The WIC (the Waikato International Community Gardening Project) supports Waikato people, particularly refugees, new migrants and Pacific Island peoples, to grow their own food. WIC is also a partner in the Grandview Community Garden, Hamilton NZ.

Through this blog WIC provides:
* a regular update on Waikato NZ gardening events, with gardening, food and health tips.
* Information on activities at the Grandview Community Garden.

Anyone is welcome to subscribe to the blog.

If you would like to know more about the WIC Project, please contact the WIC Coordinator (ph (07) 834-1482)

Waikato International Community Gardening Project Update December 16th 2013

Posted 2 years, 8 months ago by WIC Coordinator    0 comments

Garden Diary

  • Min Aung started his new vegetable garden on an old compost heap
  • Richard, Jody and Zaw Mai harvested broad beans
  • Fungai and Stephanie weeded and dug ready for planting melons
  • David planted squash, beans and kumara
  • John and David made and covered a new compost pile
  • Leo sowed dwarf beans and lettuce
  • Dai Hyun and Elias harvested carrots
  • Jack and Paul made a support for passionfruit vines
  • Angela harvested garlic
  • Margery and Ian planted banana melon and squash

Garlic

When is garlic ready to harvest?

Tun Hla harvests garlic in the Burmese Community Garden
Tun Hla harvests garlic in the Burmese Community Garden

You can dig up your garlic any time from mid December. Look for

  • yellow leaves
  • plants leaning or bent over
  • big bulb under the ground

Dig the garlic up on a sunny day. Dig, don't pull, as they break off easily. Spread the plants out to dry in the sun. Bring them in at night to dry under cover. Rub off the loose outside leaves before tying the garlic up in bunches in a cool dry place to store.

Sow Now

December is the last month for sowing pumpkins, corn, chillies tomatoes and cucumbers. It will usually rain before New Year. The warm summer rain gives the crops a good start.

Fili digging over the soil ready to plant dwarf beans
Fili digging over the soil ready to plant dwarf beans

 

Kumara

Kumara needs 4 to 5 months to grow. Most gardeners have planted their main crop by now.

Jody planting kumara
Jody planting kumara

If you live north of Hamilton, there is still time to plant kumara, as long as you have it in the ground by the end of the year.

Recipe

Lettuce Wraps

This recipe uses lettuce to wrap spicy pork and rice. You could use chicken, beef or chilli beans instead of pork.

Water Wise

Leo watering tomato seedlings
Leo watering tomato seedlings

Here are 3 tips for being water wise in your garden:

  • Cover bare soil with mulch or plants. .
  • Put up shelter to protect your garden from wind. Wind dries out the soil. 
  • water each plant slowly, at the roots and let the water soak right in. This way you need only water once or twice a week.

    planting a chilli plant in a hollow to catch rainwater
    planting a chilli plant in a hollow to catch rainwater

flowers in the vegetable garden

It's very important to have flowers in a vegetable garden. Beneficial insects need a drink of nectar before they attack caterpillars and aphids 

dahlias growing with tomatoes and squash
dahlias growing with tomatoes and squash

A garden with no flowers will not have many beneficial insects. Plant now:  alyssum, dahlia, calendula, phacelia, buckwheat and tagetes

Grapes

Grapes make too much leafy growth in summer. To encourage the fruit,  prune off some of the leaves. Do this by snipping the long shoots off, leaving behind about 15cm of stem and leaves beyond each bunch of grapes.

grapes growing along a sunny fence
grapes growing along a sunny fence

You will soon need to cover grapes from the birds. Remember that birds peck what they can see, so old net curtain makes a good bird proof cover.

Keep picking

Pick and enjoy your strawberries, cucumbers, courgettes and lettuces. If you can't eat them all, give to family and neighbours. If you don't pick them the plant thinks it has finished and will not produce any more!

tip: pick berries, lettuce and cucumber in the evening and wash and put them in the fridge in a container. In the morning get your fresh veges out when you are making lunch :)

freshly picked strawberries
freshly picked strawberries

 

What plants to feed?

Feed your tomatoes, potatoes, capsicums, lettuce, zuccini and chillies

Use liquid manure made with comfrey, dock or seaweed. Water the liquid around the plant roots once a week in December and January.

Beans, peas and kumara don't need feeding.

Grandview Community Garden on TV1

This episode of Neighbourhood features Papaloloa with the staff of Kaute Pasifika Services working in their plot at Grandview Community Garden.

Happy gardening

Supported by Medibank Community Fund

 

 

 

 


Waikato International Community Gardening Project Update November 2013

Posted 2 years, 9 months ago by WIC Coordinator    0 comments

Spring Vegetable Growing Workshops

transplanting seedlings at the WIC Spring Workshop last week
transplanting seedlings at the WIC Spring Workshop last week

Spring Vegetable Growing Workshop at Grandview Community Garden
Waikato International Community Gardeners welcome
Where: Grandview Community Garden
What: practical seed raising, kumara growing, planting, composting
When: Saturday November 16th and 23rd, & December 1st from 2.30pm to 5.30pm
Interested?  text 0210387623

Garden Diary

  • Taiohi Toa weeded and mulched the mandarin and feijoa trees
  • 70 visitors planted a pot of popcorn at the Christmas Expo
  • Zaw Mai and daughter sowed tomatoes, squash and chillies
  • Min Aung sowed yard long beans at the WIC Spring Workshop
  • Liang, Gui and Jiu dug and planted their new plot
  • Jody and Tehana picked strawberries from their plot
  • Leo started a spring vegetable garden at Grandview 
  • Ian and Margery planted lettuce and borage
  • Fungai harvested snow peas

Strawberries

Delighted with a giant strawberry, an amazing experience at Grandview Community Garden
Delighted with a giant strawberry, an amazing experience at Grandview Community Garden

Growing tips:

  • COVER. Net curtain is good, because the birds can't see through it.
  • MULCH with straw or woodchips. This keeps the berries clean.
  • PICK every day. They ripen fast!
  • FEED with liquid manure, seaweed or handfuls of compost around the roots. Don't get leaves or fruit wet or they will rot.

Secrets of great soil

Organic gardeners know soil is very precious. Healthy soil is alive with bacteria, insects and fungi, and plant roots. Having great soil is the best, fastest way to a great garden! Tips for great soil:

  • treat the soil like it is living - never step on your garden beds
  • Cover bare soil with mulch or plants. Bare soil quickly dies
  • rotate crops and plant green manure - read more here
  • dig in compost

mulched vege garden with path alongside for walking
mulched vege garden with path alongside for walking

What to sow and plant in November

WIC gardeners sowing summer vegetables
WIC gardeners sowing summer vegetables

November is the main planting time for tomatoes, capsicum, basil, chillies, corn, lettuce, beetroot, beans, peas, pumpkins, squash, zuccini, carrots, potatoes, cucumbers and melons. It's a busy time for gardeners!

Kumara: Kumara need warm conditions and a long time to grow.  If you are going to grow kumara this summer, you need to plant them before the end of November!  If you haven't grown your own plants you can buy them in some garden shops or online at http://kumaraplants.co.nz/ 

kumara plants ready to cut off and plant in the ground
kumara plants ready to cut off and plant in the ground

Kumara like sandy soil with not too much compost. Before you plant, dig the soil into mounds or ridges about 30 cm apart. Plant one kumara shoot on each mound. Bend the bottom of the shoot into a J shape as you plant it.  Water the new plants for the first few days. Read more here

Broad beans

Broad beans are in season now. The biggest pods grow at the bottom of the bush, nearest the ground. Keep them picked and the plant will  produce more!

bee pollinating broad bean flowers. No bees-no beans!
bee pollinating broad bean flowers. No bees-no beans!

Recipe: Broad bean falafels
Shell fresh broad beans or thaw frozen ones. In a food processor, puree one and a half cups of broad beans with one clove of garlic, half a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of cumin, and half a teaspoon of baking powder, two spring onions and a handful each of parsley, and coriander. Stir in four tablespoons of flour and form the falafel mixture into balls and flatten. Refrigerate. Fry the falafels in vegetable oil until brown and crispy on both sides. Serve with tahini dipping sauce.

Tahini dipping sauce
Add a quarter of a cup tahini, half a cup of water, juice of half a lemon, two to three garlic cloves, salt to taste, and one teaspoon of cumin to a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth.

- © Fairfax NZ News

Watering wisely

In the Waikato it has been dry and sunny for a week. Start being careful with water now, and make gardening easier for your self 

Ian and Margery watering lettuces
Ian and Margery watering lettuces

Remember:

  • Dig a deep hole before planting. Loosen the bottom of the hole so that the roots will grow DOWN. Add compost to the hole, then plant and mulch
  • Water new seedlings twice a week for the first two weeks. Give each plant a litre.
  • Before you water - dig the soil and look - is it really dry?
  • Water slowly
  • Water the roots, not the leaves
  • Mulch the soil

Fruit trees

mulching the mandarin trees at Grandview Community Garden
mulching the mandarin trees at Grandview Community Garden

Feed your fruit trees in November. Fruit trees are growing their fruit and leaves in early summer and need fertiliser. Give each tree a bucket of compost, or liquid food (made with comfrey or animal manure). Top up the mulch if its a bit thin.

Mulching slows down weeds, keeps the soil moist and feeds the soil.

At Grandview Community Garden the gardeners use well rotted woodchips as mulch.  Download a WIC information sheet (pdf) of where to get free and cheap mulch ingredients here

Potatoes

If you planted early potatoes like rocket, they will be ready to dig up and try! Later varieties need to be mounded up - push soil up to cover their growing stems - this encourages more potatoes to form underneath.

mounding up a row of potatoes
mounding up a row of potatoes

Read more about growing potatoes here

Happy Gardening!

Supported by Medibank New Zealand

 

 


Waikato International Community Gardening Project Update October 2013

Posted 2 years, 10 months ago by WIC Coordinator    0 comments

spring is here

The school holiday gardening group sowed seeds with Sister Heleni and garden mentor Tim at Grandview Community Garden last week. Photo taken by garden volunteer Leo.

 

What to sow now

sow in seed trays indoors: chillies, capsicum, cucumbers, tomatoes, zuccini, bitter melon, okra, water melon, sweet corn, yard long bean, basil. Here's how..

ESOL World Gardeners sowing tomatoes and chillies
ESOL World Gardeners sowing tomatoes and chillies

sow in the ground: pumpkin, squash, zuccini, lettuce, climbing beans, peas, carrots and beetroot.

 

Hardening off seedlings

Spring weather is sometimes warm and sometimes cold, especially at night. Baby plants are like real babies - they cannot cope with changes in temperature. This is why we get seedlings gradually used to the outdoors before planting them in the garden. This is called hardening off How? Put  seedlings outside for a few hours each day for 5 days.


Shelter from the wind

When you plant your seedlings, put up a temporay wind shelter around them. Try: a plastic milk bottle with top and bottom cut out or, a polystyrene crate with the bottom cut out. 

zuccini shelter made out of fish crate with bottom cut out
zuccini shelter made out of fish crate with bottom cut out

 

Feed your plants

Garlic, lettuce, onions and silverbeet need feeding now. You can make your own liquid plant food using comfrey and dock leaves and roots. The roots of these plants are rich in nutrients. Heres how:

Dig up 5 or 6 comfrey and dock plants, including all the roots. Put them in a bucket and add water. Put a lid on and leave for two weeks.

barrel of comfrey leaves and roots at Grandview Community Garden
barrel of comfrey leaves and roots at Grandview Community Garden
Use a bucket to scoop some liquid out. Dilute with water (so it looks like weak tea) stir well and water the mixture around your vegetable plants every 2 weeks.
feeding parsley plants with comfrey manure at Grandview Community Garden
feeding parsley plants with comfrey manure at Grandview Community Garden

 

Tomatoes 

Fili with home grown tomatoes
Fili with home grown tomatoes
There are many different varieties of tomatoes available to grow. Tomato growing tips:

  • Plant tomatoes in a different place from last year, to reduce disease.
  • Add a bucketful of compost where each plant is to grow
  • Hammer a strong stake (bamboo or untreated timber) into the ground before you plant
  • Sow seeds indoors to plant outside at the end of october
  • Choose the healthiest, strongest seedlings
  • Feed the plants every two weeks with liquid manure

Companion flowers for summer

tagetes marigolds
tagetes marigolds
Cleome is a pink flower which attracts good insects to the garden. Tagetes (french marigolds) are yellow and orange summer flowers which repel pests. Read more..


Sweet corn, maize and popcorn

October is the month when we sow the first sweet corn, maize and pop corn. Corn needs a long, hot summer to grow well. In the Waikato we can sow a late crop of corn at New Year as well.

maize corn
maize corn
Tips for growing corn:

  • Sow seeds in trays indoors in October and plant out when they are10cm high. At this size the plants can cope better with snails!
  • Do not plant corn in the same place as last year
  • Plant corn in blocks (patches)  rather than single rows, for better pollination.
  • Plant each plant 30 cm apart

Enjoy Silverbeet - 6 delicious recipes

red and yellow silverbeet growing at Grandview Community Garden
red and yellow silverbeet growing at Grandview Community Garden
Silverbeet is easy to grow year round. Try some of these recipes sent in by Alice Bulmer.

1. Silverbeet with garlic and mustard

 1 bunch silverbeet

1 clove garlic (or more if you like)

Finely chop garlic.

Wash silverbeet. Separate ribs from leaves and finely slice the ribs. Slice or tear the leaves into pieces. Add a splash of olive oil or a small knob of butter to a saucepan or a heavy frying pan. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes on medium heat. Now add the silverbeet ribs. Cook, stirring, for two or three minutes. Then add the leaves and stir. Cover the pan and leave to cook for 5 minutes or until the leaves have wilted down.

Stir in 1 tsp prepared Dijon mustard – or English mustard if that’s what you have. Grind over black pepper to taste.

 2. Silverbeet with coconut milk

As per above, but add a small amount of coconut milk or cream at the end, plus salt and pepper to taste.

 3. Silverbeet with mushrooms

1 bunch silverbeet

1 cup mushrooms (or less if that’s what you have)

1/2 clove garlic (or a small onion, finely chopped)

Wash silverbeet. Separate ribs from leaves and finely slice the ribs. Slice or tear the leaves into pieces.

Slice mushrooms

Finely chop garlic

Add a splash of olive oil to a heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Add garlic and stir for a minute. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add silverbeet ribs and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes. Add the leaves and stir. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes or a bit longer, until the leaves have wilted.

Add salt and pepper to taste – or soy sauce.

4. Silverbeet with oyster sauce

Follow first recipe, but instead of mustard add 1 or 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce at the end.

 5. Silverbeet with almonds and lemon juice

 1 bunch silverbeet

1/3 cup almonds (or walnuts if you have them)

lemon juice

 Wash silverbeet. Separate ribs from leaves and finely slice the ribs. Slice or tear the leaves into pieces.

Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a pan, and add the almonds. Cook, stirring, on medium heat until they start to get brown. Add the silverbeet, ribs first, then leaves. Stir and cook until leaves have wilted. Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice at end of cooking.

6. Feta and silverbeet fritters

3 eggs

2 Tbsp flour

1 onion, grated

200g feta, chopped

10-12 stalks silverbeet, cooked in saucepan with a little water and chopped finely

Beat eggs in a bowl. Stir in flour, onion, then feta. Stir in silverbeet (make sure it is not still hot). Add a small grinding of fresh nutmeg and black pepper.

Fry in small patties in olive oil.

Jobs in horticulture

Follow this link to an advertisement for asparagus pickers in the Waikato

Learn a new skill

On November 2nd, Hamilton Permaculture Trust is running a workshop on espalier pruning. This is a method of growing fruit trees in small spaces. If you are interested, read more..

Low Cost Christmas Expo

Western Community Centre Hyde Ave Nawton

Friday 8 November 2013 from 10am to 12pm at the Western Community Centre. Lots of fun activities! Grandview Community Garden will be there so come and say hi !

 

 

Happy gardening!

 

 

 

 


Waikato International Community Gardening Project Update September 2013

Posted 2 years, 11 months ago by WIC Coordinator    0 comments

Garden Diary

  • Maxine and William started a new garden
  • Jody planted won bok and broccoli
  • Elvie labelled the fruit trees at Grandview Community Garden
  • Zaw Mai San harvested carrots and cabbages
  • Tim and Peter chipped up a pile of old branches into mulch
  • The gardeners at Grandview Community Garden got together and swapped seeds
  • Ming Sen learned how to grow kumara plants
  • Tun Hla's spinach is up
  • Margery and Ian sowed spring onions, carrots and radishes
  • Leo and Shirleigh sorted out pots and seed trays ready for spring sowing

Grow kumara tipu (plants)

Two weeks ago we bought a kumara for $1 from the vegetable shop and put it in a pot of damp wood shavings. The pot has been in the kitchen where it is nice and warm. Today we can see the first little shoots! On a sunny day the pot sits outside, but comes inside every night. The shoots will grow bigger. In October we cut them and plant the new plants in the garden.

Peas: Spring is a good time to sow peas.

snow peas growing up a bamboo frame
snow peas growing up a bamboo frame

Peas are a vegetable that is high in protein. Pea plants are good for the garden because their roots put nitrogen into the soil. There are several different kinds of peas. Green peas (usually sold frozen at the supermarket) are eaten as soon as possible after harvesting for sweetness. The peas are ‘shelled’ - you take them out of the pod, and eat the green seeds.

Several types of peas are eaten pod and all:

  • Asparagus peas - have red flowers & frilly pods and tastes a bit like asparagus.
  • Snow peas - sometimes also called mange tout (French for 'eat all') in NZ, eaten while still flat/immature.
  • Sugar snap peas - look like green peas. Eat whole pod once the peas are fat.

Companion plants: Grow calendula, alyssum, phacelia, buckwheat in your garden. Their flowers feed the good insects which eat aphids and caterpillars. Coriander is an edible companion plant. Hoverfllies and predator wasps love coriander flowers!

Cilantro, coriander

Sow coriander seeds straight into the garden now. Buy seeds from Pak n Save, Palmers, The Warehouse or online- www.kingsseeds.co.nz

Potatoes:

Paul digging the soil ready for potatoes
Paul digging the soil ready for potatoes

In late September it should be warm enough to plant potatoes in the Waikato           

  • Choose a place to grow potatoes (not the same place as last year)
  • Dig and loosen the soil and add a bucket or two of compost
  • buy seed potatoes (sold at e.g Plant Place, Bunnings, Farmlands, the Warehouse) and put them in a tray to sprout.

What variety? Swift, Rocket and Cliff Kidney are early varieties which produce a crop in about 90 days. Rua, Agria and Ilam Hardy take 130 days to grow. There are many potato varieties, some very rare. Read more

Meeting of Waikato Community Gardeners:

Waikato Community and School Gardens Network Meeting
Where : Rhode Street School,7 Rhode Street, Dinsdale
When : Friday 20th September 2013
Time : 12.30pm to 3:00pm. For more information ph 07 847 7245

What to sow and plant now:

these are all seeds which you can sow outside now
these are all seeds which you can sow outside now

Sow direct into the soil: rocket, beetroot, spring onion, lettuce, carrots, pak choi, parsley, silverbeet, radishes, mustard lettuce, chives, spinach, won bok and peas. If you prefer buying plants; have a look at  http://www.awapuni.co.nz/category/Vegetables or Oakdale Organics plants available from Palmers, Lincoln st, Hamilton.

Garlic:

Angela weeding garlic at Grandview Community Garden
Angela weeding garlic at Grandview Community Garden

Weed your garlic and feed it with compost or liquid manure once a week.

Jody feeding his plants with comfrey liquid
Jody feeding his plants with comfrey liquid

Grow more and weed less

There are 12 different kinds of food plants growing in this plot, and space for more!

When vegetables grow close together (like in the photo below) -  there is no room for weeds. Vegetables growing close together also protect the soil from drying out.

Gardening Courses in Hamilton: In October and November,The Hamilton Permaculture Trust is offering short courses on organic gardening, bee keeping and espalier pruning. Look at their website for more information.

Recipe: Taro balls~芋泥球~

This is  Stephanie's recipe for delicious taro balls.

Ingredients:

Taro 600g (a taro)    芋頭600g (一條芋頭)

sugar 100g            糖100g

unsalted butter 20g   無鹽奶油20g (有鹽奶油亦可)

sesame seeds           芝麻

Directions:

1. Remove skin from taro and cut into chunks (if using frozen taro, proceed to next step)

2. Add taro to  boiling water and cook until tender

   (fresh taro takes about 20 minutes, frozen takes 5-7 minutes)
3. Drain excess water and mash with fork until majority of the taro is smooth.

4.Then add butter and sugar  mix well.

5 make into balls and roll balls in sesame seeds. Delicious!

***1.將芋頭削皮至見到“白色”的肉,有黑色缺陷的地方,一定要挖除乾淨.再將芋頭塊放入蒸煮至熟.壓成泥狀.趁            熱 倒入糖再加入奶油拌勻.

       2.取35g,搓成圓型.外層滾上芝麻粒 即可.

 

Do you have questions about gardening?
Please email  wicgarden@gmail.com  with your questions and suggestions for the October  WIC Update.

 

 

 

 

 


Waikato International Community Gardening Project Update fruit tree grafting workshop Friday 6 September

Posted 3 years ago by WIC Coordinator    0 comments

 NZ TREE CROPS ASSOCIATION  Waikato Branch

 FRUIT TREE

GRAFTING WORKSHOP

Friday 6 September 2013

7.30 pm

Where:  St Francis Community Church, 92 Mansel Av, Hillcrest, Hamilton.

Cost:  $ 10 per person (NZTCA member)  $ 20  for non-members

This charge covers three rootstocks (trees) for each person, workshop materials (safety gloves, grafting tape, labels), tutor and venue.

This is a hands-on workshop. After an introduction and demonstration by the tutor, you can have a practice of the techniques on willow or similar material. You can then graft your three rootstocks, choosing from a wide range of apple and pear scion that will be provided. These are yours to take home and nurture!

WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING: 

A grafting knife or a Stanley craft knife with a new blade, and secateurs.

There will also be a good selection of scion from other fruiting trees such as stone fruit, for people to take if they have existing trees to regraft or rootstocks at home. Please consider bringing some scion if you have something interesting or of value to share.

to book please contact Don Harwood

Ph: 07 843 9007  OR   email:   don.harwood@philips.com


Waikato International Community Gardening Project Update August 8th 2013

Posted 3 years ago by WIC Coordinator    0 comments

Garden Diary

garden diary
garden diary

  • David started a vegetable garden
  • Taiohi Toa spread compost and mulched fruit trees
  • Lee and family weeded their garlic
  • Glenda and Annie harvested wild turnip greens
  • Zaw Mai sowed snow peas and dug up carrots
  • Paul put up framing on the tunnel house at Grandview Community Garden
  • Stephanie and JC weeded and mulched the soil ready for spring
  • Jody picked broccoli
  • Yuri cleared snails and slugs out of the shade house
  • Richard planted chokos

vegetables to sow now

david sows spring onion and cabbage
david sows spring onion and cabbage

August is officially the last month of winter. Sow in the ground in August: won bok cabbage, pak choi, beetroot, silverbeet, rocket, spring onion, radish, carrot, spinach

Pick it before it bolts: If vegetables flower when we don't want them to it is called bolting. When pak choi, lettuce, broccoli, cauli and cabbage bolt, they taste bitter because all the plant's sweetness has gone into the flowers. Vegetables bolt in dry or very cold weather because the plant is stressed

The cauliflower on the left has bolted. The other two caulis are ready to pick NOW!
The cauliflower on the left has bolted. The other two caulis are ready to pick NOW!

You can't stop bolting but you can:

  • choose seeds which say 'slow bolting' on the packet
  • check your veg every 2 days for signs of bolting (flowering)
  • pick broccoli, pak choi, cabbage and cauli before it can bolt. Try this recipe for broccoli and kumara quiche.

Bring the good insects to your garden: At Grandview Community Garden, calendula (orange) and alyssum (white) are flowering. These flowers feed good insects like bees, predator wasps and hoverflies. When the fruit trees flower, we need bees to pollinate them.

alyssum and calendula growing around a lemon tree
alyssum and calendula growing around a lemon tree
Read about good bugs here

Grow your own kumara plants (tipu) 

home grown kumara plants november 2012
home grown kumara plants november 2012

In August, you can start off kumara tipu and have them ready to plant in October. Choose a good, healthy kumara saved from the previous season. Plant it in a pot with sand or sawdust and keep somewhere warm, like the laundry. Shoots appear in a few weeks. They are big enough to plant out when they are 15cm long.

Kumara propagation at Grandview Community Garden. At Grandview Community Garden we will be showing how to grow kumara plants later this month. If you would like to join us please email wicgarden@gmail.com

Grow your own potatoes

forking over the soil
forking over the soil

Potatoes don't like frost. Most of the Waikato will have a few frosts before October. From late September it should be safe to plant potatoes.                     

  • Choose a place to grow potatoes (not the same place as last year)
  • Dig and loosen the soil and add a bucket or two of compost
  • buy seed potatoes (sold at e.g Plant Place, Bunnings, Farmlands, the Warehouse) and put them in a tray to sprout.

What variety? Swift, Rocket and Cliff Kidney are early varieties which produce a crop in about 90 days. Rua, Agria and Ilam Hardy take 130 days to grow. There are many potato varieties, some very rare. Read more..

Winter frost: July was warmer and drier than usual in the Waikato. Frost and cold weather is still possible in August, September and October! Be prepared for any kind of weather in spring:

  • Mulch bare soil to conserve moisture
  • Plant a variety of vegetables - some will grow well if others fail
  • If you plant early  tomatoes and potatoes, cover them with frost cloth (buy at garden shops) or old sheets at night

Are you ready for spring?

Valeti sowing tomato seeds
Valeti sowing tomato seeds

Plan before you begin. Ask yourself..

  • What will I grow? What does my family eat?
  • Where can I plant it? Some veges like tomatoes, cabbages and potatoes can't grow in the same spot twice.
  • How much space does it need? Pumpkins need space to spread,  runner beans need space to climb
  • How long will it be in the ground? Kumara take 6 to 8 months. Pak choi take 4 to 6 weeks

collect pots - old yoghurt pots, ice cream containers, margarine pots (clean them and punch holes for drainage)

make seed raising  mix - recipe on Ooooby

make labels - cut up cardboard, plastic lids or short lengths of bamboo into strips to make labels.

find an old tray - an old plastic tray is really useful for watering your seedlings in

swap seeds - get together with friends and neighbours and swap your seeds.

buy seeds - Pak’n’Save, The Warehouse, Bunnings (Te Rapa), Palmers (Lincoln St), Oderings (Thomas rd). Check for specials and sales. Online:  www.kingsseeds.co.nz, www.koanga.org.nz.       http://www.egmontseeds.co.nz/vegetables

Lemons, mandarins, oranges and grapefruit: Citrus fruit ripens in winter, and is high in vitamin C. A citrus tree is like a fridge! Just pick the fruit as you need it, because citrus fruit  keeps fresh on the tree for months.

pick citrus fruit as you need them
pick citrus fruit as you need them

Here is a dessert recipe which uses lemon and rhubarb. Rhubarb is a vegetable with edible stems. Try this for a treat on a cold night.

Recipe: Vee's Grandmother's Rhubarb Rolls (dessert)

Rolls:

Mix together with milk:

1 cup flour

50gr butter

pinch of salt

1 tsp baking powder

4-5 rhubarb stems

Roll out pastry very thin. Cut the stems of rhubarb into 2 inch lengths. Wrap rhubarb inside pastry with a sprinkle of mixed cinnamon and sugar, to make rolls. Place the rhubarb and pastry rolls in a greased pie dish.

Syrup:

Melt together:

50gr butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 Tsp honey

lemon zest (grate the peel) and juice from two or three lemons

Add 1 cup boiling water and stir together.

Pour syrup over rhubarb rolls.

Bake at 180C until golden brown.

Horticulture training in the Waikato: Plant Propagation Courses (Agribusiness Training).The Hamilton course starts on the  21st of August and the Te Awamutu course starts on the 22nd of August. Contact Shaina McMillan Agribusiness Training Ph: 07 853 2788

Gardening Courses in Hamilton: In October and November,The Hamilton Permaculture Trust is offering short courses on organic gardening, bee keeping and espalier pruning. Look at their website for more information.

Happy gardening

 


Waikato International Community Gardening Project Update July 5th 2013

Posted 3 years, 1 month ago by WIC Coordinator    0 comments

Garden Diary July 2013
Garden Diary July 2013

ESOL World Gardeners planted garlic, parsley and broad beans     

Tun Hla harvested 5 kg of yacon                                                        

Yuri sowed blue lupin green crop to cover a bare plot                 

Hukanui School Sustainability Class visited Grandview Community Garden and learned how to plant garlic and use mulch         

Grandview gardeners grew grapes, figs and berries from cuttings       

Hamilton House held a working bee to clear concrete and wood, and mulch fruit trees at Grandview Community  Garden                   

Zaw Mai shared freshly harvested carrots with Ran Won and Hyoung                      

How to Plant a Fruit Tree

Charlie gets ready to plant a feijoa at  SWPICS, Tokoroa
Charlie gets ready to plant a feijoa at SWPICS, Tokoroa
                                                     

Before planting: thoroughly wet the roots by soaking in a bucket until bubbling stops.

1 Set tree out according to your plan, to get the  right plant in the right place.

2. Dig a hole wider and deeper than the root ball (about twice as big)and loosen soil in the bottom of  the hole to help roots to grow down.

3 Remove plant from the bag or container without pulling on the stem (slice the bag, or tip upside down and shake, holding onto the bottom of the bag and the soil around the stem).

 4 Put the plant in the hole so    the top of the root ball will be level with soil when planted. Fill in around the plant with fine soil. Firm the soil around the plant with your hands

Water well and mulch  20cm thick with woodchippings around plant to keep moist and stop weeds

Fruit Tree Sale

Peach tree

Tree Crops Fruit Tree and Plant Sale

this Saturday 6 July 2013  9.30 am to 1 pm

Where:  Hamilton Gardens, Camellia Carpark Enter Gate 2 from Cobham Drive. A short distance down, on the left, is the entrance to a large car park. Apple, peach, pear, mandarin, lemon, plum, lime and many other plants for sale. For more information contact Don Harwood, phone 07 843 9007

Visit Grandview Community Garden
Hukanui School Sustainability Class visiting Grandview Community Garden
Hukanui School Sustainability Class visiting Grandview Community Garden

Your group is welcome to visit the community garden and have a tour. Schools, garden groups, ESOL classes, church groups all welcome. We can show you how to sow seeds, store water, make compost and use mulch in the garden. Contact Clare 0210387623 for more information

July Gardening

Plant garlic until the end of July. Plant each clove 10cm apart and 5cm deep.

Sow parsley, spinach and silverbeet in sunny places

Winter cold makes broccoli, cabbage, carrots and pak choi sweeter!

Cold also brings out the colours in red and purple vegetables like beetroot and red silverbeet

plant spring onions and keeping onions

Tidy up pieces of wood and old pots where snails and slugs hide

Now is the best time to pull out weeds-they are too weak to grow back

Pinch back the tips of your broad beans when the plants are a metre high, to make them bushy.

Keep picking peas, brocoli, carrots and greens

broccoli ready to pick
broccoli ready to pick

Plan for spring sowing

What do you want to grow in spring?  Basil? Watermelon? Celery? Have a look at seeds in the shops or online :Pak’n’Save, The Warehouse, New World, Bunnings (Te Rapa), Palmers (Lincoln St), Oderings (Rototuna)  www.kingsseeds.co.nzwww.koanga.org.nz. http://www.egmontseeds.co.nz/vegetables

Swap seeds with friends and family to save money and have a bigger variety to sow.

Care for your soil

In winter the soil is wet for weeks. Do not step on the soil when its wet because this squashes the air out. The soil will be hard when it dries. Light, fluffy, airy soil is best for growing vegetables.

light airy soil is easy to plant into
light airy soil is easy to plant into

Keep your soil airy by:

  • mulching. Spread a 15 cm layer of woodchippings or straw on top of the soil. Do not dig or mix it in. Mulch is like a blanket.
  • Covering bare soil. Nutrients leak out of bare soil and all the tiny helpful bugs move away, too. If you are not growing anything in winter, sow a green crop of lupins, oats or mustard.
  • Making paths through your vegetable plot. Use mulch to cover the paths so everyone knows where to walk.
    reaching across is better than stepping on the soil
    reaching across is better than stepping on the soil

  Stop Lawn Prickles 

Do you have prickles in your lawn in summer?  Now is the time of year to stop the prickle plant, Onehunga weed. This plant needs lots of light. Do not mow your lawn in July and August and let the grass shade the Onehunga weed. This kills the prickle plant. Easy!

Winter vegetable recipe

Cabbage is less expensive than other greens at this time of year. Heres a recipe from the Otago Farmers Market for Simply Cooked Cabbage. It says to use a savoy cabbage but you could use any type of cabbge (red or green)

green cabbage growing at Grandview Community Garden
green cabbage growing at Grandview Community Garden

 

Happy Gardening

 

 

 


Waikato International Community Gardening Project Update June 5th 2013

Posted 3 years, 2 months ago by WIC Coordinator    1 comment

garden diary
garden diary

Lee and family dug over their new plot at Grandview Community Garden

Josie’s pak choi seedlings are up

Levi harvested kamo kamo

Fungai sowed snow peas and broad beans

Zaw Mai harvested pak choi and spinach

ESOL gardeners planted out beetroot and leeks

Taiohi Toa put their garlic in

Jody dug up some huge kumara

Angela picked her first broccoli

Recipe

Beetroot is a vegetable you can grow year round in the Waikato. They are full of great vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy! You can use the whole plant in both sweet and savoury food:

The baby leaves (also often dark red) are added raw to salads. Older leaves are good steamed or boiled.

Try  the root grated in salad, boiled and sliced in vinegar or slow roasted in their skins. Roast with a little vegetable oil for an intense earthy sweet flavour – peel once they’re cooked. Leftover cooked beetroot can be eaten cold in a salad . The grated root is also used in baking.

What to plant and sow in June

cabbage, broccoli lettuce and spring onoin
cabbage, broccoli lettuce and spring onoin
You can plant and sow: carrots, radishes, rocket, pak choi, spring onion, cabbage, silverbeet, beetroot, spinach, cos lettuce, broad beans, parsley and peas

Where to buy seeds in Hamilton

seeds for sale
seeds for sale
Pak’n’Save, The Warehouse, New World, Bunnings (Te Rapa), Palmers (Lincoln St), Oderings (Rototuna)

Buy seeds online:  www.kingsseeds.co.nz,      www.koanga.org.nz.  http://www.egmontseeds.co.nz/vegetables

Plants - If you prefer buying plants, have a look at http://www.awapuni.co.nz/category/Vegetables .

Or Oakdale Organics range available from Palmers, Lincoln st, Hamilton. 

Grow your own garlic
homegrown garlic
homegrown garlic

You can plant garlic any time from May to July. Garlic likes moist soil which has been dug well. Garlic likes sun. Don’t plant garlic where you have just grown onions or leeks. Garlic takes 6 to 8 months to grow.

Break up a garlic bulb into 'cloves'. Plant each clove, point upwards, about 4cm deep. Plant the cloves 10cm apart.

Where to get garlic for planting: Raglan farmers Rick and Liz grow and sell garlic by the kilo. Phone first to check availability. Ph 8257093  

Slugs and snails in the garden

Snails and slugs are back! They breed quickly in wet rainy weather. Here are some ways to get rid of them:

Pick them off - go into the garden half an hour after dark (about 6pm) with a torch. Pick off as many slugs and snail as you can. Destroy by squashing or put them out on the pavement for birds to eat in the morning. NOTE snails can travel up to 8 metres at night, so make sure they don't find their way back to your vegetables!.

Remove hiding places - planks, empty pots, pieces of wood and check for snails during the day.

snail

Traps - make a trap out of a dish of sugary water or an upturned plate with bran underneath. Check and remove snails every day.

read more here 

Autumn leaves

A pile of golden autumn leaves

Wet leaves are slippery to walk on. Sweep them off your paths and decks every day. Autumn leaves make good compost and mulch. Gather the leaves up and spread under fruit trees and shrubs. Keep autumn leaves off the vegetable garden because snails and slugs like to hide in them.

Plants for free - growing from cuttings

A cutting is a piece of plant stem which can grow new roots. Its easy to grow figs, berries and grapes from cuttings in winter.

Rev Tairea making grape cuttings
Rev Tairea making grape cuttings

At Grandview Community Garden we will be showing how to grow new plants from cuttings later this month. If you would like to join us please email wicgarden@gmail.com

Matariki

Above: Image of Pleiades (Matariki) star cluster. image from NASA

Matariki is known as the Māori New Year. It is marked by the rising of the cluster of stars named Pleiades or Matariki. Matariki in the gardening year signified harvesting of crops and planting of new ones.

There are many cultural and outdoor events in Hamilton and Waikato throughout the Matariki season. Find out what is on at http://www.matariki-waikato.co.nz/

Fruit Tree Sale

Winter is the best time to plant a fruit tree. Come to the:

Waikato Branch  NZ Tree Crops Association - Annual Fruit Tree and Plant Sale

Saturday 6 July 2013 9.30 am to 1 pm

Venue:  Hamilton Gardens, Camellia Carpark Enter Gate 2 from Cobham Drive. A short distance down, on the left, is the entrance to a large car park.

fruit tree planting at SWPICS, Tokoroa
fruit tree planting at SWPICS, Tokoroa

 

Happy gardening!

 

 

 

 

 

 




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