Waikato International Community Gardening Project Update October 2013

Posted 4 years, 1 month ago by WIC Coordinator    0 comments

spring is here

The school holiday gardening group sowed seeds with Sister Heleni and garden mentor Tim at Grandview Community Garden last week. Photo taken by garden volunteer Leo.

 

What to sow now

sow in seed trays indoors: chillies, capsicum, cucumbers, tomatoes, zuccini, bitter melon, okra, water melon, sweet corn, yard long bean, basil. Here's how..

ESOL World Gardeners sowing tomatoes and chillies
ESOL World Gardeners sowing tomatoes and chillies

sow in the ground: pumpkin, squash, zuccini, lettuce, climbing beans, peas, carrots and beetroot.

 

Hardening off seedlings

Spring weather is sometimes warm and sometimes cold, especially at night. Baby plants are like real babies - they cannot cope with changes in temperature. This is why we get seedlings gradually used to the outdoors before planting them in the garden. This is called hardening off How? Put  seedlings outside for a few hours each day for 5 days.


Shelter from the wind

When you plant your seedlings, put up a temporay wind shelter around them. Try: a plastic milk bottle with top and bottom cut out or, a polystyrene crate with the bottom cut out. 

zuccini shelter made out of fish crate with bottom cut out
zuccini shelter made out of fish crate with bottom cut out

 

Feed your plants

Garlic, lettuce, onions and silverbeet need feeding now. You can make your own liquid plant food using comfrey and dock leaves and roots. The roots of these plants are rich in nutrients. Heres how:

Dig up 5 or 6 comfrey and dock plants, including all the roots. Put them in a bucket and add water. Put a lid on and leave for two weeks.

barrel of comfrey leaves and roots at Grandview Community Garden
barrel of comfrey leaves and roots at Grandview Community Garden
Use a bucket to scoop some liquid out. Dilute with water (so it looks like weak tea) stir well and water the mixture around your vegetable plants every 2 weeks.
feeding parsley plants with comfrey manure at Grandview Community Garden
feeding parsley plants with comfrey manure at Grandview Community Garden

 

Tomatoes 

Fili with home grown tomatoes
Fili with home grown tomatoes
There are many different varieties of tomatoes available to grow. Tomato growing tips:

  • Plant tomatoes in a different place from last year, to reduce disease.
  • Add a bucketful of compost where each plant is to grow
  • Hammer a strong stake (bamboo or untreated timber) into the ground before you plant
  • Sow seeds indoors to plant outside at the end of october
  • Choose the healthiest, strongest seedlings
  • Feed the plants every two weeks with liquid manure

Companion flowers for summer

tagetes marigolds
tagetes marigolds
Cleome is a pink flower which attracts good insects to the garden. Tagetes (french marigolds) are yellow and orange summer flowers which repel pests. Read more..


Sweet corn, maize and popcorn

October is the month when we sow the first sweet corn, maize and pop corn. Corn needs a long, hot summer to grow well. In the Waikato we can sow a late crop of corn at New Year as well.

maize corn
maize corn
Tips for growing corn:

  • Sow seeds in trays indoors in October and plant out when they are10cm high. At this size the plants can cope better with snails!
  • Do not plant corn in the same place as last year
  • Plant corn in blocks (patches)  rather than single rows, for better pollination.
  • Plant each plant 30 cm apart

Enjoy Silverbeet - 6 delicious recipes

red and yellow silverbeet growing at Grandview Community Garden
red and yellow silverbeet growing at Grandview Community Garden
Silverbeet is easy to grow year round. Try some of these recipes sent in by Alice Bulmer.

1. Silverbeet with garlic and mustard

 1 bunch silverbeet

1 clove garlic (or more if you like)

Finely chop garlic.

Wash silverbeet. Separate ribs from leaves and finely slice the ribs. Slice or tear the leaves into pieces. Add a splash of olive oil or a small knob of butter to a saucepan or a heavy frying pan. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes on medium heat. Now add the silverbeet ribs. Cook, stirring, for two or three minutes. Then add the leaves and stir. Cover the pan and leave to cook for 5 minutes or until the leaves have wilted down.

Stir in 1 tsp prepared Dijon mustard – or English mustard if that’s what you have. Grind over black pepper to taste.

 2. Silverbeet with coconut milk

As per above, but add a small amount of coconut milk or cream at the end, plus salt and pepper to taste.

 3. Silverbeet with mushrooms

1 bunch silverbeet

1 cup mushrooms (or less if that’s what you have)

1/2 clove garlic (or a small onion, finely chopped)

Wash silverbeet. Separate ribs from leaves and finely slice the ribs. Slice or tear the leaves into pieces.

Slice mushrooms

Finely chop garlic

Add a splash of olive oil to a heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Add garlic and stir for a minute. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add silverbeet ribs and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes. Add the leaves and stir. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes or a bit longer, until the leaves have wilted.

Add salt and pepper to taste – or soy sauce.

4. Silverbeet with oyster sauce

Follow first recipe, but instead of mustard add 1 or 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce at the end.

 5. Silverbeet with almonds and lemon juice

 1 bunch silverbeet

1/3 cup almonds (or walnuts if you have them)

lemon juice

 Wash silverbeet. Separate ribs from leaves and finely slice the ribs. Slice or tear the leaves into pieces.

Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a pan, and add the almonds. Cook, stirring, on medium heat until they start to get brown. Add the silverbeet, ribs first, then leaves. Stir and cook until leaves have wilted. Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice at end of cooking.

6. Feta and silverbeet fritters

3 eggs

2 Tbsp flour

1 onion, grated

200g feta, chopped

10-12 stalks silverbeet, cooked in saucepan with a little water and chopped finely

Beat eggs in a bowl. Stir in flour, onion, then feta. Stir in silverbeet (make sure it is not still hot). Add a small grinding of fresh nutmeg and black pepper.

Fry in small patties in olive oil.

Jobs in horticulture

Follow this link to an advertisement for asparagus pickers in the Waikato

Learn a new skill

On November 2nd, Hamilton Permaculture Trust is running a workshop on espalier pruning. This is a method of growing fruit trees in small spaces. If you are interested, read more..

Low Cost Christmas Expo

Western Community Centre Hyde Ave Nawton

Friday 8 November 2013 from 10am to 12pm at the Western Community Centre. Lots of fun activities! Grandview Community Garden will be there so come and say hi !

 

 

Happy gardening!

 

 

 

 



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