Garden for free at your place

Garden for free at your place

Time to trim hedges and evergreen shrubs

Shaping plants is best done now. Exposed foliage doesn’t burn because the sun is not so hot and the emerging growth gets to ‘harden up’ before winter hits. Plus, it gives a crisp look to gardens.

Start some new plants

Plants such as rosemary, bay, lavender, buxus and hebes are found in many New Zealand gardens and they’re easy plants to propagate.Cut firm wood stems of around 10cm long, strip off the half the leaves (from the bottom up) and place in soil or any potting mix you have lying around. Use seed trays, recyclable containers or simply put in a sunny area in the garden. Water daily.

We like this man’s simple guide for rosemary here

Vegetable seedlings munched? Do the beer trick

Are your precious vegetable seedlings disappearing overnight? Currently, slugs are voracious – one of our Centrals team set up three beer traps in her raised beds and this was the result - several nights running! Check your plants before sunrise and you’ll find them happily munching on plants or moving across the soil, ready to shelter from the birds during the day. Place small jars of beer tilted to the level of the soil, near cabbages, lettuce, cauli and broccoli. You can remove the slugs each morning and re-use the beer, but you may need to top it up.

Seed saving

It’s a great time to get your soil sorted and grow your own food

Don’t waste the seeds of some great performers – heritage vegetables, herbs and favourite perennials that have seed heads – shake vigorously into a paper bag, label what they are and store in a dry place. Tomatoes – these need to be sieved to remove any flesh, then dried out for a few days, before storing as above. Note: only heritage/heirloom types will seed true, as many modern varieties are hybridised.