By Tony Murrell
This time of the year is your opportunity to identify invasive weeds and take responsibility for eradication. There is a brilliant book called “common Weeds of New Zealand” by Popay, Champion and James.
Local council have information on control and eradication too. Don’t just jump to using Glysophate across the board when weed spraying. You will be surprised at the alternatives, methods and products that really do work.
Garden beds where now clear of snow can be top-dressed with a mixture of animal manure and leaf mould and well composted garden material. Either add a reasonable layer to the soil after first cracking the surface with a garden fork for air intake and encourage worms to the surface to take the county down or rotary hoe in the carbon.
Plant of the week
Puka, or meryta sinclarii. A very nice large leaf New Zealand native tree that can in maturity reach up to 8 metres in height. These trees get rather wide too and in maturity they will drop leaves every day. I like to under-plant them in maturity with clivia and ringa ringa lilies.
This tree loves a semi-sheltered coastal condition and great for use as a privacy plant due to its large evergreen leaves. Plant into good draining quality topsoil and mulch well over summer. Stake at time of planting as most come in small bags from the plant suppliers for the domestic market and tend to wobble around.
Thing of the week
Ecostore fish fertiliser. A balanced concentrate of fish waste and seaweed. Economically concentrated: 1 litre makes up to 200 litres of fertiliser.
Garden design tip of the week
When fencing in your property for dog containment just remember that the dog likes to patrol the perimeter; so don’t plant delicate shrubs and favourite plants hard up against the fence as your pooch with just flatten them. Leave up to 400 mm behind garden beds for the patrol.
Cheers and happy gardening. Your garden guru.