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Articles contributed by and/or for locals about gardening

Preparation for those little furry vermin

This year the rats and mice seem to be invading early February. We're not sure if that's a sign of the weather to come or what's been. We have had a real invasion of the little beasties, thankfully not inside but in the garden. Full article »

An ideal garden for self-sufficiency in vegetables

[by Grant Douglas, April 27th 2011]
This article presents what I think is an ideal garden picture for a grower who is trying to be as self-sufficient in vegetables as possible. Remember it's only an ideal and whatever you have done is better than not having done anything at all. Full (printable) article »

Just how strong are couch grass runners?

We have a photo taken of a potato which was left in a compost pile near where couch grass was rampant, and which has been amazingly invaded by couch runners. View photo »

All you need to know about Hellebores, Japonica, Viburnums and Luculia gratissima

Hellebores, winter or Lenten roses, are well into their winter show. The Helleborus orientalis 'Pukehou' hybrids come in a range of colours from white through pink to dark plummy reds. There are now also available a range of doubles from white through pinks to burgundy and crimson. Full article »

All you need to know about fragrant Daphne

Winter is a season of little growth and colour in the garden. There are however a few winter flowering plants that are truly spectacular, one of which is Daphne odora, the winter daphne. Full article »

All you need to know about Feijoas

Now that we've had some rain and the days are cooling down, I've noticed the feijoas (sometimes known as Pineapple guavas) are falling. I have a Unique in my garden, which is an early fruiting type, but its biggest advantages is it is self-fertile. But there are several other varieties to choose from. Full article »

Hot Composting

[by Grant Douglas, April 12th 2010]
Compost making is controlled rotting down of organic waste to create humus. Nature rots things where they lie; we gather them together in a heap where temperature, moisture and aeration can be controlled to achieve rapid conversion by fungi, bacteria, insects and worms. Grant tells us how to go about it. Full (printable) article »

Create Your Own Eden Roadshow

[April 7th 2010]
Questions about how to deal with gardening and food waste and how to turn them into organic fertiliser for your garden will be answered with the Creat your own Eden (CYOE) Roadshow. The stall, funded by the Tasman District Council, displays simple and easy ways about composting, Bokashi and Wormfarming. Full article »

Developing your property the Permaculture way

[March 17th 2010]
Following the permaculture model of a holistic approach to food production comes as second nature since Tanja and Florian Pauls embraced the philosophy into their everyday life. Permaculture is an acronym of permanent agriculture and is a holistic design approach based on ethics and principles. It looks at the building blocks and processes of ecology and mimics them to create a system that is diverse and abundant in yield. Full article »

Simple composting for dummies

[by David Armstrong, March 12th 2010]
Many times I've read articles in the papers advising on how to compost, but I always become distracted once it starts getting technical. So many percent of carbon, another percentage of nitrogen, some fraction of kitchen scraps. I'm sure that people who do it scientifically make fantastic compost. But I can say that you don't need to be too fastidious. I'll tell you how I manage it without stress and still come out with some pretty good results. This is the result of more than 20 years of trial and error. Full (printable) article »

Ecofest 2010 – Home & Garden Tours

[Press release from the Tasman District Council: March 1, 2010]
Do you have an urban garden full of incredible edibles? Are you living the ‘good life’ dream with your chooks, your worms and bees? Would you be willing to share your passion and knowledge with others? Ecofest organisers are seeking locals with green thumbs and green minds to open up their gardens and homes as part of the event’s popular home and garden tour series. Full article »