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# 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.

# 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.

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. 

# 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.

# 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.

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.

# 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.

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:

# 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.

# It is hard to believe we are close to the shortest day, but winter will come. It has meant we have had extra time in the garden to do those pre winter jobs, such as cutting down your dahlias, lifting and storing gladioli, remove dead leaves of daylilies, trimming hedges and shrubs. It is much nicer working in the garden without that cold wind and wet muddy ground.

# 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.

#  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.

# 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.

# What a great summer....bit harsh for plants and animals though. Remember when watering to give a good soak, rather than a quick shower of water. Mulch with pea hay or compost if you can. Trees and shrubs planted, last winter or spring, need special attention, regular soaks if you can. Avery small hole in the bottom of a plastic container, beside them, can help.

# Carrot and parsnip need to be sown now for the winter. Keep picking beans so they continue to produce flowers . You could get another crop if you sow the seed now.

# Plant leek and brussel sprouts plants, adding lots of compost and sheep pellets and don't allow them to dry out.

# Lift garlic and shallots now. Allow to dry well in a sunny dry place before storing or plaiting.

#  Protect newly planted seedlings from the wind and the hot sun, using windbreak cloth or shade cloth. Only water in the evening, then the plants has all night to absorb the moisture. Never water during the heat of the day, as you can burn the leaves and give garden a good soaking regularly, rather than a light sprinkle.

#  Keep garden free of weeds and give plants a light dressing of general fertilizer.

# Tie up tomatoes, and remember to take out the laterals if you want nice tidy plants.

# Look at zucchinis daily, so you don’t end up with marrows.

# Potatoes planted in September, or earlier, can be dug and I bet they will be delicious with a little butter and mint sauce {bring to the boil, then turn element down very low]