News & tips -


Midsummer is here bringing with it the joys of a new year - long hot blue sky days, stonefruit, icecream, bbqs, the beach and long weekends but also the not so joyful chore of watering the garden, the hot hard to sleep nights, the insects and the return to work. The change of the seasons however brings us some certainty in a world that’s had to deal with a great deal of uncertainty. And with that comes the work we have to do in the garden!

The very, very dry summer we have had up here has wrecked many lawns, mostly those without an irrigation system. So if you are looking for an alternative that doesn’t mean an increased water bill, then you might like (or not) to consider a summer grass - Kikuyu or Bermuda. Unfortunately, domestic turf grass development doesn’t seem to have catered for the rapid change in our climate that we are experiencing, so depending on your location sometimes the only solution if you want a long-term viable lawn, is to plant Kikuyu or Bermuda. It's not for everyone but until the government allows the importation of a wider variety of summer type grasses (and that may bring its own problems) that’s all we have. Here is a picture from a customer of what it looks like two weeks after sowing.

NEW PRODUCT: We now have in stock, all the way from Weston Milling in the South Island, a new range of chook food in 10kg and 25kg bags - Chook Grow and Chooks Choice. We wanted to give our customers a little more choice in what is available and we have found that the chook grower can also be used for those breeding different birds such as pigeons.

2022 brings with it the hope of the start of the end of our journey with Covid but unfortunately it’s probably the beginning of a cycle of inflation. For little companies like ours, it presents a bit of a problem because we can’t just keep increasing prices. So we have decided instead, that we need to change our delivery charges. For many, many years, in fact since we started our online store in 2010, we have offered our urban Auckland based customers free freight over $35.00 and customers who live between Whangarei and Rotorua a rate of $9.00 for up to 100kg. Unfortunately, in our new environment we can no longer offer these rates and they will change from February 8th.

On the up side, our new website is much closer to completion and we expect it to be ready to go in March, this will make ordering much, much easier!

Summer time jobs in the garden

VEGETABLES: Pinch off the growing tips of pumpkin and courgette to encourage branching, and water regularly. Sow kale or your last batch of beetroot or carrots and sow lettuce in between so you don’t waste any space in the garden. Keep pinching out side shoots of vine type varieties of tomato and make sure the tops are pinched, even on cherry varieties, by this stage of the year. They should all be fruiting well now, so they’ll need a feed once a week, and in the hot weather, water every morning so that they stay consistently moist. Apply a high-potash fertiliser once fruits start to form on peppers, cucumber and tomatoes. Thin fruit trees - fruit trees bearing heavy crops need to have their fruit thinned to get a quality crop. Apples, pears and to a lesser extent plums do this naturally. Inspect your trees and remove any excess fruit. Prune vines - table and wine grapes need their shoots cut back to within two leaves of the last bunch of fruit. The plant’s energy needs to be directed into the developing fruit, not into growing like a beanstalk. Pinching back also allows light and air to reach the bunches and helps prevent mildew. 

LAWN: Water every second day in the morning for 5 mins. When mowing lawns cut it at higher level so you keep the heat off the root zone and retain moisture. Use water crystals to help retain moisture in the soil.