Waikato International Community Gardening Project Update March 11th 2013

Posted 11 years, 3 months ago by WIC Coordinator    2 comments

Keep your gardens alive in the drought

This week's WIC Update has advice for how to keep gardening in the dry

Watering: You can't water everything, so make sure water goes to the plants that need it most:

  • Young fruit trees - water each tree with two buckets a week
  • Vegetable plants which are still producing - beans, tomatoes, capsium, chillies; water with half a bucket  twice a week
  • Seedlings - spinach, lettuce, cabbage, peas; water a milk bottle full every second day, to keep them alive. When the rain comes, they will grow well

In the photo: Angela waters bean plants at Grandview Community Garden

Watering tips: Water runs off the soil when its very dry. The answer is to water VERY SLOWLY, right at the base of the plant. Water early in the morning or in the evening.

When it rains:  Go out and water! The rain will help your water soak in. It will take many days of rainfall  for the soil to recover.

Can you keep sowing and planting?   Yes!

In the photo: Zaw Mai San sows peas and carrots at Grandview Community Garden

Plant seedlings close together. They will 'help eachother' by covering the ground and holding moisture in the soil. Plant in the evening and water the planting hole first as well as watering the plant in. You can sow seeds of carrots, silverbeet, spinach and peas now. Water the ground before you sow, and mulch a thin layer over the top after sowing. Tip: place an old plank along on top of the row after sowing seeds. It will keep the soil damp underneath. Check after a few days and remove the plank as soon as your seeds are up.


Make shelter around your vegetable garden with cloth, branches or timber to reduce dry winds.

Shape the soil

Stop the water running off. Make a saucer shaped hollow in the soil around each plant, to trap water. When you are watering, fill each hollow, and leave the water to slowly soak down to the roots.

Plan for the future

You never know when there will be a dry summer.  Plan for this by planting a variety of crops. There will always be something that you can pick.

Plants which can survive the dry:

Richard from Gardens4Health recomends: corn/maize, NZ spinach, silverbeet , chilli, kumara, potato, peppers, amaranth, soya and climbing bean ( including snake bean), lentils, pumpkin and squash, bitter melon, onion, beetroot, cherry tomatoes, shallots, garlic, passionfruit, peanuts and spinach

Fruit trees

In the photo: mandarin fruiting in May

Thinking about planting fruit trees this winter? Choose one or two which are dry tolerant, for example: fig, grape, guava, cranberry, pepino and citrus.

Get ideas by looking at online catalogues: Copperfield  Edible Garden . Ask your friends and neighbours what they grow, and make a note.

Enjoying your produce

Many WIC gardeners are picking and eating home grown fruit and vegetables, despite the drought.

Levi's grandson eats the cherry tomatoes straight off the vine

Tun Hla Kyi's son cooks fresh tomatoes with fish

Peta's taro is growing well - the leaves are very tasty stir fried with spices and coconut cream

Angela has a great zuccini harvest - she made zuccini pickle and zuccini cake

Peni is harvesting blueberries and cranberries - nice in baking

Taiohi Toa enjoyed their sweet corn

Mariyah has been cutting flat leaf parsey for salad

Gardeners enjoyed the first banana melon at Grandview Community Garden

In the photo: Grandview Gardeners take a break and have a slice of water melon and banana melon (yellow)

This week at Grandview Community Garden

Fungai started his garden from bare ground in March 2012
Fungai started his garden from bare ground in March 2012

How to start a new vegetable garden in the dry:

Community Garden Mentors will be at the garden to show you how to get a garden started in dry conditions. All welcome

When: Tuesday March 12th 9am to 10.30am  and  Wednesday March 13th 5.30pm to 7pm

Saturday March 16th 8am to 12.00   Working Bee.

Can you help with: painting? planting? spreading mulch? tidying the shed? Please join us and lend a hand to get the garden looking great for our WIC Harvest Celebration. Morning tea provided. 

Wear boots or shoes and a sunhat. Bring tools and seeds if you have them.

Please park on Grandview Road and walk in the gate opposite 183 Grandview Rd. Bus route number 8 (Frankton)

Call us if you have any questions Clare and Tim ph 021 0387623 WIC Community Garden Mentors


Garden Resources

Strawberry Plants: A kind person has donated strawberry plants to the WIC gardeners. If you would like some, come to one of the sessions at Grandview Community Garden. Please let Clare and Tim know you are coming - txt: 0210387623    email: clare@greenfootprint.co.nz



Waikato Community and School Gardens Network Meeting

Where: Salvation Army Hall, 180 Grandview Road, Hamilton
When: Monday, March 18 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Growing communities from the ground UP by Richard Main, Gardens4Health
A table for 9 billion by Lettie Bright and Chole Irvine. Oxfam GROW Campaign
The meeting will begin with a round robin, followed by presentations, then group
discussion and reflection. Tour of Grandview Community Garden will follow the meeting.

WIC Harvest Celebration

You are invited to the Waikato International Community Gardening Project  Harvest Celebration

      Where: At Grandview Community Garden   

      When: Friday March 22nd 5.30pm

  •  BBQ provided
  • Please bring a plate of food from your garden

 Join us at Grandview Community Garden and celebrate the achievements of the WIC Project with a harvest meal and tour of the garden.

RSVP clare:   clare@greenfootprint.co.nz   Ph 021 0387623 

Please park on Grandview Road and walk in the gate opposite 183 Grandview Rd.

Happy Gardening!






11 years ago
Nice post. This is a great blog and I have to congratulate you on the content.
This is a great blog, usually i don’t post comments on blogs but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so!

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