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Saturday 25th September, 2021
My goodness did it ever rain the other night, I think that I tipped the rain gauge out at just on 70 mls. The cumulative effect of the wet spring has meant the creek has overflowed and it almost looks as wide as the Waikato River flowing between home and the nursery. Well that may be a tad of an exaggeration but it looks pretty impressive right now. In fact I don't think that I have seen the Kormakorau so full of water for many years. This year the water table may be higher than it's been for a while.
I went for a walk around the display garden and couldn't walk all the way around due to high water levels, well I could have, but I would have needed bare feet or my red bands.
Having said that the ground is beautifully wet for all manner of planting as we started to get some basic vegetables like lettuce, silver beet etc. back into the garden. There had to be some fancy handy work that went into the planting like netting to keep the birds off and the rabbits out. The woody herbs had out grown their spot in the garden and so it was time to clear them out and replace them. I actually think that the baby rabbits were hiding in the old rosemary and so the theory is to take away the hiding spots. Thus new sage, thyme and rosemary are all planned to go in against the wall.
Whilst we don't sell vegetable seedlings as such, we do have a collection of new seasons herbs and we will have them from now on through to the summer.
If you missed the first round of seed potatoes and need to get them in then Ang has all the range here again. From the traditional spuds like Rua, Jersey Bennesand Ilam hardyto the sought after Maori potatoes like Huakaroro, Whataroaand Moemoe. Getting them in early is always the best for a great result and as my spud growing neighbour (vege growing expert) tells me, it helps beat the blight.
It's also great planting for any other project that you may have on and it's because the ground is so nicely wet. So whether it be a new hedge, some specimen trees or the addition of pretties to the garden, get your overalls on and your spade out and dusted off.
On the home garden front, just a quick reminder - have you fed your lawn this spring? Because now is the time. Don't forget to feed just before it rains, so if you didn't get it fed before the last lot of rain then you will have to watch the weather forecast for the next. Or just water well after feeding so that it doesn't burn. Same goes for all the roses and plants in your garden. Spring is the season to feed plants.
I see that some curly leaf is starting to appear on the stone fruit which always seems to happen at this time of year and generally wet conditions will enhance the symptoms. I am of the opinion that one should live with a certain amount, but spraying with copper oxychloride prior to rain will help.
Pacific Challenger Asparagushas a reputation for higher yields than other varieties and a longer life span due to resistance to Phytopthera ( soil and water borne fungal infection ) and Asparagus virus.
Bred in NZ Pacific Challenger produces an all green spear and is an early to mid season variety. For the home garden situation ensure that the spot that you choose, is a permanent location as an asparagus can crop in the same position for some 20 years if looked after.
Asparagus enjoys rich soil full of organic matter, full sun and good drainage. Before you plant you'll need to rehydrate the crowns, with their heads out, in a bucket of water for around an hour. Plant your crowns in trenches approx 50 cm apart and have the trenches around 1m apart but offset the crowns rather than planting opposite. Plant the crowns by spreading their roots out at around 10cm deep in the soil and cover with soil. Don't harvest the spears from the crowns in their first year and then in the second year cut some spears and then let go, but in their third year then you should be humming.
Make sure that you plant enough crowns to feed the family, for example for a family of four, 25 crowns will produce 4 to 6 spears per day per person.
If you have a hankering to plant your own then we have crowns here at the nursery right now, bundles of 5 chunky plants for $14.99
Got a wet spot? Then we have the trees for you.
I often get asked for trees for a wet spot in the garden but first maybe we should clarify wet. All gardens, or landscaped areas, are what I call seasonally wet and most plants will cope with these conditions. A wet spot is an area that is almost always wet, where the water does not drain readily from or there is quite a high water table.
Swamp cypress or Taxodium distichumis one of the first trees that come to my mind that we have in the nursery. These will literally almost grow in water and have these special roots called knees that help them manage this situation. Taxodiums form tall pyramidal trees, are conifer like and are also deciduous hence they lose those fern like leaves each Autumn. Autumn tones are a rusty orange shade and spring foliage is stunning as those fern like leaves open in the most precious shade of light green. A mass planting of these does look pretty cool.
Tupelo or Nyssa sylvaticais an attractive green leaved tree whose claim to fame, other than growing in wet places, is its amazing Autumn colours. I have to also add in here that the almost unnoticeable flowers are well noticed by the bees as when in bloom my trees just buzz.
Alnus glutinosaand also Alnus Imperialisare another couple of trees that don't mind growing where its wet. The Black alder being glutinosa has round green and ribbed like leaves and imperialis by contrast has these attractive birch like leaves. The tree form is tall and pyramidal and almost birch like.
Big trees here right now
Quercus Robar fasitgiata is the upright form of the English oak tree and a few of these arrived in last week. Perfect for a driveway where you dont want anything too wide, these are just huge and they must be knocking on the door of 4 metres right now. Not available by delivery and so they are collect only. In hessian and balled so its an easy job of planting, just drop into a hole. They will need to be securely staked.
Metasequoia Glyptostroboides. Dawn redwood is the easiest option to roll of the tongue. Another large and very handsome tree with fern like foliage, again some pretty instant and impressive plants here in the nursery and again in hessian and collect only. They would look pretty cool planted out as a group of three or five.
Farm trees... Ang went on a shopping spree and found all these huge trees that need planting and would suit being farm trees and the like. These are huge, so no online order and come out to check them out for yourself. You'll need to come armed with a trailer to take them away. There is quite the selection to look at and they are not online. The selection includes Oaks like petrea robur, Palustrus or pin oak, Red Oak some maples and even some Betulas or birches.
They are down the back of the nursery toward the villa and Bay 16 if you do head on out to have a gander, but collection only. Many of them are too large to freight out.
I have to say that its been a busy and hectic 4 weeks as we sorted and dispatched all the orders that were made during lockdown and we couldn't send at the time. Some due to the alert levels and others because of the time delays in delivery. Never before have we had 6 of the team packaging away furiously for the first three and four days of each and every week. It's been a total challenge as many changed their deliveries to collection and so on. When Auck went to level 3, we finally could start to dispatch those orders too but again collections suddenly became deliveries as none of us know how long level three will be for.
It's a relief to actually have space again in the nursery that is no longer tied up in orders as we struggle to find the area to space the nursery for its spring growth and deliveries.
The trucks from all the different regions are just starting to bring all of our pre ordered spring stock which includes all the pretties and colour that we all like to plant in the spring. Needless to say there were a lot of plants to put away from last week.
There have been a few jobs in the garden that we will just have to miss for this year as we have been tied up in all the other aspects of the garden centre but, fingers crossed, no more lock downs and we will be back on track.
Time seems to be just flying past at the minute, Sunday morn brings in daylight saving time and so we will have long evenings ahead for the next 5 or so months and then we can catch up in the garden at home.
Have a great weekend in the garden
Cheers from Lloyd, Tony and the Wairere team
PS. A couple of specials from Angela
Grevillea Pink Midget Pink Midget has a wonderful dense compact habit which is low and wide. This grevillea gives a continuous production of delightfull pink flowers. Nice bushy plants were $24.99, now $19.99.
Coleonema Pinkii Breath of Heaven. Dainty aromatic green foliage and tiny little star shaped flowers in palest pink and white that appear in late winter-spring. A versatile and easy to grow shrub that doesn't mind a trim every now and then, Again nice plants and in flower, were $21.99, now $18.99.
Grevillea red cloud Strong grey-green foliage provides a striking background to prolific displays of rich red spider flowers. Compact growing with pink-red flowers borne almost year-round