Home' Central Canterbury News : April 17th 2013 Contents 20 CENTRAL CANTERBURY NEWS, APRIL 17, 2013
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Summer of brambles ends
This column is adapted from the
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likes plenty of sun,
but is prone to
Although associated with the
summer garden, coriander is hap-
piest during the cooler months
when it can focus on leafy
growth rather than the urgencies
Few plants resent having their
roots disturbed more than corian-
der. Almost without fail, it res-
ponds to transplanting by refus-
ing to grow or bolting to seed. To
stop this happening, always
direct-sow coriander seed into
loose, fertile soil or grow it in pots
using container mix.
Coriander likes plenty of sun,
but is prone to wind burn in
exposed places, so bear this in
mind when choosing a spot.
Once germinated, thin the see-
dlings to five centimetres apart
and keep them well watered.
Seeds planted now will give a
supply of zesty leaves that will
keep on coming until the mercury
TRY SOMETHING NEW
Don't suffer plants you're just
not into, whether they're orna-
mentals you've grown bored with
or fruit trees that don't deliver the
goods. Rip them out now to make
way for things new and exciting.
I've already identified a few
empty patches ripe for new plant-
ings (fruit trees, naturally)
around my way and things aren't
looking good for my fruitful,
but inedible Kingston Black''
This has been the summer of
brambles. I've gorged on yellow
raspberries, tayberries and little-
known, but delicious Japanese
wineberries by the truck full.
Every garden has room for a
bramble or two.
If you only have a deck, patio, or
small courtyard space, you can
grow the more manageable thorn-
less varieties in large tubs and
planters. Just don't skimp on the
watering over summer.
If you have a bit more space and
don't mind the odd savaging,
tayberries are my top pick of
all the brambles. The dusky,
blush fruit ripen to a luscious
sweetness, plump with chin-
dribbling juice and a flavour like
To ensure a long season from
your brambles, plant a range of
early, midseason and late
The first raspberries appear as
early as November and I'm still
picking blackberries now.
For heritage brambles check out
the Koanga Collection in the
(soon to be released) 2013 Edible
Gardens catalogue, or the
listings of Southland-based
Diacks Nursery. For hybrids, look
for the Incredible Edibles range in
It's too early for pruning (wait
until midwinter when the leaves
have fallen), but now's a good time
to tie bramble canes into bunches.
I prefer releasable cable ties for
this job as they can be used for
grasping and securing any vicious,
Keeping bramble canes up off
the ground in winter prevents
them from putting down roots and
forming impenetrable, thorny
thickets. Trust me -- you'll be glad
you did this when you come to
pruning and thinning the canes in
a few months' time.
KEEP YOUR PEPPERS
Don't be too hasty when casting
out your summer crops.
Most solanaceous food plants,
including tomatoes and peppers,
grow as perennials in their sub-
tropical native habitats, but are
generally treated as annuals in
cooler climates like our own.
While it's true that tomatoes
have enough trouble seeing out a
single season, capsicums and chil-
lies can survive for a couple of
years in warmer districts and
often produce better and earlier
crops in their second summer.
Portable container-grown pep-
pers almost always last for a
year or two, especially if moved
into a glasshouse or conservatory
Over winter, grow peppers in
frost-free regions. Just trim back
dead shoots from time to time and
control slugs and snails --
especially in spring, when growth
resumes. Scale insects often over-
winter on peppers, so scrape them
off by hand or blast loose with
Keep an eye out now for eggs of
the passionvine hopper. These dis-
tinctive serrations can be found on
the tendrils of passionfruit vines
and many other plants. You'll
never get them all, but the more
destroyed now, the fewer you'll be
bothered by next season.
Snip off all the affected tendrils
and freeze or burn them.
GREEN VEGIE BUG EGGS
You'll also need to keep watch
for eggs of the green vegie bug.
These appear as neatly arranged
clusters of cylindrical grey, cream,
or black eggs, found on the under-
side of leaves.
These are easily squashed, but
can also be frozen or burnt.
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