We are keeping up a regular supply of garden veg by sowing a few seeds of cabbage and spinach in small pots. I’m hoping for 10 or 12 spinach plants and 3 or 4 cabbages, so I’ve sown 16 spinach seeds in one pot and 9 cabbage seeds in the other, I know, I counted them! When they have germinated and produced their first pair of true leaves the strongest will be transplanted into the veg garden, with some slug bait so they don’t disappear overnight. The spinach is called ‘Upright’ and is from Kings Seeds, but any sort not for summer growing will do; the cabbage is actually Chinese cabbage, the sort that makes a dense barrel-shaped head, and this one is ‘Napa Blues’ from Egmont Seeds. If you don’t already buy your seeds from a mail order company you might give it a go; they offer many more varieties than shops and lower prices too, the downside being that you get carried away in the catalogue and buy more seeds than you mean to – if that is a downside.
NEWS SHEET for MAY 2020
We are really enjoying our beautiful weather and new found freedom in level two especially the jaunts to the local beaches.
Our garden is still producing herbs and greens but tomato plants are starting to droop.
The kowhai trees are both in full bloom and people have told me their bulbs have mistaken Autumn for Spring.
The Horti Soc is hoping to be back in our rooms at Ocean Road in July to celebrate Solstice but we will need to wait until the government changes the social distancing rules. We will keep you posted with our weekly updates in the meantime.
Our lucky draw voucher for June goes to Sandra Rodgers…very timely as Sandra and her husband Mike have recently sold their house and are moving to Motueka. She has been a long- time committee member and participant in the society.
Up until last year Sandra and Rhonda have been the faces behind the Sales Table. This has been a great source of extra funds for our group and also interesting plants for our gardens. With every new incoming committee, there are always challenges to be met and gaps in our knowledge of the way things are done. Sandra has always been ready to advise and help out where necessary. Our thanks go to her and I am sure all the members wish her a wonderful future in a new garden.
Rhonda commented that some plants think it’s spring. What about an avocado tree that has suddenly burst into flower. That is weird. We have sprayed the three dwarf avocados with Vapourgard. Not sure if you have come across this but it is a great product that protects citrus and other waxy leaf trees like avocados which really prefer warmer climates from frost damage. We gave them a second dose last weekend because they had put on so much new growth in the four weeks since the last spray. Looking at them this morning after a decent frost, they are looking ok.
Roses are so generous in this country, they keep on making a few flowers despite having not many leaves and those that they do have succumbing to black spot and mildew, but the flowers are more strongly coloured than they are in the summer sunshine and lovely with morning dew on them. I’m letting them run wild for a bit, no dead-heading or pruning until July or August, just nature out on a spree until the gardener seizes control again.
The grape vine is an exception: that has had an early cut back before being dug up and sent off to its new home, and thanks for the tip, Diana, the long branches are rolled into a circle and kept dry to make a Christmas wreath. (If you have a lot of vine prunings you can roll them into a big sphere, quite fun in a large garden to bowl around the lawn).
FROM JUDI –
I have made a collage of a few gems found in the garden. I am loving my new lot of Compassion rose as well. At least I still have a little colour since all the dahlias have finished. Good thing is that at least their foliage is great for the compost, to which I’ve also added seaweed/kelp from my beach walks plus fallen leaves.
From Stephen and Silvey
Since the March meeting, when several subscriptions were paid, there hasn’t been an opportunity for those who are not comfortable with internet banking to pay this year’s subs. (Thanks to those that chose to do this – your receipts will be available when we get back together.) In past years there has been a late fee for subs not paid by the June meeting. Obviously this is not going to happen this year, given the circumstances.
Business aside, we took a drive up to Otaki last Friday, once we had got to Level 2, and paid a visit to Watson’s Nurseries. They were one of the sponsors for our Flower Show last year and one of their gifts was a voucher for goods at their nursery, a raffle prize that came our way. It certainly was a good time to spend it. A good proportion of their seedlings had been growing on during lockdown and were really well-established. Definitely value for money, and a good proportion of their shrubs are under $10. If you fancy a trip up the line at the weekend, we can recommend them as a destination.
So kindest regards to our members and families and keep on keeping safe
Regards: Rhonda, Marilyn, Silvey, Stephen, Judi, Frank and Julian.