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News & tips for August 2019


News & tips for August 2019 name

The beginning of August is the time of year when I get my gardening catalogues out and start dreaming about what I might harvest in the summer ahead. Visions of sweet plump tomatoes and bushes laden with jewel like eggplants dance around my head.

Whilst I always plan to have something in the ground over winter that I can eat - I only ever seem to manage Tuscan kale and chard. And don’t get me wrong these vegetables have their very many charms it’s just by this time of the year, they simply don’t provoke the same excitement. So, plan ahead I shall. Presently I am thinking of asparagus because for the very first time Newton’s will have crowns available. From early September we will have three varieties to purchase. Pacific Purple, Pacific Endeavour and Pacific Challenger. You can read about these varieties and the what and how to right here.

In the meantime, our Maori potatoes have arrived and are flying out the door. This year we are lucky enough to have a limited supply of the beautiful Urenika potatoes. These have not been readily available commercially for some years now so get in quick! They have a long dark purple skin tuber and flesh. It is a potato that will persist in the ground for longer periods without being cultivated. Also known as Tutaekuri.

Also, very popular this year are purple heart potatoes – purple skin and purple flesh. They are waxy potato suited to boiling which is good because I don’t know about the visual appeal of purple mash.

Things to do in the garden this month:

  1. Peruse seed catalogues and fantasize about the crops you will grow.
  2. Spray your stonefruit trees for any nasties that are hunkering down over winter - neem oil or granules around the drip line for pests and copper oxychloride for fungal disease like leaf curl and botrytis. The only drawback of doing this now is you will need to reapply after rainfall. This can be done a bit closer to spring but must be done prior to bud burst.
  3. Keep on top of the weeds in the lawn.
  4. Remember the wee birdies, a handful of seed or a bell can help them keep going over the colder winter months.

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