Home' Northern Outlook : April 27th 2013 Contents 11
NORTHERN OUTLOOK, APRIL 27, 2013
Holding monthly meetings in Amberley
with constituents and community groups
by appointment. For a confidential appointment
MP FOR KAIKOURA
THE KAIKOURA ELECTORATE OFFICE
The Forum, Queen Street, Blenheim
Phone: 0800 COLIN MP (0800 265 466)
Fax: 03 577 6934
Book, music, and lyrics by
Musically directed by
2nd - 18th May 2013 Thurs - Sat 7:30pm Sat Matinees 2pm
Adults $25.00 Students/Seniors/Child $20.00 Group discounts available
Tickets available from:
John Harrington Showcase Jewellers,
Rangiora or online at www.ncms.co.nz
By arrangement with Hal Leonard Australia Pty. Ltd, exclusive representative of
Cameron Mackintosh and the Southbrook Group.
635 Lineside Road Rangiora
House and Land Packages available in Amberley
Prepare your garden for the cold
This column is adapted from
the e-newsletter Get Growing
from New Zealand Gardener.To
subscribe to Get Growing visit
The NZ Gardener website at
nzgardener.co.nz, and click on
the Get Growing tab. To
subscribe to NZ Gardener visit
mags4gifts.co.nz or call
0800 MAGS 4 GIFTS.
TIME TO ACT: Along with the rain and waning warmth come snails.
GO HUNTING FOR
SLUGS AND SNAILS
The rain's here at last and not a
moment too soon, as the soil is
still fairly warm. In other words,
it's perfect planting weather.
Now's the time to get all those
waylaid summer plant
purchases into the soil so they
can get their roots established
Flower and vege seedlings
should grow steadily for a few
more weeks in most areas.
There's less urgency with
deciduous trees and shrubs as
these are settling into
Along with the rain and wan-
ing warmth come snails.
A stroll across my lawn the
other evening was set to a
soundtrack of squelching shells.
If you haven't put down bait, do
it now. Or go on a nocturnal
patrol and squash as many as
WHACK DOWN WEEDS
While the end of the drought
is surely something to celebrate,
we'll feel the sting in its tail yet.
A weed seed backlog spanning
several months, coupled with a
warm and now very wet aut-
umn, will see the soil erupt over
the coming weeks. I predict an
epic winter of weeds -- at least
until the cold knocks them back.
Resist the urge to indulge in
Just because you didn't plant
something, doesn't mean it's a
Weeds are simply plants we
Among the useless weed seed-
lings that will try to annex your
garden soon will be untold self-
sown flowers, herbs and
vegetables from last season.
Learning to recognise the
good among the bad is a valu-
able skill for any gardener and
one that can only be acquired by
close observation: smelling and
even tasting things as they
A watch, wait and see
approach is one of the real
secrets to a self-perpetuating
For example, I haven't sown
rocket, giant red mustard, radic-
chio or fennel for years. I just let
them go to seed each year and
keep an eye out for their see-
Dandelions, thanks to their
parachuting seeds, pop up
everywhere and are often talked
up as tasty wild salads greens.
Fact is though, they're pretty
ghastly, but they are loaded
with minerals and trace ele-
ments mined from the subsoil
via their deep tap roots.
This makes them a first class
tonic for chooks, who don't seem
to mind the revolting bitterness.
Therefore, I don't consider
dandelions to be weeds. They're
free chook food.
Chickweed is much loved by
hens too, but can be a nuisance
in the garden, choking out vege
seedling and cloistering too
many slugs for my liking.
Chuck it in your compost heap
if you're not game to eat it
While unsightly to many, a
thick blanket of weeds is useful
on fallow or resting garden beds.
They're a cover crop, of sorts.
In summer, weeds prevent the
soil from baking and provide
shelter for beneficial insects,
while over winter this living
mulch stops the topsoil being
washed away or compacted by
heavy rain and saturation.
When it's nearing time to
replant with proper crops, haul
out the weeds, leave their roots
exposed to the sun for a few days
and then dig the lot in as green
PLANT MORE BULBS
Garden centres are still cram-
med to bursting with gorgeous
bulbs, but they won't be there
forever. Daffodils never disap-
point and are a welcome -- if not
entirely honest -- proclamation
of spring in the depths of winter.
My favourite by far are mini
hoop-petticoats. Plant in tubs.
SAY BYE TO SUMMER
Harvest your last warm weather
crops. Basil will soon succumb to
strong winds and root rot. Make
pesto with your last fresh
I brought in my last Cornos
peppers yesterday and not a
moment too soon.
I'm smitten with these maligned
They're a delight in the gar-
den too, an efficient use of small
Although more reliable in
cooler districts, Brussels sprouts
can and do crop well elsewhere.
For winter crops, your plants
should be kneehigh by now --
they're best sown in January --
but in warmer regions you can
still slip in a punnet or sow
seeds for a late spring crop of
Start seeds in trays and cover
Keep moist until germination
occurs. Transplant when the
seedlings have 2 to 3 sets of true
leaves. Excessive nitrogen
delays head formation; feed
Keep an eye out for slugs,
snails, whitefly, caterpillars and
Plants are very cold hardy,
surviving sleet, snow and frost,
snails, whitefly, caterpillars and
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