Waikato International Community Gardening Project Update November 2013

Posted 4 years ago by WIC Coordinator    0 comments

Spring Vegetable Growing Workshops

transplanting seedlings at the WIC Spring Workshop last week
transplanting seedlings at the WIC Spring Workshop last week

Spring Vegetable Growing Workshop at Grandview Community Garden
Waikato International Community Gardeners welcome
Where: Grandview Community Garden
What: practical seed raising, kumara growing, planting, composting
When: Saturday November 16th and 23rd, & December 1st from 2.30pm to 5.30pm
Interested?  text 0210387623

Garden Diary

  • Taiohi Toa weeded and mulched the mandarin and feijoa trees
  • 70 visitors planted a pot of popcorn at the Christmas Expo
  • Zaw Mai and daughter sowed tomatoes, squash and chillies
  • Min Aung sowed yard long beans at the WIC Spring Workshop
  • Liang, Gui and Jiu dug and planted their new plot
  • Jody and Tehana picked strawberries from their plot
  • Leo started a spring vegetable garden at Grandview 
  • Ian and Margery planted lettuce and borage
  • Fungai harvested snow peas

Strawberries

Delighted with a giant strawberry, an amazing experience at Grandview Community Garden
Delighted with a giant strawberry, an amazing experience at Grandview Community Garden

Growing tips:

  • COVER. Net curtain is good, because the birds can't see through it.
  • MULCH with straw or woodchips. This keeps the berries clean.
  • PICK every day. They ripen fast!
  • FEED with liquid manure, seaweed or handfuls of compost around the roots. Don't get leaves or fruit wet or they will rot.

Secrets of great soil

Organic gardeners know soil is very precious. Healthy soil is alive with bacteria, insects and fungi, and plant roots. Having great soil is the best, fastest way to a great garden! Tips for great soil:

  • treat the soil like it is living - never step on your garden beds
  • Cover bare soil with mulch or plants. Bare soil quickly dies
  • rotate crops and plant green manure - read more here
  • dig in compost

mulched vege garden with path alongside for walking
mulched vege garden with path alongside for walking

What to sow and plant in November

WIC gardeners sowing summer vegetables
WIC gardeners sowing summer vegetables

November is the main planting time for tomatoes, capsicum, basil, chillies, corn, lettuce, beetroot, beans, peas, pumpkins, squash, zuccini, carrots, potatoes, cucumbers and melons. It's a busy time for gardeners!

Kumara: Kumara need warm conditions and a long time to grow.  If you are going to grow kumara this summer, you need to plant them before the end of November!  If you haven't grown your own plants you can buy them in some garden shops or online at http://kumaraplants.co.nz/ 

kumara plants ready to cut off and plant in the ground
kumara plants ready to cut off and plant in the ground

Kumara like sandy soil with not too much compost. Before you plant, dig the soil into mounds or ridges about 30 cm apart. Plant one kumara shoot on each mound. Bend the bottom of the shoot into a J shape as you plant it.  Water the new plants for the first few days. Read more here

Broad beans

Broad beans are in season now. The biggest pods grow at the bottom of the bush, nearest the ground. Keep them picked and the plant will  produce more!

bee pollinating broad bean flowers. No bees-no beans!
bee pollinating broad bean flowers. No bees-no beans!

Recipe: Broad bean falafels
Shell fresh broad beans or thaw frozen ones. In a food processor, puree one and a half cups of broad beans with one clove of garlic, half a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of cumin, and half a teaspoon of baking powder, two spring onions and a handful each of parsley, and coriander. Stir in four tablespoons of flour and form the falafel mixture into balls and flatten. Refrigerate. Fry the falafels in vegetable oil until brown and crispy on both sides. Serve with tahini dipping sauce.

Tahini dipping sauce
Add a quarter of a cup tahini, half a cup of water, juice of half a lemon, two to three garlic cloves, salt to taste, and one teaspoon of cumin to a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth.

- © Fairfax NZ News

Watering wisely

In the Waikato it has been dry and sunny for a week. Start being careful with water now, and make gardening easier for your self 

Ian and Margery watering lettuces
Ian and Margery watering lettuces

Remember:

  • Dig a deep hole before planting. Loosen the bottom of the hole so that the roots will grow DOWN. Add compost to the hole, then plant and mulch
  • Water new seedlings twice a week for the first two weeks. Give each plant a litre.
  • Before you water - dig the soil and look - is it really dry?
  • Water slowly
  • Water the roots, not the leaves
  • Mulch the soil

Fruit trees

mulching the mandarin trees at Grandview Community Garden
mulching the mandarin trees at Grandview Community Garden

Feed your fruit trees in November. Fruit trees are growing their fruit and leaves in early summer and need fertiliser. Give each tree a bucket of compost, or liquid food (made with comfrey or animal manure). Top up the mulch if its a bit thin.

Mulching slows down weeds, keeps the soil moist and feeds the soil.

At Grandview Community Garden the gardeners use well rotted woodchips as mulch.  Download a WIC information sheet (pdf) of where to get free and cheap mulch ingredients here

Potatoes

If you planted early potatoes like rocket, they will be ready to dig up and try! Later varieties need to be mounded up - push soil up to cover their growing stems - this encourages more potatoes to form underneath.

mounding up a row of potatoes
mounding up a row of potatoes

Read more about growing potatoes here

Happy Gardening!

Supported by Medibank New Zealand

 

 



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