News & tips -


There isn’t much I don’t enjoy about winter. The often inclement weather provides a ready excuse not to venture out into the garden (for all those pesky tidying chores) or anywhere you would rather not; cooking is so much more enjoyable when it’s cold and the air on a fine winter’s day is crisp and sweet.

That is not to say that winter isn’t without its challenges; the frequency of the once in a lifetime cataclysmic storm has increased exponentially to an annual event. The very inconvenient and often ruinous effect of these storms means that winter gardening chores really do need to be done if you are to avoid unsightly damage to the garden and the home. Pruning and cutting back large shrubs and trees should be a top priority to avoid any potential interference with power supply or damage to the exterior of your house.

Large trees need to be trimmed by a professional arborist but smaller trees can be quite easily pared back with a pruning saw like the Wolf Power Saw which can be attached to an extendable pole up to a length of 5.5m. It has teeth that can be resharpened and a grip so that it can be used as a handsaw, all in all quite a handy piece of kit. We also have German made Freund loppers in stock which are also handy for pruning branches up to 40mm in diameter.

While it might not be easy to get into the garden right now, the soaring cost of vegetables might make you want to think about planting a small garden or even using pots this coming spring. The trick will be ensuring that you can water them adequately over summer, as I would count on a probable drought. The best way you can ensure your vegetable garden can survive a tough summer is to make sure the soil is as good as it can possibly be by preparing it with lots of compost, soil enhancer and natural fertiliser. This way you are creating natural resilience.

When you are ready to plant, sow successively - sow your seeds at intervals so you have a few weeks before you plant out each set of seedlings. This means you will get a continuous harvest, as opposed to a whole lot being ready at once and having some of it go to waste.

Seeds to get going now inside: spinach, silverbeet, beetroot, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage. Lettuce could be planted out now in a pot in northern areas - probably not such a good idea for those areas further south. And it’s almost time for Christmas potatoes to get into the ground - up here in the north it should be fine in a month or so when the ground is a bit warmer.

It’s getting harder to find the core ingredients to make food for our feathered friends and the heatwave in Europe hasn’t helped. Many grains are in short supply, especially those that are used to feed animals, so unfortunately there may be some additional price increases in some of our seed and stockfood mixes. We will endeavour to keep these to an absolute minimum but until more supply becomes available, these rises are unavoidable.