Landscaping NZ
Yates
Waimea Nurseries
Herb Herbert
Tui - A Friend In Your Garden
march april may gardening

March Gardening

 Bulbs are such a good investment because they multiply underground every year then burst out of the ground in spring to reward us with even larger clumps of colour. Just when it seems that winter will never end up pop the snowdrops and crocuses.

The snowdrops dainty white bell-shaped flowers with a green spot on the outside of each petal are well suited to being planted under deciduous trees where they can spread their pretty white skirts in the first rays of sunshine.

Crocuses are also one of the earliest bulbs to flower which don’t need full sun and will flourish in semi shaded areas. There is always room to squeeze a few crocuses in the garden or rock garden pockets where they will tempt you outdoors after a bleak winter.

Daffodils can provide the mainstay of a spring display and that daffodil bulb can last up to eighty years. The first to flower are the ‘Paper Whites’ and ‘Soleil d’Or’ with four to eight flowers on a stem and a strong fragrance.

Where as the leaves of snowdrops and crocus fade away quietly the leaves of daffodils can be unsightly an lean all over the garden. Either grow smaller varieties such as ‘Tete-a-tete’ or grow your larger trumpet daffodils near the back of the garden so that taller summer plants will grow up and hide their dying leaves.

Hyacinths and Freesias welcome spring with a perfume to die for. The hyacinths show off their giant spikes crowded with flowers in colours of white, yellow, pink, light blue, dark blue, purple and apricot. Plant some hyacinths in bowls filled with bulb mix with their noses just at the surface. Water, set aside in a cool place and when the flower buds start to push out of the bulb bring the bowl to your entrance way and enjoy the perfume.

Freesias have long been highly prized for their perfume.

When planting a container with bulbs, plant for a succession of flowers. In a good sized container plant crocuses, early and late daffodils, early and late tulips all together. Plant the bulbs in bulb mix at different depths such as large daffodils at a deeper level and little bulbs like crocuses nearer the surface. Because bulbs are little ‘power houses’, they can live on them selves until they have finished flowering so cram them into the bowl and create a mass of colour that all hold hands together. After they have flowered empty them into the garden to multiply over the summer.

Bluebells with their lavender-blue bell shaped flowers will give a stunning display, clump planted under trees, where they will naturalise into larger hazy blue drifts.

Tulips with their large beautifully formed bell shaped flowers can be elegant, subtle, even wayward and unpredictable in the garden. What flower dies as elegantly as the tulip? Then there is the crazy parrot tulip ‘Rococo’ with red and pink petals feathered and flared in crinkly lime green!

During the 1630s the tulip was such a rage of fashion that a handful of bulbs was worth thousands of dollars. The Netherlands had such a mania for tulips that staggering sums of money were paid for their bulbs. Some were recorded at having been sold for over 5.000 guilders, the equivalent of twenty years wages for a bus driver today!

When planting the bulbs plant at a depth equal to twice the size of the bulb in soil that is well drained and not too rich. Avoid planting where the bulb would be in direct contact with sheep manure. Tui Bulb Food contains all the necessary nutrients including calcium needed for growing bulbs.

Flower plants to plant now for spring flowering with your bulbs are for-get-me-not, bellis daisy, pansy, viola, and dwarf wallflower. As summer colour fades this is a good time to plant aquilegia, lupin, antirrhinum, wallflower, poppies, Sweet William and aubretia to bloom during late spring when the bulb show is over.

In the vegetable garden hoe earth up around leeks and celery as well as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts to stop them from being flattened by the wind. To stop white butterfly attacking your winter greens keep the Derris Dust handy and re apply after rain.

If tomato plants are still madly producing greenery and fruit is not ripening reduce watering and this will shock the fruit into ripening.

And then there is keeping weeds under control. There is no such thing as doing a bit of gentle weeding unless you have only one window box. Weeds are such great colonisers and if it is simply broken off, it will be invisible for a while, then grow back bigger and better than ever. You have to take your hat off, even salute their capabilities because with out the slightest bit of help they grow faster than our other plants and breed massive families that smother our garden plants.

Autumn is the best time to sow a new lawn. For more information, refer to our Handy Helper on here.

Happy gardening everyone

 

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