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Garden Tips May 2015

May Tips from the Living Earth Staff Veggie Garden - autumn is here and Digger Dan is getting into the season with lots of compost and planting!

The Garden: Despite the unseasonably wild weather this autumn the boys have been busy digging in compost and measuring out new rows for autumn planting in the Living Earth staff veggie patch.

Compost - Feed the soil that feeds you!

Compost MUST be dug in with existing soil! Apply a 50mm layer to the gardens and incorporate into the top layer of soil.

Harvest: Pumpkins! After waiting patiently the boys harvested over 30 large pumpkins and all of them have been busily cooking up soup, roasts and salads using them. Digger tried to grab some for the local food bank at Nga Whare Waatea Marae, but they had disappeared! One of the boys had already cooked them into an authentic Indian curry for the folk at the Auckland City Mission in West Auckland. It's so awesome to observe what the food garden is revealing about the staff. And good food doesn't last long!

New Crops: Coming into autumn it's great to start thinking about winter meals - grow based on what you like to cook and eat! Digger loves good hearty boil ups and broths using organic meat, or fish and any vegetables thrown in.
The boys have been sowing parsnips, onions, broad and soy beans in trays in their tunnel house. They're also planting, onions, cauliflower, spinach, bok choy and radish.
And there's a new variety of broccoli - Romanesco - for its incredible geometric design. Nature is stunning!
All the LE staff love garlic too - so watch this space for a whole new bed being dedicated to this favourite.

Pest Watch: Outside in the mini market garden the kale, leek and cos lettuce crops have bounced back despite the hungry pukekos. And the white butterfly has finally disappeared for the season….
Digger knows the beer dish trick works brilliantly for slugs and snails, but The Living Earth site is alcohol-free, so it's back to removal by hand. Happily the birds are pretty good at finding them!

General March Gardening:

Mother's Day is on the 10th May!

If your wonderful mother is a gardener, treat her to something special:

Lawn Care: With autumn being a bit late this year, you may find you have more growth than you could usually expect at this time of the year. Keep up regular mowing and fertilise with Prolawn Gold, this is important to maintain strong and healthy growth before the winter cold kicks in. The healthier and stronger your lawn is now the better it will handle the cold and wet conditions of winter.
If you have not done your autumn renovation work yet it may not be too late to spray off those weeds and fill in any bare areas that remain while there is still some warmth around.

Garden Thought of the Month:

"Weather means more when you have a garden. There's nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans." Marcelene Cox

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