The very changeable Spring weather of the last month will hopefully change to the more settled warmer weather that we expect this month. We are now in the month which we do most of our planting and sowing. In the vegetable garden it is time to plant and sowing of all the warmer loving plants. Many of the earlier planted crops will begin to grow faster and be ready for harvesting. Weeding and watering will be needed as the temperatures increase and the days are longer. Fruit trees will be getting to end of their flowering so the time for treatment for codling moth, caterpillars and aphids will be here. Soft fruits will be starting ripen so will need to be covered to protect them from the birds.
Our first roses will be blooming now. So many types and varieties grow almost world wide. The name for a “rose’ is almost the same in any European language, an indication of its antiquity.
Early poets all sang praises of the rose. Dried roses have been found in Egyptian tombs. “Rose” by any name signifies joy, beauty and love. During the medieval period people associated the rose with Spring and fertility, also with pleasure and enjoyment.
September’s Eat Your Weeds workshop hosted by Cathy Bouma of Tuahiwi Herbs was a sell-out success. Thirty participants enjoyed Cathy’s lively presentation and demonstration of various weed-inspired foods and flavours. Everyone enjoyed the herbal infused teas and went away inspired to experiment for themselves. Check out these amazing weed-inspired pesto recipes!
This Spring is bringing the usual mixture of warm and cold weather – potentially a problem for the garden as we start to get ready for the planting and sowing time. To get the most from our plants we should really wait until conditions are consistent for the soil and the weather settles down. The Spring bulbs are in full bloom and will benefit from a fertiliser to build up the bulb for next season; removing spent flowers will also help. Spring flowering trees and shrubs should be pruned straight after flowering to ensure good growth for the next season’s flowers. Read more
Have you got a sunny empty spot at the back of your garden? You may like to try this ancient tuberous sunflower species grown by native Americans long before the arrival of Europeans. It is an attractive tall growing perennial with sunflower heads up to about 10cm across. It grows from white underground tubers that are rich in inulin, can be eaten raw, or cooked. They also make a delicious soup which tastes a little like oyster soup. It was taken to Europe and became very popular there in the 1600s. Despite the name, the plant has nothing to do with either Jerusalem or with artichokes! Another old European name, Sunchoke is more appropriate!