Category Archives: Gardening

The winter garden

A reader recently contacted us saying that they are recent oily rag gardeners and that they enjoyed the summer harvest so much they are planning a winter garden. Winter vegetables include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, lettuce, spinach and silverbeet. Since we too enjoy feasting fresh from the garden, we decided to include in our winter […]

Growing heritage tomatoes

Caron from the Waikato writes, Last Spring I bought an unusual yellow heritage tomato plant at a Farmer’s market. It grew very well and produced the most wonderful large bright yellow, delicious fruit. I cut a thick slice from the last one, placed it on a paper towel and let it completely dry out on […]

Slugs and snails and gardens

Oily raggers are getting busy in the garden, and so too are the slugs and snails. A reader has asked for ways to control these blighters, without having to resort to poison. A number of readers have commented about this problem previously, so we thought we would recap on the oily rag way to control […]

Free plants

Dandelion Farm from Whangarei writes, Most gardeners we have found are generous with plant sharing because nature provides an abundance. My husband helps prune people’s fruit trees and if they have a good variety he takes cutting material away. Often we see a plant we like which is in seed and ask the gardener for […]

Landscaping costs

A reader has asked if there are ways to save money on landscaping costs. In particular, they would like to know which plants are easy to propagate from cuttings. If you can help our reader, please drop us a note. From experience, we can say that Yucca plants are easy. They are very fashionable and […]

Jerusalem Artichokes

A reader has written in about Jerusalem Artichokes. “They are vigorous and easy to grow. When they flower, they look like a sunflower and are as tall, but the edible part is the root tuber, which is harvested when the flowers wilt and the plant starts to die. To harvest, the plant needs to be […]

Native spinach

Jules suggests growing NZ native spinach vine plants. “They are a little-known vegetable that is really fast growing, provides huge volumes, keeps weeds down, and is incredibly delicious. Simply pluck the leaves from the vine and it continues to sprout. Three to four plants will easily keep a family fed for the winter. It grows […]

Save seeds

Jules of Napier writes: “Save seeds from supermarket or market purchased vegetables. If the seeds are moist such as tomato, pumpkin etc, space them out onto paper towels or toilet roll sheets. Write the date and variety on the paper. I love checking out farmers markets for unusual varieties of vegetables that contain seeds to […]

Slugs & snails

Trish from Tauranga says, “To keep slugs and snails away from newly planted seedlings, just make a small flat container out of tin foil and put 3 or 4 slices of cucumber on it. The cucumber and tin foil together seem to give off an unnoticed smell which slugs and snails don’t like. I put […]