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# Happy New Year and may most of your gardening be successful. We always have to have the odd failure, but we aim to do better next season. Gardeners are generally optimists.

# Your garden should look after itself for a week or so. Just make sure someone is watering and harvesting your crops[so they continue too produce] when you go away.

# Continue to dead head annuals and roses, so they produce more flowers over the next few months.

# Summer prune peaches and nectarines. Trim and tie down new growth on grapes. After berries have fruited, remove these old canes and select the strongest of the new canes for next seasons fruiting.

# Summer pruning is OK for once flowering roses and wisteria.

# This is a typical Hawke’s Bay summer, hot and dry. Water conservation is very important. So if you haven’t mulched, you will remember too early next spring. I find the raised beds for my vegetables, which are great, but they do dry out quickly. So every 2 days give them a good soaking, not a sprinkle with the hose every night and use a good compost prior to replanting.

# Beans will be very plentiful from now on. Keep them well watered and continue picking every couple of days, as this will keep them flowering and cropping. If you have space sow some more seed. Climbing beans up a ring of bamboo stakes is a good idea. Vertical cropping!

Policing throughout the western world is changing from the heavy punitive action of "Fire Brigade" policing (i.e. responding to crime after it has been committed), to the more preventative approach, where we use historically gathered intelligence to identify social and community issues which may be contributing to the problem. Then, using the assistance of partner organisations such as Safer CHB, Ministry of Social Development, Housing NZ, endeavour to put programs in place to assist these communities to rise above the issues which are dogging them.

Don't get me wrong, we still have zero tolerance toward anti-social behavior, and our courts are still busy every day, but we envisage that, over time, we can get these numbers down thereby making our communities safer places to live.

# Longer days are welcomed and warmer temperatures[we hope]

# October is a busy month, particularly in the vegetable garden. But be warned, some things prefer it quite warm so wait until end of month.

# Start to fertilise…as with warmer soils and moisture plants put on good growth, especially citrus, roses and fruit trees.

# Sow carrot and parsnip seed. Put a board on row of parsnip. This keeps them moist during germination. Don’t forget to take it off after 10 days. Take time to sow carrots or use seed tapes so you don’t have to thin.

# Sow pumpkin, cucumber, zucchini etc. seeds in peat pots in warm spot, too plant out at end of month, without having to disturb them.

# When the soil dries out, continue to prune roses. Spray with a mix of spraying oil and Copper. This seals the cuts and smoothes scale and fungi.

# Plant new roses, trees and berries.

# Think about where you could plant some vegetables as we are approaching spring. Even if it’s only a couple of lettuce and silver beet plants. It always tastes better when you have grown it yourself.

# Fertilise roses, citrus and fruit trees. Take care to keep fertilizer away from the trunk, and water in well.

# Green tip or early bud movement, begins in stone fruits, soon. Spray with copper to protect from leaf curl and bladder plum.

# Wood ash can be sprinkle sparingly on gardens and raked in, but NOT near camellias, rhodos. and other acid loving plants.

# When the soil dries out, continue to prune roses. Spray with a mix of spraying oil and Copper. This seals the cuts and smoothes scale and fungi.

# Plant new roses, trees and berries.

# Think about where you could plant some vegetables as we are approaching spring. Even if it’s only a couple of lettuce and silver beet plants. It always tastes better when you have grown it yourself.

# Fertilise roses, citrus and fruit trees. Take care to keep fertilizer away from the trunk, and water in well.

# Green tip or early bud movement, begins in stone fruits, soon. Spray with copper to protect from leaf curl and bladder plum.

# Wood ash can be sprinkle sparingly on gardens and raked in, but NOT near camellias, rhodos. and other acid loving plants.

# Rake up leaves so they don’t kill your lawn grasses. Piling these on bare soil in the garden beds. Stops weeds growing and encourages worm activity and when rotted, they help boast your soils organic matter. Can also fill plastic rubbish bags, moisten, tie the top and leave behind the garden shed until spring. Turn bag every now and then.# Move cymbidiums orchids into more sun, but out of frosts and watch flowers unfold.

# New season roses are in garden centres in early June. Be in quick for those old favourites. Don’t prune roses until July.

# Plant and transplant lily bulbs. They do well in containers as they require good drainage. Plant Christmas Lilies now.

# Sow a green manure crop of lupins or mustard in  vegetable ground, that is spare over winter.

#  Harvesting, tidying and thinking winter are the main things.

#  You can still plant carrots, parsnip, turnips and broad bean seeds. Plant brassicas again now as the white butterfly are not such a problem as the temperatures cool down. But caterpillars will still be hatching and eating, so spray with pyrethrum or target. Pyrethrum is a good natural spray for caterpillars but must be applied in the evening as it breaks down with the UV rays.

#  Plant leeks, lettuce[during the cold they grow OK but are a little coarse as they are growing slower but still good to plant and pick a leak or 2 as required. Mizuna and Coriander are good to grow during the winter and   can spice up a winter salad. Kale, Bok Choy and Spinach   are good quick growing greens for the cooler times.

Monday 28 November the old Nurses Home at the old Waipukurau Hospital burnt down. The building has been completely destroyed. One of the few buildings that were to be saved.  Demolition continues...

Thumbs up to our awesome fire brigades and our awesome fire men and ladies that worked for hours to keep neighbouring houses safe.  Here are some photographs today 29 November of the hospital site the first ones are of the old nurses home.

(right click on each photo to view).

 

•    Prune fuchsia and hydrangea; apply aluminium sulphate to the ground around blue hydrangea varieties to keep them blue.
•    Plant lobelia and petunia, in pots and baskets, for quick summer colour. Remember to use a good potting mix.
•    Watch for slugs and snails eating new growth on delphiniums, hosta, dahlias and gypsophila. Also newly planted seedlings, both flower and vegetable, they love them all.
•    Rake out dead moss from lawns where you have killed the moss with Iron Sulphate in solution, then fertilise with lawn fertiliser, to encourage grass growth.
•    Plant early varieties of seed potatoes and continue to mound up as the foliage emerges.
•    Sow seed of cucumber, zucchini, melons and pumpkin in small peat pots and then plant out after fear of frost are over, and also then have minimum root disturbance.

  • Enjoy the winter fragrance of daphne and winter sweet. Plants available now.
  • Plant new strawberry plants now, in hanging baskets, troughs or even in the flower garden.
  • Plant garlic cloves. Put them in the ground [about 5cm under the surface] with the pointed tips poking upwards. Important to keep water up to them in spring.
  • Sharpen, clean, oil, repair and replace worn out or broken tools. Clean out your garden shed before spring.
  • Complete pruning of trees, bushes and vines as soon as possible.
  • Plant new fruit trees…plums, peaches, apples and pears etc.
  • Plant new roses and begin pruning towards the end of the month.
  • You can still plant a flowering polyanthus or two in any drap pots or corners and they will continue too flower until it is really hot again.

Congratulations to the Deakin Brothers for their tenacity in getting started on the demolition of the old Waipukurau hospital buildings.

As a community we wish them well with their endeavours on this project knowing that almost anything they do to this site will be an improvement on what we have currently.  Big thumbs up.  These photos were taken 24 February the top ones just a week later on 2 March.  Excellent progress...

Lots of Zucchini ??????? The zucchini can be used in chocolate cakes, pies and salads .

Prune stone fruits e.g plums, peaches after harvest, on a clear warm day to prevent silver blight getting into pruning cuts.

March is time to think about winter vegetables…broad bean seeds, brassica plants, spinach etc. Sow cover crop of lupin or mustard in areas not needed.

If caterpillars, green vegetable bug or passion vine hoppers are attacking your vegetables spray with Beat A Bug , a natural insecticide made up of garlic, chillis and pyrethrum.

There is now a product, of a very fine mesh, available  to keep white butterflies out. It is 2 metres wide and can be put over several hoops and seems to do a good job.

Spring bulbs are beginning to come into garden centres now. Place in fridge for several weeks prior to planting, to encourage early flowering, as they think they have experienced winter. A few daffodils or tulips in a pot are always a delight in spring. Always plant into a good quality potting mix.

Trim hedges now to allow some growth before it gets too cold. E.g lavenders

Continue to dehead  roses and dahlias and you will get more flowers.

Merry Christmas

It is what most of us look forward to all year, the festive season and our annual holidays. It's up to each and every one of us to keep the memories of this time of year happy ones.

So if you are going away for the holidays, start by making sure you have done everything possible to protect your home and contents. Make sure all your doors and windows are secure and your neighbours know that you will be away and how long for. Make sure you have not left garden tools lying about for opportunist burglars to use to gain entry to your home. Ask your neighbours to park a car in your driveway, and even hang some of their washing on your line. Invest in a timer which switches a light on for a few hours each night.

If you are driving anywhere,  avoid any alcohol what so ever before driving, make sure you are well rested, take regular breaks, and don't be tempted to use your cell phone while driving. Remember the 4km/h tolerance level and wear your seatbelt.

Wishing you all a memorable festive season.

From Constable Glynn Sharp

# Plant leeks by drilling a hole with a stick and just drop them in it.

# Plant heat loving annuals like petunias, zinnias and marigolds for summer colour.

# Continue to remove laterals from tomatoes.

# Liquid feed all newly planted flower and vegetable plants.

# Adding compost will help the soil to hold more water and also attracts earthworms which will make more nutrients available to plants.

# Set mower blades high...if you scalp your lawn it can burn and also dries out and allows stronger weed varieties to establish.

# Tie up to stakes delphiniums, dahlias and roses new growth.

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