Waikato International Community Gardening Project Update February 11th 2013

Posted 11 years, 4 months ago by WIC Coordinator    0 comments

What's Happening in the Region

Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival

The Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival  starts on February the 15th at Hamilton Gardens. There are plenty of free events including  Road To Resilience on saturday the  23rd  in the Sustainbale Backyard, where you can watch a fruit tree pruning demonstration,

see how to build a top-bar bee hive and  learn about  Time Banking. You can even buy a scone cooked in the earth oven!

Training in Horticulture

Are you interested in a career working with plants? Enrolments are now being taken for Certificate in Horticulture Industry Practice  and Certificate in Plant Propagation   both run by Agribusiness Training in Hamilton. The courses are 'hands on' and designed to give students the skills they need for working in horticulture.

Seasonal Work

Seasonal raspberry pickers are needed in Cambridge for 6 weeks to start immediately. Check this ad if you want to find out more http://www.seasonaljobs.co.nz/main.asp?input=job_detail&jobs_ID=11607

Water restrictions

Last week most places in the Waikato got about 30mm rain. It was good for the garden, but not enough to fill town reservoirs.

Waipa District is now  on Water Conservation Alert Level 3. This means hand watering only. Wherever you live in the Waikato,  follow these suggestions and reduce your water use:

If you wash your dishes by hand, don't leave the water running when rinsing them.

Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator so you don't waste water running the tap to cool the water down.

Don't leave water running while you clean vegetables. Put the plug in the sink.                                           Read more water saving tips here

Roast Tomato Pasta Sauce

Tomato - Big Beef F1 Hybridphoto from Egmont Seeds

Heres a recipe by Annabel Langbein using tomatoes and capsicum to make a pasta sauce in the oven. You can roast the tomatoes in the morning, turn off the oven, leave the tray of vegetables to cool and do the rest at dinner time. Its a recipe you can preserve, too.

NZ Edible Garden Show

If you are travelling on the East Coast between 22-24 February, have a look at NZ's first Edible Garden Show in Hastings at the Hawkes Bay Showgrounds.   

What to Sow in Your Garden Now

February is a really important time in the vege garden. If you want to have fresh food to pick and eat in the autumn, February is when you have to get organised and sow the seeds!  Silverbeet, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and spring onions are best started in pots. When the plants are about two weeks old they are big enough to plant out in the garden. Carrots, beetroot and peas can be sown straight into the ground.

           Do you want to learn how to sow seeds?            Do you have questions about growing vegetables from seed?         Come to this free workshop:

Sowing Autumn Vegetable Seeds

Saturday February 16th 3pm to 5pm at Grandview Community Garden

see how to make your own seed raising mix, learn how to sow seeds in pots and in the ground, and find out what to sow now.

Wear boots or shoes and a sunhat.  Please park on Grandview Road and walk in the gate opposite 183 Grandview Rd. (look for the banner) Bus route number 8 (Frankton). Get in touch if you have any questions Clare and Tim ph 021 0387623 WIC Community Garden Mentors

Seed Saving - free seeds from your garden

Have you got lettuces and silverbeet going to seed? Lettuce tastes bitter when the flowers start to form, and silverbeet leaves get smaller. Let the flowers grow and they will set seeds. Lettuce seeds are fluffy and white, with a tiny 'parachute' to carry them on the breeze. Silverbeet seeds look like little brown bumps on the stem. Collect these free seeds by picking them on a dry day and putting them in a paper bag. Label with the name and date. Keep the bag of seeds somewhere cool and dry. The seeds will be good for sowing this autumn. You can grow silverbeet and lettuce all year round in the Waikato. Read more in this article by Aleena La'ulu on seed saving in New Zealand.

In the photo - Desmond picks lettuce seeds at Grandview Community Garden.

Powdery Mildew

Cool nights and damp mornings make plant diseases grow. You might see powdery mildew on your zuccini and cucumbers. Over watering and over feeding makes powdery mildew worse. Do not water the leaves, only water the roots. Damp leaves are much more likely to get disease. If just a few leves are affected, pick  them off and either compost them in a hot compost pile or bag them tightly and put them in the rubbish.

Homemade spray
Research on zucchini plants showed that spraying diluted cow's milk on the leaves slowed the spread of powdery mildew .
To try this at home, mix 1 part milk with 9 parts water and spray the stems and tops of leaves with the solution. Reapply after rain.

At Grandview Community Garden the zuccini and pumpkin plants are looking really green and healthy. Why? we water at the roots once a week, do not water the leaves, and use mulch to keep the plant roots cool and damp.


in this photo - woodchippng mulch around this pak choi plant is dry on top, but scrape the surface and underneath the soil is moist and cool :)

Happy Gardening


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