Kāpiti Gardening with Gus

Well the weather has been in our favour. A week between rainfalls is quite unusual for this time of the year but the trees are all starting to show their colour especially the liquidambers.

Many of them are now dropping their their leaves so these need to be raked up and they make fantastic compost but the flowering cherries are the most noticeable at the moment for losing their leaves. Remember now is a good time to put in your garlic cloves – make sure you bury them almost up to the top just leave a little bit showing above the soil. We grow ours in punnets as it is a lot easier to keep control over the germination. They say the shortest day is the best time to plant them but a friend of ours who grows it commercially recommends 3 to 4 weeks before the shortest day and you just get that much more extra growth into the garlic cloves. You need to make sure that you only plant certified garlic.

Our International plant propagators Society conference held in Palmerston North last weekend went well, over 130 delegates from throughout New Zealand and some from overseas attended. We had a good look around at all the local nurseries in Palmerston North and there were some good speakers from overseas. One speaker Rosanna Freye spoke on growing superfoods in containers such as ginger and turmeric which was most interesting. We also received a new report on the latest update for the spread of Myrtle Rust and we really need to be on our guard to watch for this within our local area. Another speaker Tom Welsh spoke on growing of hemp for medicinal purposes. They have a farm in the Rangitikei area which has been in their family for over 90 years and four generations they farm 160 hectares of which up until recently was entirely dairy farm when they chose to grow 4 hectares of hemp and two hectares of pumpkins for hull less eating of seed. He spoke of all of the many challenges that this presented and they have now built facilities for pressing and bottling of oil. Although this year’s crop of hemp was destroyed by a wind they will have another go next year. He listed all of the medicinal purposes for the use of the hemp oil, and also the strength of hemp used as a rope.

Keep up all the planting of the trees and shrubs – it is still a good time for planting if you need any plants in bulk please contact us as we have some really good deals for this.

Cheers and go well