Landscaping NZ
Yates
Waimea Nurseries
Herb Herbert
Tui - A Friend In Your Garden
january february gardening

February Gardening

Vegetable gardens should be a picture of abundance with a plentiful supply of fresh salad greens, peas, beans, carrots and new potatoes.

This is your last chance to plant cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli for winter to give them enough growing time to form hearts before our growing season comes to an end.

Remember not to plant them into ground that has previously grown any of the cabbage family. Repeated planting of the brassica tribe back into the same soil usually invites the dreaded disease ‘clubroot’ into your garden. The variety of ‘Success’ cabbage and cauliflower plants have proved to be clubroot resistant. In a small urban garden it is so easy to forget where cabbages were planted last season so in my own garden, as an extra precaution against clubroot disease, I make a trench filled with Nichols Organic Compost and plant my brassica into the compost filled trench with wonderful results and no sign of the dreaded disease. 

Caterpillars can very quickly devastate a crop of cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. A cunning plan to stop these critters munching among your cabbages as they cruise along the rows is to cover the plants with our new ‘bug net’. This will most certainly stop these pesky white butterfly pests from colonising your cabbage patch and your vegetables are chemical free.

If water is available and conditions are dry water the garden regularly and deeply to keep plants vigorous and healthy. Your best friend in dry weather is your ‘push-pull hoe. The very best mulch of all is continuous hoeing that will encourage deep moisture to rise and plant roots will grow downwards toward the rising moisture and nutrients.

In the flower garden potted colour comes into its own now that some of our summer colour is beginning to fade and will fill in the gaps created when we are tidying. Empty pockets can be planted with showy petunias, salvia, dianthus, marigolds, and begonia edged with alyssum.

Dahlias are enjoying a high old time right now and your patio can be instantly enhanced with our big tubs of flowering dahlias. Dahlias spent years being banished from ‘avant gardens simply because their colours were considered brash and loud. However a breath of fresh air is needed in most gardens so now borders are pulsating with lush plump heads of colour. Pompoms, cactus, waterlily and decorative ‘heads’ are the talk of the town! Come the last days of summer the dahlia continues to bloom when other plants are flowered out. Colour is their trump card.

Top marks go to Hydrangeas that simply look ‘right’ when grown in shade. They make marvellous container plants in town gardens and their late summer flowers are invaluable. They continue to look good all winter as their flower heads deepen in colour and then remain decorative all winter. There is also climbing Hydrangea which will cover a shady wall with greenish-white lace-cap flowers. These are slow starters but become more vigorous later.

Good autumn colour is always a good reason to grow a plant. Mellow yellows in autumn can blend better in the garden than the flashy scarlet crimson leaves.

Ginkgo has good yellow colour and well suited to sheltered gardens. Well worth considering are the birches which all have good clear yellow autumn leaves.

Some of the maple tribe have subtle autumn tones and then the blowtorching yellow of liquid amber will make a dramatic backdrop in autumn.

Even my own vegetable garden is showing off bright yellow ‘Little Cutie’ pumpkins scrambling up tripods and along the ground in front of espaliered pears with ripening yellowing fruit. Pot marigolds are popping their flowers through the pumpkins and adding a splash of colour as they wander among the courgettes.

It’s hard to believe but spring bulbs are arriving at our garden centre. Anemone and Ranunculus are the first to appear. Anemone de Caen with beautiful single flowers and the double blooms of St Brigid are extraordinarily free flowering in the garden and simply magnificent in pots. The anemone corms are uninteresting odd shaped pellets that look like rabbit droppings but in spring they burst into fairytale flowers. Plant the anemone corms with their points downwards and Ranunculus with their ‘claws’ down. 

Happy gardening everyone

You can’t beat home grown vegetables for real freshness with all their vitamins intact.

 

And you don’t have to have green fingers to grow tasty vegetables ... simply give the soil a start by lightly forking in some Nichols Compost, a light dusting of fertiliser, remove a few weeds and you are ready to go!  Frequent hoeing of the soil allows the sunshine to warm the soil.

 

Make the most of these sunny days to sow a few spring onions, early carrots, spinach, radish, snowball turnip as well as some early potatoes such as Jersey Benne, Liseta, Swift, or Rocket. Digging the humble spud is part of the magic and mystery of gardening ... it’s like buried treasure!

 

Broccoli is absolutely choc-o-block full of vitamins. And the common cabbage has become a designer plant now with round heads, conical heads, some with puckered leafy heads and purple heads but all are packed with vitamins. Then there are our simply superb club-root resistant ‘Success’ cabbage plants. Our customers are singing the praises of this new discovery.

 

Don’t forget to lay some slug bait around all your new seedlings because snails love nice tender vegetable plants too, and, believe it or not, they can gobble eight times their body weight in just one night!

 

TOMATO PLANTING time is here again.

 

There are an astounding number of varieties in all shapes and sizes – just remember, whatever the variety, always buy sturdy plants that have a short space between leaf joints.  Plants that are tall and puny have been grown in overcrowded conditions and will never thrive or fruit well.

 

Nichols tomato plants are grown here in the south. There are brand new hybrids as well as the old favourites, not to mention my favourite - TastyTom - which is just the perfect ‘snax biscuit’ size and ever so sweet to eat.

 

The aristocrats of the tomato family are our ’X Generation’ grafted tomato plants which are strong and healthy - and the healthier the plant, the more resistant it is to diseases.

 

Plant each tomato plant at least 5cm deeper than they were in the punnet into fresh clean soil. And don’t over water in the early stages - small plants don’t need much water and wet cold soil is far too cold for tiny new roots to grow away strongly. Space the plants for good air circulation because planted too closely will result in weak spindly plants.

 

Tomatoes need tying to a stake, or twined up strong strings hanging from the glasshouse roof, and laterals (these are the side shoots at the junction of leaf and stem) should be pinched out as they appear.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a glorious time of year with warm sunshine turning the garden into green and gold as daffodils shout ‘we are back again’ as they nod their heads in the breeze.

 

The Primula brigade are starting their spring performance as well. Our garden centres have a wonderful range of Ballerina and Barnhaven double primroses in shades of lilac, plum and pink which are truly irresistible as well as lovely soft colours of lemon, apricot and white.

 

Look out for the Candelabra Primulas with tiered swirls of flowers carried on long stems, flowering until early summer, in sumptuous tones of crimson with dark eyes of purple or red to softer pink tints.

 

Boronia Megastigma or Brown Boronia is one of the most loved fragrances of spring and always a winner in our garden centre.  Though they have a reputation of being a short lived shrub they are so worthwhile. 

 

And here’s a couple of tips to improve your success ... It’s important to know that the brown boronia are an Australian bog plant and so if planted in a cooler semi-shade position with compost they will grow much better than the hot sunny place most of us choose, where their poor roots frizzle in the heat. The other secret is to cut back the plant by one third, after flowering, then mulch with compost.

 

 

 

Magnolias are among the most glamorous trees or shrubs. They range from deciduous shrubs to magnificent tall evergreen trees. Early magnolias furry buds are now rapidly opening on naked branches so that we can enjoy their lovely goblet blooms.  We have a fantastic range now in stock at Nichols, and it’s a fantastic time to plant trees and shrubs, before the heat of late Spring and Summer sets in. (Pictured: Magnolia ‘Ian’s Red’)

 

Spring suggests blossom and the Crab-apples are charming garden trees that have the prettiest pink and white blossom then later delight us when their autumn fruits appear. Crab apples are the perfect trees for small gardens with their pleasing shapes.

 

The Clematis tribe arrive this month. If space is at a premium put in a pole or two and this will allow you to grow more than would otherwise be possible as well as adding much more interest to your border. When planting clematis give them a good start in life and dig a decent sized hole, work in some compost and plant so that the stem is at least 10cm deeper than what the base is now.

 

For a large sunny wall there is nothing more beautiful than Wisteria with long racemes of lilac blo

You can’t beat home grown vegetables for real freshness with all their vitamins intact.

 

And you don’t have to have green fingers to grow tasty vegetables ... simply give the soil a start by lightly forking in some Nichols Compost, a light dusting of fertiliser, remove a few weeds and you are ready to go!  Frequent hoeing of the soil allows the sunshine to warm the soil.

 

Make the most of these sunny days to sow a few spring onions, early carrots, spinach, radish, snowball turnip as well as some early potatoes such as Jersey Benne, Liseta, Swift, or Rocket. Digging the humble spud is part of the magic and mystery of gardening ... it’s like buried treasure!

 

Broccoli is absolutely choc-o-block full of vitamins. And the common cabbage has become a designer plant now with round heads, conical heads, some with puckered leafy heads and purple heads but all are packed with vitamins. Then there are our simply superb club-root resistant ‘Success’ cabbage plants. Our customers are singing the praises of this new discovery.

 

Don’t forget to lay some slug bait around all your new seedlings because snails love nice tender vegetable plants too, and, believe it or not, they can gobble eight times their body weight in just one night!

 

TOMATO PLANTING time is here again.

 

There are an astounding number of varieties in all shapes and sizes – just remember, whatever the variety, always buy sturdy plants that have a short space between leaf joints.  Plants that are tall and puny have been grown in overcrowded conditions and will never thrive or fruit well.

 

Nichols tomato plants are grown here in the south. There are brand new hybrids as well as the old favourites, not to mention my favourite - TastyTom - which is just the perfect ‘snax biscuit’ size and ever so sweet to eat.

 

The aristocrats of the tomato family are our ’X Generation’ grafted tomato plants which are strong and healthy - and the healthier the plant, the more resistant it is to diseases.

 

Plant each tomato plant at least 5cm deeper than they were in the punnet into fresh clean soil. And don’t over water in the early stages - small plants don’t need much water and wet cold soil is far too cold for tiny new roots to grow away strongly. Space the plants for good air circulation because planted too closely will result in weak spindly plants.

 

Tomatoes need tying to a stake, or twined up strong strings hanging from the glasshouse roof, and laterals (these are the side shoots at the junction of leaf and stem) should be pinched out as they appear.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a glorious time of year with warm sunshine turning the garden into green and gold as daffodils shout ‘we are back again’ as they nod their heads in the breeze.

 

The Primula brigade are starting their spring performance as well. Our garden centres have a wonderful range of Ballerina and Barnhaven double primroses in shades of lilac, plum and pink which are truly irresistible as well as lovely soft colours of lemon, apricot and white.

 

Look out for the Candelabra Primulas with tiered swirls of flowers carried on long stems, flowering until early summer, in sumptuous tones of crimson with dark eyes of purple or red to softer pink tints.

 

Boronia Megastigma or Brown Boronia is one of the most loved fragrances of spring and always a winner in our garden centre.  Though they have a reputation of being a short lived shrub they are so worthwhile. 

 

And here’s a couple of tips to improve your success ... It’s important to know that the brown boronia are an Australian bog plant and so if planted in a cooler semi-shade position with compost they will grow much better than the hot sunny place most of us choose, where their poor roots frizzle in the heat. The other secret is to cut back the plant by one third, after flowering, then mulch with compost.

 

 

 

Magnolias are among the most glamorous trees or shrubs. They range from deciduous shrubs to magnificent tall evergreen trees. Early magnolias furry buds are now rapidly opening on naked branches so that we can enjoy their lovely goblet blooms.  We have a fantastic range now in stock at Nichols, and it’s a fantastic time to plant trees and shrubs, before the heat of late Spring and Summer sets in. (Pictured: Magnolia ‘Ian’s Red’)

 

Spring suggests blossom and the Crab-apples are charming garden trees that have the prettiest pink and white blossom then later delight us when their autumn fruits appear. Crab apples are the perfect trees for small gardens with their pleasing shapes.

 

The Clematis tribe arrive this month. If space is at a premium put in a pole or two and this will allow you to grow more than would otherwise be possible as well as adding much more interest to your border. When planting clematis give them a good start in life and dig a decent sized hole, work in some compost and plant so that the stem is at least 10cm deeper than what the base is now.

 

For a large sunny wall there is nothing more beautiful than Wisteria with long racemes of lilac blossom and there are lots of these arriving this month too.

 

If  the scent of Sweet Peas matters to you we have ten different enchanting varieties of Dr. Hammet's sweet pea plants in a whole range of colours from ‘Almost Black’ and navy to pinks through to bright lipstick reds.

 

A new consignment of Hostas has arrived with their big expanse of leaves that make scintillating focal points in the garden and soothe the eye. They look superb mass planted in a semi-shaded area in your garden.

 

And lastly, it’s time to plant Dahlias which are a must for pure brilliance of flower colours combined with beautiful shapes, some with interesting purple-black foliage.

 

by Clare Scott,

Nichol’s Invercargill

ssom and there are lots of these arriving this month too.

 

If  the scent of Sweet Peas matters to you we have ten different enchanting varieties of Dr. Hammet's sweet pea plants in a whole range of colours from ‘Almost Black’ and navy to pinks through to bright lipstick reds.

 

A new consignment of Hostas has arrived with their big expanse of leaves that make scintillating focal points in the garden and soothe the eye. They look superb mass planted in a semi-shaded area in your garden.

 

And lastly, it’s time to plant Dahlias which are a must for pure brilliance of flower colours combined with beautiful shapes, some with interesting purple-black foliage.

 

by Clare Scott,

Nichol’s Invercargill