August – All About Gardening

With  Michael  Coulter

It was good to see a book on New Zealand’s Native Trees was crowned New Zealand Post Book of the Year at a recent gala dinner in Auckland.  Seven years work, more than 100,000 four-wheel drive kilometres and countless hours walking in dense forest paid off for two Wellington writers.

New Zealand’s Native Trees  by botanist John Dawson and photographer Rob Lucas scooped the top prize.

It features more than 320 species of native flora and is an excellent  reference  book said Michael.

[note]On August 29th, the Fruit & Vegetable Circle were having a Guest Speaker who will be discussing the Potato & Tomato psyllid.[/note]

A member had asked about the use of coffee grounds in the garden.  Michael said personally he doesn’t use them, but Dave Adams does.  He uses them in his compost and finds that is the best place.  Another lady said she uses them on her garden to deter cats.

Worms love them in a worm farm said another lady.

August is a time when things are starting to happen.  Buds are starting to swell. Michael noticed the sap starting to rise on his birch trees.  Grape vines and maples have a predisposition to weep so would not consider pruning them now.  Look at your fruit trees and if the buds are swelling then it’s time to get on your sprays.  Time to finish your pruning.


Fuchsias are starting to move, but don’t prune them.  Prune fuchsias at the end of September.   Leave frosted plants until the new growth then do a tidy-up.

NIWA said we are in for a milder spring. Seasonal temperatures are likely to be near average overall.  Frosts and snowfalls typical of winter will occur from time to time.

Of  the six main centres in July, Tauranga was the warmest, wettest, and sunniest, Christchurch the coolest, Dunedin the driest and Wellington the cloudiest.

According to NIWA, temperatures for the month as a whole were near average for many regions.