Waikato International Community Gardening Project Update September 2013

Posted 10 years, 9 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


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.


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.


Taro 600g (a taro)    èŠ‹é ­600g (一條芋頭)

sugar 100g            ç³–100g

unsalted butter 20g   ç„¡é¹½å¥¶æ²¹20g (有鹽奶油亦可)

sesame seeds           èŠéº»


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            ç†± 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.






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