Home' The Tribune : November 30th 2011 Contents 14 THE TRIBUNE, NOVEMBER 30, 2011
Tides (Foxton Beach) Sun & Moon (Palmerston North)
(rise & set) Moon
(rise & set)
Fine with southeasterlies.
© Copyright Meteorological Service of New Zealand Limited 2011
2 Dec (10:52PM)
Fine with light winds.
Fine with light winds.
Fine with light winds.
Showers with little wind.
Fine with northeasterlies.
S 8:30PM R 10:32AM
S 8:31PM R 11:36AM
S 8:32PM R 12:37PM
S 8:33PM R 1:37PM
S 8:34PM R 2:35PM
S 8:35PM R 3:33PM
S 8:36PM R 4:31PM
18 Dec (1:48PM)
11 Dec (3:36AM)
25 Dec (7:06AM)
For the latest weather
Easy way to attract
tui to your place
Tui time: Tui love trees with flowers that secrete nectar, and scamper squirrel-
like through the blossoms. This tui was enjoying prunus campanulata in the
Victoria Esplanade earlier this year.
Photo: ROBERT KITCHIN
I loved it at my previous
residence when at certain times of
the year I would hear a tui calling,
but as hard as I tried, I never, ever
saw the bird.
For those of us who do not have a
good range of native birds visiting
our gardens, it would be a real joy to
have a tui or two as regular visitors.
I loved it at my previous residence
when at certain times of the year I
would hear a tui calling, but as hard
as I tried, I never, ever saw the bird.
Just the other day in the super-
market, a gentleman I recognised
joined the queue and we struck up a
During the talk about gardening
(what else?) he told me that about
four years ago he planted a kowhai
tree, which had grown well.
His home is in the Palmerston
North suburb of Hokowhitu and he
found on Google a method of
attracting tui to his garden.
The method is so simple. You take
a cup of sugar (raw would be best)
and add a little water to turn it into
a sugary syrup and then you add
some red-coloured food dye.
The trick is that tui are attracted
to the colour red and my informant
told me the container they put out
(likely hung in the kowhai) has to be
refilled just about every day.
I understand that once the tui
know of a sweet delight which is
readily available they would form a
pattern of visiting.
You might need a kowhai tree or
two to make this work and you defi-
nitely need to be in a area where tui
do pass by occasionally.
On to other matters and most
importantly the problems that
gardeners are having in many areas
of the country with their tomatoes
and other plants.
The weather is unseasonal and
till it settles, most heat-loving
plants will not do so well.
This may cause blotches on foli-
age and foliage that does not have
nice green leaves.
In most cases when the weather
improves so will the plants. The
benefit with the poor weather is
that a lot of insect pests are also
affected and their populations
You can do a few things to help
struggling tomatoes and cucumbers
do better in the cold.
Firstly, give them a side dressing
of potash, which helps strengthen
growth. Avoid giving higher nitro-
gen feeds till the weather settles as
nitrogen causes soft growth which
will damage more easily.
Some gardeners tend to see that a
plant is not doing as well as
expected and they think the answer
must be lack of food and so they
pour on the tucker.
Not at all good and likely does a
lot of harm as the plant may be
forced to grow causing more dam-
Of course the other common
aspect is; it must be dry so let s
Both aspects are bad news for the
Besides the potash, water some
Magic Botanic Liquid (MBL) into
the surrounding soil as this will
help unlock minerals and elements
that the plant maybe needing.
Also spray the plant with the
Then to give the plant its own
external protection against the
elements, diseases and pests spray
all over with Vaporgard.
This will not only protect the
plant but will allow the plant to
gain more energy from the sunlight.
Strawberry plants should be pro-
ducing fruit now and looking good.
Don t forget your two-weekly spray
with Mycorrcin to increase the
season s fruit harvest by 200 to 400
per cent and make for bigger, tastier
The time of curly leaf in stone
fruit trees is just about past so a
spray all over with Vaporgard will
help restore vitality and protect the
Visit your garden centre for gift
ideas for Christmas.
It s easy to pick out a few plants,
a nice container or two, some good
compost and plant them up to give
away. Gift vouchers are great value.
If you have a gardening problem,
ring Wally Richards on 357 0606,
email firstname.lastname@example.org or
Help families have
By MICHELLE GREY
Acts of compassion are eternal; they
live forever, shining their rays
throughout the universe.
Here we are very nearly in
December. Where has the year
I spent a very pleasant half hour
or so with Methodist Social Services
manager Nici Scott-Savage, choos-
ing wee gifts for women who use the
organisation s services. Some won-
derful person had donated $110 to
be spent on Christmas presents for
women, and I had the pleasure of
helping Nici find special little things
During my time at Methodist
Social Services, one of the highlights
of each year was the giving of pres-
ents for children and to parents who
couldn t afford to celebrate
Christmas, either with gifts or
I knew that for some, every week,
(actually every day), was a big
enough challenge, but to wake up
Christmas morning and not have
anything to give your children . . .
just think about it. Imagine that
happening in your home. Imagine
howyou dfeel. . .andyouhaveto
know that those children are aware
that most other children will be sit-
ting around a tree opening their
I have to tell you I m feeling quite
emotional as I type this, because
visualising these scenes comes
easily to me.
I guess that is why I worked in
social services for so long, and why
Making a difference in people s
lives is such a wonderful thing to be
part of and it doesn t have to cost
much, usually just your time, per-
haps words of encouragement, a
smile. . .
I would like to ask two things of
you, if you have the time and the
inclination . . .
Donate a gift for a child or a
parent, wrapped in Christmas
paper, with a wee card attached say-
ing: Merry Christmas. You re
worth it! I d also like you to attach
a slip of paper to the outside of the
parcel, saying what age group it s
for, whether it s for a boy or a girl or
Mum or Dad. These presents will be
distributed by Methodist Social
Type or handwrite your favourite
inspirational quote onto a piece of
paper (coloured if you have it) 10 x
6 centimetres, which I ll laminate
and hang from our Christmas tree
You can drop these off at Inspire
Me on the corner of Rangitikei St
and The Square from 10am till 5pm,
Monday to Friday and 10am till
4pm, Saturday and Sunday.
Ultimate green election
Forget the general election -- the
most important vote of the year is
It s a Green issue, of National
interest, but not Labour intensive;
it s the annual election of New
Zealand s favourite plant.
The competition for New
Zealand s premier plant award runs
every year, and is decided by public
The public s vote helps to gauge
Kiwis opinions of what they like
most about their native plants.
Past plant candidates have been
chosen for a range of reasons includ-
ing good looks, where they come
from, and who they are associated
Last year it was a close race
between beauty and the beast.
The Chatham Islands forget-me-
not beat out the killer tree nettle in
the last few days of voting.
pohutukawa, Cook s scurvy grass,
pingao and willowherb.
New Zealand Plant Conservation
Network president Philippa Crisp
said the competition was a great
way for a nature-loving country to
say what they like best about their
In a country where we are
strongly connected to nature the
native plant election is a great way
for people to express their love of
However, the results of the com-
petition were usually unexpected,
Surprisingly, iconic plants such
as the silver fern rarely feature in
the top 10 as people have much
closer associations with other native
plants, either from the garden, their
childhood or their travels around
Voters had a wide range of plants
to choose, Ms Crisp said.
With more than 2350 different
species to choose from -- this vote is
definitely not a two-horse race.
Voting closes midday on
Saturday, December 17 --
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