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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. Read more about Gardening Jobs for March 2016 by Judith Halford

# We are now busy watering, feeding and harvesting. But we also need to be thinking about winter. As the summer crops finish it is time to plant leeks, brussel sprouts, broccoli and the like. Sow seeds of carrot, parsnip, turnip and swede.

# Protect brassicas from white butterfly by covering crop with the new insect mesh, rather than using derris dust.

# Dead head roses, dahlias and perennials reqularly to encourage flowers all summer.

# Harvest garlic and onions when the leaves start to go brown and die off. Fork out and lay in sun for a few days before storing in dry place.

# Dead head agapanthus now to stop them spreading. Read more about Gardening Jobs for February by Judith Halford

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 Read more about Christmas Holidays.

# Tie or support with stakes, new growth on roses. Also the nice new basal shoots on climbing roses. Same applies to dahlias and delphiniums.

# Plant tomatoes, peppers, chillies, kumara, cucumbers and pumpkin family outdoors now, but watch out for frosts and cold winds.

# Take out laterals on tomato plants. Do this with care, so do not remove trusses of flowers. Feed regularly and sprinkle ground beneath with Neem Granules, as an insecticide. Cover with insect mesh to keep psyllid off. This has been proven to work, also on potatoes.

# Sow bean seeds now its warmer and also sweet corn seed. Sweet corn gives better results if planted in blocks.

# Cover berry fruits to protect from birds. Keep well watered and side dress with a little potash to enlarge fruit. Read more about Gardening Jobs for November 2015 by Judith Halford

During September and into October, rural Buglaries have been on the rise. Our biggest concern is the number of fire arms being stolen. While all property can be replaced either by insurance or at personal cost, stolen fire arms are most often distributed amongst the criminal fraternity. A single burglary of this type often yields 5-6 firearms. This is the ideal reward for the offenders as there is always ready cash available from the likes of criminal gangs.

I appeal to all gun owners to take extra  care securing your fire arms. It may be inconvenient but but the consequences of not doing so could prove dire.  Read more about Crime Trends

# October is a busy month in the garden, particularly in the vegetable garden. But be warned, some things prefer it quite warm so don’t be in too big a hurry. Wait until the end of the month to sow sweet corn and bean seeds, and the planting out of cucumber, kumara and tomato plants. It is now when you wish you had a greenhouse.

# Start to fertilise, as the soils warm up, plants put on growth, especially roses, fruit trees and citrus. Citrus can be quite yellow due too the cold winter so specific citrus food and some compost is beneficial, likewise with black passion fruit.

# Watch for slug and snail damage on emerging delphiniums, hostas, gypsophila and dahlias.

# Sow pumpkin, cucumber, zucchini etc. seeds in peat or paper pots and place in a warm spot, too plant out later without disturbing their roots. Read more about Gardening Jobs for October 2015 by Judith Halford

# Early spring can be frustrating for us gardeners. We are keen to get planting but we have to remember how changeable the temperatures can be. Later in the month you can begin to sow seeds of tender plants such as cucumbers, pumpkins, cucumbers and tomato seeds in containers in a greenhouse or somewhere warm and protected from frosts. These can then be planted out mid October, depending on the weather. But don't forget to harden them off before planting out into the elements. Be weary of frosts to avoid disappointment!!!!

# Top up veggie bins with compost and sheep pellets. Dig in cover crops that have been cut down and also add sheep pellets and compost. It will then be ready for planting into in October. Read more about Gardening Jobs for September 2015 by Judith Halford

Over the past month or two, dishonesty offening has been on the increase, in particular, burglary. Offenders have struck in both urban and rural areas, with farmers losing some high value equipment and livestock. Some incidents have been more niusance value that anything else, but that does not alter the fact that some low life has invaded the sanctity of your home or private property. 

The community as a whole needs to become more pro-active in protecting their property. CCTV camera systems have become very affordable, and the technology has improved in leaps and bounds. The system can be accessed via a Smart Phone giving you access to your camera system where ever you may be.

Sensor lights and gate alarms have all become very affordable, and while not fool proof, all serve as a deterrant. Read more about CHB Crime.

# Continue to prune your roses. Renew the ties on climbers and standards, using soft stretchy cotton strips of fabric. Follow with spray of spraying oil.

# Later in the month fertilise roses with a specific rose food and apply a layer of mulch/ pea hay/ compost.

# Add groups of colour by planting potted colour flowering won't be long before summer flowering annuals are available. Keep off very wet gardens.

# Keep planting fruit trees, berries, roses, and ornamental trees. Divide runners from strawberry plants and use as new plants or to replace old ones.

# Clean out greenhouses/glasshouses in preparation of new season tomato and cucumber plants. Replace soil if needed as you don't want too plant tomatoes in the same soil as last year. Replace with good quality vegetable mix. Read more about Gardening Jobs for August 2015 by Judith Halford

Monthly respiratory clinic at CHB Outpatients Department- always last Thursday of the month.  Clinic appointments in Napier Monday to Friday also. (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease / COPD, bronchiectasis etc)
For free education and support by Respiratory Nurse Educators.  Lung function tests (spirometry) completed (charges apply)   bookings by appointment Toll Free for cell or landline  0800 ASTHMA / 0800 278462

Monthly Breathe Easy Support Group meets in CHB - call for more details.
Contact Person: Toni Hewett
Phone or Mobile Number: 0800 278 462 or TEXT 022 694 2872
Email Address:
Web Address: Read more about Asthma Hawke's Bay

# July is the month to plan what you ,would like to achieve this coming spring .New veggie beds, a specimen tree to provide shade, spruce up the patio, add to the orchard, add to the rose bed. The maintenance jobs are the same as you would have read last year...but they are all well worth doing. 

# Purchase new roses now. Dig a good size hole, make a mound in bottom, spreading roots over it[ cut back any damaged roots]. Add good compost too hole and firm down. Water well. Make sure the budded union is at ground level and not buried. Stake standards at planting and tie well. Read more about Gardening jobs for July by Judith Halford

# What a lovely Autumn we have had. Now focusing on what has to be done in the garden before winter hits.

#  Move those frost tender plants that are in containers to a warmer place or organise the frost cloth cover, for example, your kaffir lime or lemon grass.

# Cut back dahlias,  paeonia,  lift gladioli and hang in a dry place.

# Dig kumara and leave on top of soil to dry for a few days. Harvest pumpkins, dunk in a solution of diluted janola, before storing.

# Remove old tomato plants but don't put in the compost as disease can be carried over. Read more about Gardening Jobs for May by Judith Halford

#  Tidy vegetable beds...remove beans, sad lettuce, sweet corn and any plants that have finished producing, make room for new crops. Add generous amounts of sheep pellets and compost.

# Plant celery,  brocoli, pak choy, kale and other brassicas, keeping covered until cooler and no white butterfly about.

#   Sow Broad Bean seeds around Anzac Day. Harvest pumpkins and kumara before they are hit by frost.

#  Plant pansy, primula or polyanthus in pots nad/or hanging baskets. Refresh potting mix with slow release fertiliser or replace top half of pot with new mix.

#  Continue to remove dead heads on dahlias and roses. Autumn flowers are usually smaller but the colour is more intense. Read more about Gardening Jobs for April by Judith Halford

# In March we are busy harvesting, preserving and planting for the winter....

# Sow seeds of parsnips , carrots, swedes, turnips and broad beans . Plant seedlings of spinach, kale, silver beet, bok choy and pak choi. And also cabbage, cauli., and broccoli. Remember to plant a few different vegetables each fortnight, rather than having everything ready to eat at the same time.

#  Sow sweet pea seed for spring flowering. Soak seed overnight in water before sowing.Add sheep pellets, lime and compost to soil before sowing and then watch slugs and snails don't eat them as they germinate.

# Spring flowering bulbs are beginning to appear in garden centres. Be in early for those popular or rare varieties. Read more about Gardening Jobs for March by Judith Halford