News & tips -


I hope you all had a chance to enjoy some of the glorious autumn sunshine that most of the country experienced in the past few weeks (it looks like it might have come to an end now though). It makes all those autumn garden tasks so much more enjoyable. A sunny but not hot day is perfect gardening weather.

As it is finally cool enough (just) to plant spring bulbs, I will be getting all my pots out to start planting and decide what potatoes I want to eat this year. New season seed potatoes have arrived, and new varieties are coming online every week. Currently we have the following available: Agria, Ilam Hardy, Swift, Jersey Benneys, Liseta, Nadine, Haylo, Rocket... and all the Maori potatoes are now available too. We also have Printanor garlic in stock. Remember to get your soil in tip top condition before you plant your potatoes. If you think your soil may be deficient in some way - Soil Safe Aoteroa offer free soil testing and analysis and their website has plenty of great resources to help you make sense of your soil.

It seems that many of our customers have had problems with whitefly infestations this year which have been very resistant to many insecticides. Personally, I use a combination of Neem Oil and a spray made from milk and garlic. There have been some interesting developments in biological control recently and coming into the summer, we hope to be able to offer you some of these new products coming onto the market.

The end of the lawn seed season is approaching us up here but the warmish temperatures have kept it going a bit longer. The middle of May might be the end of the time you can successfully plant out the fescues, so if that’s what you want you better waggle your dags and get on with it. However, if you are looking at a ryegrass, Vintage can be planted out right up until early June so you have still got a bit more time.

While all our attention has been focused on the human pandemic - there has been a nasty little virus circulating amongst pigeons in the last few years. Rotavirus has killed thousands of pigeons in both Australia and New Zealand and those that keep pigeons have been especially hard hit. The best thing you can do to keep your pigeons healthy as recommended by Dr Colin Walker is to give them a probiotic and keep their lofts well sanitised. We currently have Protexin (a probiotic in both soluble and powdered forms) and Virkon S (a disinfectant) available.