Your Summer Gardening Guide issue 15
• Summer Herb Guide PAGE 5 • Bouquets from your backyard PAGE 10 • Compost Guide PAGE 4
Be inspired to make the most of your summer garden by Annabel Langbein’s feature article ‘Christmas Dinner from the Garden’.
Schools from around the country battled with their spades and seedlings to be crowned NZ’s best school garden. Find out which schools triumphed.
to the Tui SUMMER Times for 2013/14. As we move in to the warmer weather the summer months bring it is heartening to see all the hard labour put in the garden over spring come to fruition, in the form of stunning floral displays and delicious homegrown crops. All in perfect time for barbeque season! In celebration of the coming entertaining season we have garden-inspiration courtesy of Annabel Langbein. Turn to page 6 to read about how Annabel makes the most of her garden in her Christmas festivities, and for a sneak peek of her stunning Wanaka garden.
In other news, the 2013 Tui School Garden Challenge finished at the end of October, and the entries this year certainly did not disappoint. The judges had a tough time selecting the winners – find out the lucky schools on page 8.
Also in this edition - whether you have balcony space for pots or a ¼ acre piece of paradise, a herb garden is a must have in all households see page 5 for Tui’s 4 step guide to growing summer herbs. For those of you just getting started in the garden, Tui’s 4 Steps to a Successful Summer Garden gives you simple advice and tips for your summer garden. And on page 4 – our guide to composting will help you on your way to reducing waste, whilst creating organic matter to add to your garden – brilliant!
Don’t forget to upload a picture of your garden to the Tui website, for your chance to win.
WIN WITH TUI THIS SUMMER Upload a picture of your garden to tuiproducts.co.nz and you could win one of three Tui garden packs.
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Happy gardening and enjoy your summer, from the Tui Team. For gardening tips and advice join us at facebook.com/TuiGarden.
TUI’S 4 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL SUMMER GARDEN 01
Like building a house a good foundation is the key to success in your garden. The better the soil, the better the crops!
Popular crops for planting in summer include: capsicum, courgettes, cucumber, eggplant, kumara, pumpkin; and fresh summer herbs like basil, chives, parsley and thyme. Keep planting salad greens every few weeks to keep up a continuous supply.
Feed your plants and they will feed you. Plants use nutrients from the soil as they grow, so replenishing the nutrients ensures you get the maximum yields and long lasting crops.
Mulch is a gardener’s best friend in summer, as it will conserve moisture, protect plants from heat, and suppress weeds. Tui Mulch & Feed has the added benefit of feeding your plants whilst mulching.
If you are starting with an existing garden bed, digging in a good helping of Tui Organic Compost and Tui Super Sheep Pellets will help add organic matter to your soil and replace nutrients. You can then add a layer of specially blended planting mix that suits what you are planting – for example Tui Vegetable Mix for salad greens. If you have a smaller space and are planting in pots or containers, choose a potting mix that suits what you are planting – for example use Tui Outdoor Container Mix for shrubs and flowers.
In the flower garden, aster, chrysanthemum, cosmos, dahlia and geranium are popular flowers to plant this season. The best times to plant are early in the morning or late in the day, so the plants aren’t exposed to the hot sun straight away. Follow individual planting instructions, and water well before and after planting. For your existing plants: pick the laterals off your tomato plants, and make sure plants are well staked. Keep mounding up your potato plants. Prune existing fruit trees and remove fruited canes from berry plants as required. Harvest your fruit and veges regularly, this helps promote more growth throughout the season. Remove spent flower heads (‘dead heading’) to encourage another round of flowering.
To encourage continuous harvests it is important to regularly feed your plants – either with a fertiliser specially blended for your crop like the Tui Food range, or use an all purpose variety, such as Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser. Fertilise your flowers, fruit and vegetables every four weeks during the growing season for repeat flowering and tasty fruit. Continue to add organic matter like layers of compost or mulch, and a scattering of sheep pellets around your plants to add nutrients into your soil. A good deep soak every few days is better than shallow watering every day. Add SaturAid soil wetter to all areas of your garden including the lawn. This helps make sure water gets to the rootzone where it is needed most.
Use netting to protect berries and tomatoes from birds. Weeds will take up nutrients and moisture your plants could be using – pull them out, mulch to suppress further weed growth, or use a weed control product. Common pests in summer include: green caterpillars, slugs and snails, aphids, and white fly. Use Tui Quash Slug & Snail Stoppa and Tui Eco-Pest to stop these ruining your crops. Common diseases for summer include: blackspot and powdery mildew. Use Tui Eco-Fungicide to put a stop to these issues. Watch our Summer Gardening Guide for more tips!
A well watered, well nourished garden will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay.
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO COMPOSTING Tui TipS
Compost is nature’s way of recycling. Made from organic garden and kitchen waste material, compost is an essential ingredient for creating rich, friable soil and therefore healthy plants.
STARTING your compost system To get started you will need a good structure or container to hold your compost. Tumbleweed Compost Bins are a great option or you could build your own, for example out of plastic bins or pallets. Look online for more ideas and how-to guides. Choose a sunny position for your compost system and ensure it is easily accessible for adding ingredients and regular mixing. Prepare your compost in layers that are a blend of carbon and nitrogen. This means adding a mix of organic garden and kitchen waste materials. Carbon: Leaves, sticks, twigs and newspaper. Nitrogen: Fruit and vegetable kitchen scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds, lawn clippings, tea leaves and sheep pellets.
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Avoid adding: meat, dairy products or bread as these can attract unwanted pests. Don’t add any diseased plant material, to avoid spreading the disease. A good rule of thumb is to add nothing larger than your little finger. Break up larger items like sticks, twigs and cardboard before adding them, to help them break down more quickly. Layer materials evenly, making sure each layer is no thicker than 10cm. For every layer of backyard and garden waste, add a layer of kitchen waste material. To help get the composting process underway you can add some existing compost to each layer. Add a little water with each layer and mix the material every few additions.
1. The contents of your compost bin should have the consistency of a damp sponge. If your compost gets a bit too wet, adding paper will help soak up excess water. 2. Apply 100g (approximately 10 tablespoons) of Tui Compost Enhancer per square metre to help speed up compost decomposition and keep away flies.
season, improves soil structure and increases the amount of oxygen available to plants. Compost also conditions soil, improves moisture retention, increases earthworm activity and improves fertiliser use by plants. For best results compost should be dug into the soil. Don’t plant directly into compost as this can burn plant roots.
Put a lid on your compost bin to enable it to decompose quickly. Mix your compost regularly. It is compost when it is dark brown and smells earthy – it takes six to eight weeks to fully mature.
Using Compost in your garden Compost has a variety of benefits when used in your garden. It replaces nutrients that have been used during a growing
visit www.tuiproducts.co.nz to see Tui’s range of Tumbleweed Compost Bins
SUMMER HERB GROWING GUIDE 01
Fragrant herbs will add a flavour punch to any meal, particularly when they are freshly snipped from your own garden. For novice gardeners a few herbs grown in pots can be the perfect introduction to the joys of ‘growing your own’. For those more experienced gardeners among us, get inspired in the kitchen and try growing different herbs that suit your culinary style. Follow our simple 4 step Herb Growing Guide to harvest a bumper crop of herbs this season.
PREPARE Herbs will prosper in garden beds, pots and containers. Choose a spot outside that is close to your kitchen, or put pots on a sunny windowsill inside, for easy access. A good foundation is the key to success in your herb garden - Tui Herb Mix is specially blended to provide ideal growing conditions for your herbs. It is free draining, rich in nitrogen to promote green, leafy growth and continuous harvesting. Use in garden beds, pots and containers.
PLANT Over summer, herbs that will do well include: basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, chives, parsley, coriander, dill, chervil, rocket and borage. If you want to try something different, plant a combination of Vietnamese mint, Thai basil and lemongrass - all wonderful additions to Asian cooking. Don’t be shy when planting herbs as they quite like close neighbours, and you can always plant herbs in between other plants as they make great companion plants. Plant sage around celery to help keep aphids away. Hyssop deters white butterfly from brassicas like cabbages
and Brussels sprouts. Basil improves the flavour of tomatoes. When planting, dig a hole twice the depth and width of the root ball of the plant, or part fill your pot, place your herb plant in the hole and fill in with Tui Herb Mix. Water your herbs well before and after planting, and use Seasol Plant Tonic to help prevent transplant shock.
NOURISH Herbs use nutrients from the soil as they grow, so replenishing the nutrients ensures you’ll get the most from your crop - we recommend using Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser. Remember the smaller the pot the more quickly it will dry out so take care keep it well watered. Well watered, well nourished herbs will have a better chance of keeping healthy and producing well.
1. Over summer some herbs like coriander, parsley and basil are prone to go to seed. To avoid, water your herbs consistently, and remove parts of the plant that go to seed. If your herbs do go to seed there is an upside – the flowers are great for beneficial insects like bees, and if you let them fully dry out you can collect the seeds for next season! 2. If you have an excess of herbs, chop them up and freeze them in ice cubes.
PROTECT Herbs aren’t generally affected by pests and diseases. If your herbs are indoors, lack of sunlight and airflow can encourage bugs like whitefly. To combat, move your herbs outside when you can, and if you get an infestation treat with Tui Eco-Pest. Once established, herbs will benefit from a layer of Tui Mulch & Feed to help conserve soil moisture, provide nutrients and help keep the area weed free.
Christmas from the garden
By ANNABEL LANGBEIN Although best known as a cookbook author and publisher, Annabel Langbein is also a highly experienced and knowledgeable gardener. She studied horticulture at Lincoln University and for many years has grown her family’s fresh produce in her gardens and orchards in Wanaka and Auckland. Her seasonal harvests are the inspiration for many of the inventive but easy recipes in her books and TV series. 6
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One of the things I remember most vividly about the Christmases of my childhood was the time we spent each Christmas morning getting the freshly picked harvests from my father’s garden ready for the Christmas table. Our Christmas dinner always featured a wonderful roast of turkey or duck, with all the fixings of gravy, bread sauce, stuffing and cranberry jelly. Often there would be a first course, such as a shrimp cocktail with crisp salad greens, cooked prawns and a tomato cream dressing. But it was the range and variety of vegetables that really made it Christmas – often my mother would serve five or six different vegetables. Dad would always dig a big bucketful of the first new potatoes for Christmas Day. Their skins were so soft they would just rub off under your thumb and each one had to be carefully scraped, not peeled, before they were simmered gently with
a sprig of fresh mint, a little salt and a knob of butter (to stop them from breaking up). It always seemed to take so long, not just to prepare but to cook these baby gems, but it was just because there were so many in the pot to feed all the extra mouths! Potatoes are ready to harvest when they come into flower, but you can get in earlier and steal some of the first small, sweet spuds without the plant knowing, using a time-honoured practice called “bandicooting”. To do this you carefully dig in around the roots with your fingers, hunting for the first new potatoes that have formed, and then very carefully remove them without disturbing the plant or the roots, so that it will continue to grow as if nothing had happened. It’s a great way to get a first early pick from your crop and yet ensure that there will be many more potatoes still to come.
Annabel’s Meringues with Berries and Cream For best results use egg whites that are at least seven days old, and at room temperature. Make meringues at least a day ahead – they will keep for several weeks in an airtight container. Prep time 15 mins Cook time 1 hour + cooling Makes about 150 tiny or 60 medium meringues Ingredients 5 large egg whites a pinch of salt 160g caster sugar 160g icing sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract After the potatoes it was time to deal with the new-season peas and broad beans – a major shelling mission that required buckets and bowls out on the back steps, the fresh peas and beans on one side and the compost bin and pot on the other. Every now and then I would slip out of the rhythm and find myself dumping the skins into the pot and the pods into the compost, and then it was a major scrabble to get everything back into its rightful place. It never ceased to amaze me just how many pods you needed to produce a medium-sized pot full of peas and beans. New-season carrots would be served buttered, with orange rind and finely chopped parsley, while the last of the parsnips and pumpkin would be roasted with a little honey and oil so they went all golden and caramelised. These days I love recreating for my own family these rituals of Christmas dinner around the first harvests of the garden.
In Wanaka the season tends to run three or four weeks later than in my Auckland garden, so I always plan my plantings back from a Christmas Day harvest date to ensure new potatoes, snow peas, carrots, broad beans and baby salad leaves will grace our Christmas table. As well, of course, as strawberries and raspberries. And when it comes to berries it’s hard to go past meringues, filled with cream and accompanied by a big bowl of freshly picked berries. They might not remember the turkey or the ham, but I guarantee no one will forget in a hurry those first waxy new potatoes and the decadence of a big bowl of homegrown berries. It’s memories like these that have us coming back year after year for more. Wishing you an abundant Christmas. Annabel x
To serve whipped cream fresh raspberries Heat oven to 180°C. In a very clean bowl and using an electric beater, beat egg whites with salt until stiff. Add caster sugar and beat on high speed for 10 minutes. Fold in icing sugar and vanilla. Spoon tiny spoonfuls of mixture onto baking trays lined with baking paper. Place trays in preheated oven and immediately turn heat down to 120°C. Cook for an hour. Turn off oven and leave meringues to cool in oven. Up to an hour before serving, sandwich meringues together with whipped cream. Serve with fresh raspberries. For more great Christmas recipes from Annabel Langbein, see annabel-langbein.com
THE 2013 TUI SCHOOL GARDEN CHALLENGE WINNERS! The 2013 Tui School Garden Challenge’s search for the best school garden in New Zealand drew to a close at the end of October after a busy three months for preschools, primary schools and intermediate schools designing, growing and maintaining a garden on school grounds.
Schools were encouraged to be sustainable and eco-friendly, and consider ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’. The majority of schools followed this concept and had compost bins, worm farms and recycled everyday items as planters. Innovation, well thought out designs and community involvement were also elements considered by the judges. The creativity and the effort put in by children, teachers, parents and the community amazed throughout the challenge. It was also great to see communities coming together, with many local businesses contributing generously. The TSGC proved a great way for children to learn about gardening, the environment and healthy eating, and it was positive to see many schools enjoying their garden harvests at school and home. Peace garden
Our judges visited the nine finalists across New Zealand and an overall winner of each category was selected. Each category winner won a $500 voucher for Tui products, a Tumbleweed Can O Worms worm farm and Growfresh seedlings from Zealandia. The judges were impressed with the involvement from children and the outstanding innovation displayed in their gardens. They enjoyed seeing well designed gardens bursting with colour, creativity and a variety of plants!
Thanks to our sponsors!
St Peters Cambridge
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Westport North School
Children from Westport North making seed bombs
Westport North’s Seed Bomb Guide Westport North School
Bethlehem@Montessori, Tauranga, exceeded all areas of the judging criteria to take out the preschool category this year. The children were given full ownership from the initial planning and design to involvement in the construction of garden structures and decorative features.
Schools had an additional chance to win with the Tui School Garden Challenge Point’s Competition. Schools collected receipts from participating garden centres, showing purchases of Tui branded products. Congratulations to Awatere Playcentre, Seddon, who won a prize package including: A $500 voucher for Tui products, a garden shed from Duratuf and a visit from Annabel Langbein.
Primary winner Westport North School is this year’s primary school category winner. Over the last 12 months their ‘Garden Warriors’ garden group have embraced all aspects of ‘Garden to Table’ and further developed their garden area into a multifunctional outdoor classroom space.
Intermediate winner St Peter’s School Cambridge have taken out the intermediate category this year with their well thought out ‘Maori Edible Garden.’
As an extra incentive, consumers also had a chance to win with the Tui School Garden Challenge! By purchasing Tui branded products and nominating her local school, Ann Bettridge of Westport is our lucky consumer winner, winning dinner for two with Annabel Langbein at her Wanaka cabin.
People’s Choice Award The People’s Choice Award offered New Zealanders the chance to vote for their favourite school garden. With over 1000 votes, Taumarunui School are this year’s ‘People’s Choice’, winning a $1000 voucher for Tui products.
Seed bombs are a great way to propagate seeds in your garden and a fun project for over the school holidays. Try Westport North’s very own seed bomb recipe – all you have to do is literally throw your seed bomb at the garden and wait for your delayed explosion of colour! This mixture will make about 30–40 seed bombs.
Ingredients • 6 cup sized chunks of potter’s clay. • 1 cup of seed mix – this is a mixture of seeds of your choice. Bigger seeds will work better than fine seeds. Calendula, sunflower, radish seeds are examples of seeds which work well. • 1 cup of Tui Blood & Bone. • 2 cups of Tui All Purpose Potting Mix.
Method 1. Put all the ingredients into a wheelbarrow or big bucket to mix. 2. Gradually add water, mixing all the time, until you get a nice tacky texture. 3. Shape handfuls of mixture in round balls about the size of a golf ball. 4. Allow 48 hours for your seed bombs to dry. Once dry they are ready to use!
Bouquets from your backyard Flowers are a simple and beautiful way to add colour and fragrance to your home. A small vase on a bedside table when you have guests to stay, or an outdoor dining table adorned with freshly picked flowers makes a delightful finishing touch. If you grow your own for picking, they are also cost effective. Flowers not only look and smell beautiful they are also a functional addition to your backyard, attracting bees, to help improve pollination rates of all those homegrown vege plants you’ve been carefully tending.
good for attracting bees. • Stock – a tall flower that comes in a variety of colours. • Dahlias – available in a variety of interesting petal shapes and colours. • Sunflowers – make a dramatic statement on their own in a vase. If you’re short on flowers, top up with, or create a whole bouquet from foliage. Magnolia or camellias are evergreen and have attractive, long lasting foliage; rosemary will add a delicious savoury scent to your posy; and flax lasts well and adds a ‘Kiwi’ touch to a bouquet. Watch the Tui Flower Growing Guide at tuiproducts.co.nz for top tips to grow flowers successfully.
Tui TipS 1. Edibles that have gone to seed make whimsical bouquets – coriander, parsley and rocket all have attractive flowers. 2. If you don’t have a vase, use a preserving jar or old bottle for an organic, vintage look. 3. Replace vase water every few days to increase the lifespan of your flowers.
When selecting varieties to plant with the intention of picking, choose long stemmed varieties with a long vase-life. Over summer some good options include: • Wildflowers - sow a packet of wild flower seeds and pick a bouquet that showcases a rainbow of colours. • Hydrangeas – these last well once picked, dry well, and have attractive foliage. • Lavender – beautifully scented, easy-care, dries well and particularly 10
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Forget me nots
Smart Summer Products Keep your garden flourishing this summer with these smart summer products from Tui.
Q. How can I stop my soil drying out?
Q. How can I create the perfect edges to my lawn and garden areas?
A. Tui offers a number of products to help conserve water in your soil and in turn conserve the amount of water you use in your gardens. SaturAid is a granular soil wetting agent that reduces water use by up to 50%. It is formulated to draw and hold water in the soil, distributing water evenly and directly to the root zone resulting in stronger, deeper root systems. Tui Mulch & Feed is a natural 100% weed free, bark based mix with healthy additions of straw, blood & bone and sheep manure. A good layer of mulch on your garden will conserve soil moisture, protect plants from temperature fluctuations, and suppress weeds. Use for mulching around vegetables, fruit trees, flowers and shrubs. New Tui Peat Plus is premium New Zealand Peat Moss with the added benefits of blood and bone and gypsum. It has amazing water holding capacity, absorbing 10 to 20 times its weight in water and slowly releases it therefore plants get a steady supply of water over time.
LOBELIA HOT SPRINGS
New from Zealandia the easy care Lobelia ‘Hot Springs’ series perform beautifully in hotter weather. They are the culmination of many years of breeding resulting in the most uniform and compact lobelia available. Their compact growth makes them ideal for pots, containers, and
A. The new Joseph Bentley Garden Edger is your ideal tool for creating neat edges to your lawn areas and garden beds. This edger is excellent quality with a polished stainless steel blade and carefully finished solid oak wooden T handle.
Christmas Gifts Q. What is a fresh idea for Christmas gifts this year? A. The new Joseph Bentley Garden Trug is an essential accessory in your garden, and the perfect base for a Christmas gift pack! Use when gathering veges or for carrying small garden tools and accessories around the garden.
Q. How can I stop lawn insects and grubs without affecting grass growth? A. Scotts Lawn Builder + Grub & Insect Control is a granular lawn fertiliser with added insecticide. It feeds the lawn while eliminating a range of common lawn pests and is suitable for all types of grass. Apply in early spring, early summer and in autumn.
baskets whilst being equally at home in garden beds. Considerably larger than conventional seed grown varieties and high heat tolerance means that Lobelia ‘Hot Springs’ represents exceptional value to gardeners. Available in four fantastic colours; Lavender Pink, White, Blue and Dark Blue, which look great planted individually or planted as a group. www.zealandia.co.nz
Tel 07 575 2160 Fax 0800 442 398 National Service Centre 26 Hull Road Mt Maunganui, 3116