Home' The Tribune : February 8th 2012 Contents 19
THE TRIBUNE, FEBRUARY 8, 2012
Tides (Foxton Beach) Sun & Moon (Palmerston North)
(rise & set) Moon
(rise & set)
Fine weather with southeasterlies.
© Copyright Meteorological Service of New Zealand Limited 2012
8 Feb (10:54AM)
Fine weather.Westerly breezes developing.
Drizzle developing with northwesterlies,
clearing at night.
A few showers and fine spells.Westerlies
Showers with not much wind.
Fine weather. Southerlies.
Fine weather. Southerlies.
S 8:30PM R 8:17PM
S 8:29PM R 8:49PM
S 8:28PM R 9:20PM
S 8:27PM R 9:52PM
S 8:25PM R 10:26PM
S 8:24PM R 11:04PM
S 8:23PM R 11:47PM
22 Feb (11:35AM)
15 Feb (6:04AM)
1 Mar (2:21PM)
For the latest weather
Next to the front door of the house
in the photo is a small patio with a
view to a lovely garden.
The reader would like to increase
the size of this patio and is also con-
sidering the addition of a pergola.
To make the patio less cramped
and more user-friendly, it is
extended with a timber deck.
Steps down to the lawn link the
area with the rest of the garden.
There is a clear division between
the steps to the front door and those
to the patio.
In general, I recommend separ-
ating areas with different purposes
Here, the separation between the
front door area and the outdoor sit-
ting space is achieved with the
planter between the two sets of
steps, and also with the pergola that
only covers'' the patio.
In other cases, for example when
trying to separate a utility area
with a clothesline and vegetable
garden from an outdoor living space,
a stronger separation -- such as a
hedge or a fence -- is needed.
The raised planters also solve the
issue related to the height-levels of
the patio and the roof.
Without the planters, the pergola
posts would dominate the front of
the house due to their height.
With the planters, the posts are in
proportion with the rest of the
If you would like suggestions for a
problem area in your garden and take
advantage of the free design service
offered by Wilmien Brascamp, from
First Nature Landscape Design, email
a high-resolution photo of your garden
Please include your name and
address. Photos can also be posted
to Scene Outside, The Tribune,
P O Box 3, Palmerston North.
Give soil a regular health check-up
Gardeners can spend a lot of
time and money combating
diseases in their gardens.
Many of the conventional chemi-
cal sprays can be likened to some of
the medications put out by the phar-
maceutical industry -- they give
temporary relief without curing the
Many of the chemical sprays we
use on our gardens cause more
problems than they cure, as they
can kill off the beneficial microbes
and fungi, leaving our plants more
vulnerable to disease attacks.
It's a bit like the antibiotics we
take which weaken our immune sys-
tem leaving us more vulnerable to
other health issues.
When it comes to microbes/bac-
teria, good or bad, many have very
short life spans, some as short as six
This means they can buildup
resistance to chemical sprays in a
few hundred generations.
Some have more than 4000
generations in six weeks.
In the garden we tend to find tra-
ditional chemical sprays lose their
effectiveness, including their ability
to control the diseases they are
meant to prevent.
Instead they end up harming the
beneficial microbes essential to the
health of the plants.
Nature has developed what we
call plant diseases, as a way to
remove the weak and unhealthy
plants, starting the conversion or
composting of them, back into food
for other healthier plants.
Thus diseases in plants are a sign
there is a problem and the disease is
only the cleaner, at the beginning of
a composting cycle.
We need to find out what problem
the plant has and, if possible, rem-
edy it so the plant will grow healthy.
It could be one of many things,
such as inadequate or too much
moisture or sun light, soil condition,
the use of chemicals -- both fertiliser
and sprays including herbicides,
chlorinated tap water, lack of
nutrients and elements.
We need to tackle the cause not
Annual plants only have a short
life; they grow, mature and produce
seeds then die.
Once they mature and seed, we
expect diseases such as powdery
mildew to attack them.
Deciduous plants such as roses
will, at season's end, be attacked to
clean up the old foliage which is of
no further use to the rose.
A perennial tree or plant that
becomes diseased tells us the plant
has an underlining health problem
which we need to address.
The first step is to ensure our gar-
dens have a healthy soil-food-web,
teeming with microbes, beneficial
fungi and worms.
Common fertilisers harm the soil
life whereas natural foods such as
manures, organic matter, calcium
etc strengthen the soil life.
Chemical sprays and chemical
herbicides harm the soil life too.
Often total avoidance of man-
made chemicals will -- over a few
seasons -- result in far healthier
plants and soil.
We can speed up the process with
applications of calcium, compost,
blood and bone and other minerals.
You should also ensure there is
adequate moisture free of chlorine
as chlorine in tap water harms
It is easy to gauge the health of
your soil by the number of worms
present when the soil is moist.
No worms, very poor soil; lots of
worms, high health soil.
There is never a need to feed your
plants, only to feed the soil and
Nature will do the rest.
This is contrary to conventional
growing where one feeds the plants,
while killing the soil life.
When worms move through the
soil they create a slime rich in nitro-
Beneficial fungi attached to the
roots of plants collect this nitrogen
and feed it to the plants in exchange
for carbohydrates (sugars).
Beneficial fungi not only extend
the plant's root collection area, they
also help prevent harmful fungi and
nematodes from attacking the roots.
The microbes in the soil convert
organic matter into food the plants
For thousands of years this sys-
tem has worked perfectly and it was
only with the introduction of super
phosphate and harmful chemicals
that man changed the natural order
Links Archive February 1st 2012 February 15th 2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page