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Author and gardening extraordinaire, Denis Greville, was on the Good Morning show discussing how you can create your own native garden.

Now’s the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and plant a few natives out the back. From kowhai to pohutukawa, add some history to your garden with flowering trees and bushes.
Click here to watch and hear Denis’ planting tips.

Burning questions

I have tried potato growing in an old compost bin but last year it didn't do well. There are shoots in there this year though. Should I empty the bin and start again or just leave them to grow in the top of the bin?

Leave them in, but mound the soil up around the base of the plant, and continue to do so as it gets taller, this way the potato will produce more root systems.

I would like to have a small veggie garden that grows enough to keep me going year round. I'm not sure how much to plant or when to plant it. I don't have a large garden area. Help!

Awapuni has a great range of small veges, such as mixed brassicas, which would be perfect for a small garden space. To ensure they’re not all ready to harvest at once, stagger your plantings a few weeks apart. You also need to plant vegetables when the temperatures are steady – not too cold or not too hot. Plant vegetables about eight weeks before you want to eat them.
You say potato, I say … plant now!

Po-tay-to, po-tahh-to – however you say it, now’s the time to plant one of New Zealand’s favourite veges. So get outdoors and gear up for spuds this summer.

You can start by purchasing seed potatoes from your local garden centre. Seed potatoes look like any other spud (but smaller!) and can be bought in various flavours and quantities.

The type of potato you choose to plant will depend on its taste and what you want to do with it. Some spuds make better chips; others come alive when roasted, while newer varieties are more resistant to diseases. If you’re looking for a general purpose potato try desiree, rua or karaka varieties – these spuds are suitable for most uses.

When the potato shoots are approximately 2cm long they’re ready to plant.

Click here to read more.

Potatoes still on top not only provides fabulous tips and recipes for various vegetables, but the site also provides readers with interesting facts, including vegetable popularity stats.

It appears potatoes and tomatoes are New Zealand’s top two when it comes to healthy food choices. But who is following closely behind with an increase in popularity from sixth place to third?

Click here to read more.

Gardening events calendar

September is a busy month in the gardening world and there’s a lot happening around New Zealand towns and cities in the coming months. From the Wellington Spring Festival to the Country Day Out in Ramarama, why not pack up the kids and make a day of it at one, or more, of these fabulous events.

Also, If you have, or know of, a gardening event coming up (e.g. a fundraiser, school event or expo), tell us about it and you never know, we may put it in the ezine or on the Awapuni website.

11 -12 Sep - North Island National Daffodil Show
18 Sep - 3 Oct - Wellington Spring Festival
30 Sep - 03 Oct - Waikato Home & Garden Show
17 -25 Oct - Dunedin Rhododendron Festival
07 Nov - Country Day Out in Ramarama

September is a good time to…

Plant your spring favourites! Get out in your garden and plant broad leaf, garlic chives and the kids’ fav… broad beans. Now is also a good time to plant beetroot, broccoli, cabbage and capsicum.

With September comes the end of winter and with it brings colour. Lupins, marigolds, pansies, sweet peas, portulacas, forget-me-nots and zinnias can all be planted this month. Remember to mulch all flower beds to keep weeds out and protect your plants from cooler weather.

It’s no secret a well-prepared and nutrient full soil brings better results. So why not add some compost to your garden and give your soil the boost it needs before spring planting.
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