Home' The Tribune : December 14th 2011 Contents 22 THE TRIBUNE, DECEMBER 14, 2011
Tides (Foxton Beach) Sun & Moon (Palmerston North)
(rise & set) Moon
(rise & set)
Cloudy, with occasional rain developing in
the afternoon or evening. Northeast winds
© Copyright Meteorological Service of New Zealand Limited 2011
18 Dec (1:48PM)
Periods of rain, possibly heavy about the
ranges, easing to showers later. Gusty
northeast winds easing.
Occasional showers. Northwest winds
Showers. Southerlies developing.
Partly cloudy with little wind.
Showers with southeasterlies.
Fine with southeasterlies.
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S 8:44PM R 11:43PM
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1 Jan (7:15PM)
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For the latest weather
Plant now for winter vege harvest
Winter fortification: The sun is shining but it is time to think about planting
winter vegetables such as leeks.
Here is a suggestion for a Christmas
gift for a family member or friend.
Purchase a citrus tree from your
garden centre along with a large
container (about 45 litres) and a bag
of compost. Total cost would be
between $30 and $50, depending on
the type of container.
Plant the citrus tree in the con-
tainer using the compost with some
blood and bone and sheep manure
pellets along with a handful of soil
mixed in the lower part of the con-
tainer, where the tree s roots are
going to sit.
Back fill with more compost.
Leave about 30 millimetres between
the top of the compost and the rim
of the container, which allows for
Place outside in full sun until you
are ready to wrap and present.
You can also plant four lettuce
seedlings, one at each of the cardi-
nal points of the container.
Alternatively four herbs such as
thyme, sage, marjoram and chives
can be planted at the four points.
I have several citrus trees grow-
ing in containers and they produce a
good harvest of fruit each year.
We are in the middle of the
gardening season with the longest
day next Wednesday, which means
we are heading towards the shortest
day only six months away.
Gardeners recognise this as
important if they want to have a
garden of vegetables to harvest in
the middle of winter.
It is over the next three months
that all your winter crops should be
planted and most in the next one to
As you harvest your summer
crops then in go the winter crops,
after you have put a good dose of
manure over the garden, sprinkled
some Rok Solid and Ocean Solids,
then covered with purchased com-
post. If you purchase a top brand
such as Daltons or Oderings the
compost should be weed-free and
free of herbicides.
Likely you are going to be plant-
ing brassicas (cabbages etc) so
sprinkle lime over the area and
place Neem granules in the planting
hole and on the surface of the soil.
Winter brassicas have to grow
through the worst time for white
The Neem granules are a great
solution for this -- the caterpillars
don t get past the first bite stage
after hatching out of their egg case.
The granules on the soil under
the plants should be refreshed about
every six weeks.
If you want early leeks then they
should be planted out as soon as
possible. The ideal planting out size
is about as long and as thick as a
If the plants are small then break
them into clumps, make a deeper
hole and half-fill with chook
manure, place a little soil on the top
of this, then the clump of little
Every week water some liquid
chook manure and Magic Botanic
Liquid over the clumps until they
get to a better size for lifting and
It is also a good time to plant
some late tomatoes, sweet corn and
cucumbers so that as your older
plants start to fizz there will be
fresh ones producing into winter.
If you don t have room in gardens
then plant in larger containers
using purchased compost with ani-
mal or chook manure added.
A good planting of silverbeet
about now will give you heaps to
crop right through winter.
Silverbeet is usually free of most
insect pests problems and if not
planted too close together so there is
good air circulation, then leaf dis-
eases will be reduced. Harvesting
the larger outer leaves on a regular
basis will also assist in better
growth and fewer problems.
Sprays of Magic Botanic Liquid
and Mycorrcin on a two weekly fre-
quency will help keep plants
healthy and growing better. Great
on your strawberries as it will
increase the berry size and the
plants will crop longer.
Wherever you see pest insects, get
onto controlling them as quickly as
Sprays of Neem Tree Oil will help
keep the pests at bay without hurt-
ing beneficial insects.
The oil will also help protect
against a number of leaf diseases
such as black spot and rust.
It apparently helps keep possums
and rabbits off roses and other
plants and is great for fleas on
If you add Key Pyrethrum to the
oil you have a fast knock down and
If you are not going away this
summer, hopefully you can spend
some time gardening. If neighbours
or friends are going away you could
offer to check their gardens and
It is also good to pick any ripe
fruit while doing this as either the
birds will be encouraged to peck the
fruit or it could rot where it is and
cause premature rotting to other
Well, that s my story -- when I
spot some big ripe strawberries and
the people are away on holiday, I
am just protecting the rest of the
If you have a gardening problem,
ring Wally Richards on 357 0606,
email email@example.com or
send a stamped addressed envelope
to P O Box 489, Palmerston North.
Get all creative with your garden containers
Before: What to plant is the question.
After: A playful purple combination is
A reader seeks suggestions for a
The planting behind it is quite
bland, so we would like a playful
combination of plants with some
colour and different textures.
Planting principles for containers
and planters are the same as for
garden beds. For large pots select
something tall, like phormium (flax)
as the centrepiece, combine it with
horizontal or weaving plants such
as impatiens, and finally add some
A similar basic planting scheme,
repeated a couple of times, can be
used in a rectangular planter like
the one in the photo. For something
less predictable, but still coherent,
start by choosing plants with vari-
ous textural qualities that fit within
a similar colour scheme.
In the drawing I have chosen
shades of purple -- Lavandula stoe-
chas (french or spanish lavender),
Allium schoenoprasum (chives), the
cascading Convolvulus sabatius,
and Salvia officinalis Purpurea
A touch of yellow, the complemen-
tary colour of purple, is added in the
form of sedum Gold Mound , and in
the flowers of Helichrysum itallicum
(curry plant). The large green leaves
of Bergenia cordifolia provide good
colour and textural contrast with
the fine-leafed plantings.
If you would like suggestions for a
problem area in your garden and to
take advantage of the free design
service offered by Wilmien Brascamp,
from First Nature Landscape Design,
email a high resolution photo of your
garden to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include your name and address.
Photos can also be posted to Scene
Outside, The Tribune, P O Box 3,
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