a sure sign they’re thirsty. Wa­ter often to keep them suc­cu­lent. You can plant let­tuce in among corn or tomato plants to pro­vide them with a lit­tle shade. Sow let­tuce, rocket, radishes, spring onions and car­rots ev­ery fort­night for a con­tin­u­ous sup­ply of salad in­gre­di­ents.

Use com­frey leaves

to make your own fer­tiliser. Com­frey is nat­u­rally high in potas­sium, and toma­toes, pota­toes, cu­cum­bers and pep­pers love it. To make a nu­tri­tious tea for your plants, fill a bucket with com­frey leaves, top up with wa­ter and cover. Leave to de­com­pose for 3-5 weeks, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally (hold your nose). Strain the sludge (put it on your com­post heap) and ap­ply a so­lu­tion of half com­frey/half wa­ter around your plants. Mois­ture and sun­light have a good and bad ef­fect, depend­ing on what you’re grow­ing. Words Jane Wrig­glesworth

Seedlings of cel­ery, bras­si­cas, leeks, parsnips, swede and turnips can all be planted now.

Keep herbs cut back to en­cour­age new and ten­der growth. Nip off the tips of ma­ture basil plants to pre­vent flow­ers from form­ing.

Feed leafy veg­eta­bles reg­u­larly with a liq­uid fer­tiliser that’s high in ni­tro­gen, which is ideal for leaf pro­duc­tion.

In warmer ar­eas, dwarf and climb­ing beans can still be sown for au­tumn har­vest. Reg­u­larly lift ku­mara fo­liage to pre­vent it root­ing where leaf nodes touch the soil. This way, the plant’s en­ergy goes into pro­duc­ing tu­bers, not more fo­liage.

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Jane Wrig­glesworth is a gar­den­ing writer, blog­ger, and pub­lisher of the dig­i­tal mag­a­zine, Sweet Liv­ing. www.sweet­liv­ing­magazine.co.nz www.flam­ing­petal.co.nz

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