This email brings good news from the potato fields in the South Island. Seed potatoes have finally arrived and are waiting for you to get them safely into your vegetable plot. The first ones up and available are Cliff Kidney, Jersey Bennes, Liseta, Maris Anchor, Rocket, Swift, Haylo, Agria and Ilam Hardy. Many more to follow in the coming weeks. The potatoes will need sprouting (chitting) before you get them in the ground, so you still have time to get the soil just right!

Good drainage is crucial for potatoes to thrive, as is plenty of organic matter. However, you need to prepare your garden bed well in advance of planting the seed potatoes, otherwise you can do more harm than good.

When you plant your seed potatoes, will depend on where you live. If you live in Auckland, or north of Auckland and don’t think you will get a frost in the next 3 months go ahead and get them going as soon as sprouted but any further south and you will have to be careful. While many of us are getting milder winters, a frost can kill potato plants if they are not covered with frost cloth. So cooler areas may have to wait until July or August.

If you can’t get potatoes in the ground now you can still sow broad beans, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks and silverbeet. If you want to sow from seed, you will need to get the seeds growing indoors and get the seedlings to a reasonable size before planting out or use a glasshouse.

Mother’s day is almost upon us (Sunday 12th May), so if you have any gardening loving mums you need to buy for have a look online. I’m sure there’ll be something you can find that will be perfect. For example pruning shears and gloves, potatoes and garlic, bird feeders and feed or bird bells. And if you’re not quite sure a voucher is always a safe bet!


We have both Elephant and Printanor garlic in stock, so don't forget to get them in the ground as they take a good six months! Priced from $9.95.


Broad beans - sow now for harvesting in spring. Good cold tolerance, produces a heavy crop of very long pods!