Down to the ground
Diana Noonan is an award-winning writer who combines a life-long passion for food-gardening with a love of foreign places and international cuisine. She has published numerous books and articles on gardening and cooking for both adults and children. Diana lives in The Catlins with her illustrator-husband, Keith Olsen, their two donkeys, a small fleet of pet chooks, and more raised vegie beds that you can shake a stick at!
You can read more about Diana and her gardening adventures on her gardening 4 real blog.
Aubergine is a long season crop so whether you live in a sub-tropical or temperate zone, start by sowing seeds into pots, under cover, around August. Only when soil temperatures are between 24 and 32°C is it suitable to shift plants into a permanent situation.
Grow great herbs
If potatoes and other root crops are the tummy-fillers, it’s herbs that pack the flavour punch, and I for one, couldn’t do without them.
The two most important things to remember when starting out with rhubarb is: grow plenty of it, and give it the sunniest spot available.
If there’s one single vegetable that has the ability to unite the favours of a dozen others, it’s celery.
Courgettes to the French, Zucchini to the Italians, and baby marrows to the Brits, New Zealanders call this versatile vegetable by any of its three names. But one rule is the same for all: a courgette is a cucurbit, a member of the squash family.
Whether your aim is to leave your seedlings in the container in which they germinated, or to transplant them out, ‘disturbing the soil’ after a few days of growth will help the young plants spring into life.
April in the Garden
The nights are growing colder and here, in the deep south, the last cut of the lawn provides precious heat-generating clippings for the compost.
It’s just a matter of weeks before we’re all going to be clamouring for garden seedlings.
Yay for Yakon!
It’s been a pretty heady week in vegie land. The reason is that I wandered into our local organic shop and there on the counter were two bags of yakon – YUM!
Garden tasks for May
My trailer is on the road several times a week this month as I haul load after load of bull kelp off the beach and onto the empty garden beds.
Garden tasks: September
In the north, spring is well under way. Broad beans are flowering, garlic is well through the ground (and craving liquid feeding), peas are advancing up their supports and carrots may even be at the stage of requiring thinning. All
Coriander is not difficult to cultivate once you understand that it prefers to grow into cooler temperatures rather than the heat of summer.
Staples aside, I find what we do and don’t choose to grow in our gardens endlessly interesting.
You may find this shocking (and I hesitate to say it out loud because it makes me sound quite ignorant), but I have only recently discovered gardenias.
Warning – infomercial about to start!
Brace yourselves, tighten your seat belts or do whatever else it takes to glue yourself to this week’s garden column because I have some news that will change your lives.
It’s typical of New Zealand weather to hold back the worst until last, and this season is no exception.
Garden tasks: August
While those in colder parts of the country are counting down the days until spring, gardeners in warmer climes will already have sown main crops such as carrots, beetroot, parsnips, and peas.
I think I’m Growing Greek!
Greeks aren’t very adaptable when it comes to food. At least, not in the Arkadian village that has been my second home for the last thirty years, and where I’m now holidaying.
Tinting the Winter with Colour
Last year, while living in Auckland for three months from July-September, I was astonished to notice that for my entire period in the city, several varieties of flowering shrubs and trees were in bloom.
Mulling Over a New Planting
I appear to be haunted by mulberry trees and I'm taking it as a sign that I really should plant one.