Home' Central Canterbury News : June 19th 2013 Contents 6 CENTRAL CANTERBURY NEWS, JUNE 19, 2013
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Harvest with a vitamin boost
This column is adapted from
the e-newsletter Get Growing
from New Zealand Gardener.
To subscribe to Get Growing
visit the NZ Gardener website
at nzgardener.co.nz, and
click on the Get Growing tab.
To subscribe to NZ Gardener
visit mags4gifts.co.nz or call
0800 mags 4 gifts.
RICH SOURCE: Rose hips are rich in vitamin C:
HARVEST ROSE HIPS
When fruit was scarce during the
wartime, rose hip syrup was
prescribed to children. That's
because rose hips are rich in vitamin
C -- by weight, they have 20 times
more vitamin C than oranges, so
they're brilliant natural flu fighters.
The best time to forage for rose
hips is after the first frosts. Any
rose will do, but rugosas have lovely
To make your own rose hip syrup,
roughly chop the ripe red hips and
place in a large pot with just enough
water to cover. Simmer for an hour,
then strain through a jelly bag or a
sieve lined with a double-folded
Return the juice to the boil and
simmer to reduce its volume, then
add sugar to taste -- you'll need up to
1 cup sugar per 1 cup juice. Take a
tablespoon daily during winter to
keep lurgies at bay.
GROW YOUR OWN
If you want to be eating sweet, juicy
strawberries all summer, now's the
time to establish your own straw-
berry bed. Strawberry plants are
available in garden centres now and,
if you get them in the ground quick
smart, they'll be flowering by late
August and fruiting six to eight
weeks after that.
Strawberries need full sun. Make
sure you're not planting them
somewhere that ends up shaded by
overhanging trees. They also need
free-draining soil. In waterlogged
conditions, the crowns can rot out.
Wet soil also makes the ripening
fruit susceptible to botrytis and
mould, so it's a good idea to slightly
mound up the soil and plant on top.
Commercial growers mound up the
soil and then cover it with black
polythene punctured with plant-
ing holes. The black plastic also
speeds up ripening.
Give strawberries their own
dedicated bed and make sure it
can be netted to keep the birds
off. You might want to hammer
in solid wooden stakes at each
corner, so netting can be flung
over the top later on.
Use mulch -- sawdust and pea
straw are popular -- to keep
weeds down and lift the fruit off
the soil surface.
Dig in strawberry food at
planting time and apply liquid
fertiliser fortnightly (mix it into
lukewarm water over winter) to
promote quick growth.
If your plants produced rooted
runners last season, you can
also snip them off now. Trans-
plant into fresh soil -- or give
away as gifts.
BUY NEW FRUIT TREES
It's the enthusiastic orchardist's
favourite time of the year: fruit
tree buying season. Check out
the selection of bareroot fruit
trees arriving in garden centres.
Bareroot trees are well-priced
and easy to plant, as you don't
have to lug heavy potted trees
around the place. Be in quick --
the most popular varieties sell
SHIFT TREES, SHRUBS
As well as planting new trees,
now's the ideal time to shift dor-
mant deciduous trees. Dig a
trench around the plant you
want to shift, 30cm out from the
trunk. Carefully lever out the
rootball from the soil and place
it onto a tarpaulin to drag it to
its new spot and replant.
Make sure you stake tran-
splanted trees securely to help
avoid wind rock while your tree
is establishing its support net-
work of new roots.
PLAN FOR WINTER
If you're already tiring of roast
dinners and mashed spuds, pot
up some containers of winter
salad greens. Growth is slow
during the coldest months, but if
you can keep your pots on a
sunny, sheltered deck or in a
tunnelhouse, you can still enjoy
crisp winter salads. A few tips:
Sow or plant cut-and-come-
again or loose leaf lettuces, rat-
her than hearting types. That
way you can pick baby leaves,
rather than waiting for the
whole lettuce to mature.
Sow or plant baby spinach, and
in frost-free areas, beetroot for
its red leaves.
Sow perennial arugula. It's
similar to rocket and does well
in the garden this time of year.
Arugula is fairly slow growing
and won't bolt to seed as readily
as annual rocket.
Corn salad or lamb's lettuce is
as tough as boots in winter. Pop
in plants or sow seed in trays to
snip as baby leaves.
Miner's lettuce has lovely
fleshy leaves for winter salads.
It self-seeds too, so once you've
got a patch going, it'll pop up
year after year.
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