Once again, the potato competition is underway. We've had a great start already with entries being taken away with everyone’s "Secret formula" being a closely held secret. This year we have chosen a truly local project. The Te Horo Community need help to raise funds to repair the Community Hall's kitchen floor. It’s a wonderful resource for our community and well worth our support. The variety this year is “Summer Delight”. This is a truly versatile spud. It’s a vigorous, disease-resistant potato. The flesh is creamy yellow, like 'Agria'. In spring its freshly dug potatoes have firm, waxy flesh that suits boiling or steaming. If you leave them until the plants die down in summer then the potatoes turn a bit floury and become better suited for baking, mashing and roasting. Tui has once again donated the potatoes and PrimeHort has doneated the grow bags as well as supplying some stunning pink garden gloves as prizes. Change of Harvest Date: 1st December We decided to change the date of Harvest to the 1st of December to ensure we do not clash with the Te Horo Christmas Market which is always on the second Saturday in December. On the 1st of December day look out for ♥ Raffles – especially the Firewood Raffle, win a trailer of split wood ♥ Homemade lemonade for sale ♥ Sausage Sizzle ♥ Potato based cakes for sale We have had an amazing response from our suppliers when I approached them for prizes. Once again Devon have donated a 1000L water tank. Redpath have donated 6 cloche kits, Kong's have donated BBQ equipment, DENZ have donated Diatomateous Earth and Revital have again offered fertilizers and potting mix. The offers are still coming in. Thanks to a suggestion from one of the entrants, the shop will participate this year. If, in the unlikely event we actually win the heaviest harvest, we will auction the 1000L water tank on the day. All proceeds to the hall project. Sounds like alot of fun. See you in the shop when you pick up your entry.
Easy steps to Seed PropagationI love August for the fun that seed propagation brings. There’s nothing like seeing those new shoots coming through the seed raising mix. We have a great range of Kings seeds. The 40th Anniversary catalogue is now in store. Combine the Kings seeds with our range of seed propagation trays and heat pads and you increase your chance of success. When propagating this time of year, we always use our Super 7 heated Propagator. This neat little until keeps the seed mix temperature about 8 degrees warmer than the ambient temperature. We also have the Big 3 available. This is a bigger unit available that keeps the temperature at a constant 18-19 degrees which is the perfect temperature for germination.
How we raise our seeds.
- We fill our seed tray with quality Tui Organic seed raising mix and dampen well – usually with a fine sprayer.
- Firm down the seed raising mix gently
- Sow the seeds using your fingers rather than sprinkling from the packet to give a more consistent spread
- Cover the seeds with mix equivalent to the thinkness of the seeds
- Water well using a fine sprayer. Don’t soak as this can sometimes cause a film over the seeds that the finer seeds have trouble breaking through.
- Position in a warm place (propagator) with plenty of light but not direct sunlight.
- When the seeds appear, you need to reduce the humidity – usually by opening the vent on the propagator lid. As the seeds get stronger you can remove the lid altogether.
- Once they get a few cms high they need to be “pricked” out and put in their own pot. Crowding can cause seedlings to fail as they compete for oxygen and light. When you prick them out choose the strongest seedlings.
- We then usually sit them in a tray on a Cocomat so they get enough water without drowning. This year we also have some smaller trays available with capillary matting that are ideal for sitting these seedlings on to encourage the roots to grow downward.
- The young plants need to be “hardened” before you can plant them outside. We will place them in a sheltered area for a few days to gradually harden them to the strong sun and weather.
Autopot NewsThe Autopots in my grow room are looking amazing. Especially the ones under the stronger HPS (High pressure sodium) lamp. These have outperformed the LED grow lights. Then again, it’s probably my inexperience at using the LED’s that have put those plants at a disadvantage. We have red tomatoes and red peppers ready for harvest. I haven’t taken any yet … they look too awesome to disturb just yet! In my greenhouse at home I’m still harvesting peppers from my Autopots. I feel a bit of a fraud as I’ve done nothing with them except ensure my tank has enough water and nutrient. I’m often asked if I can taste the difference between Hydroponics produce and “normal”. Although I think the variety is really what makes the difference, I have to say, these peppers from my greenhouse are incredibly sweet and way tastier than anything I have ever bought from the supermarket.
Star Performers from our gardenWe have two outstanding performers in our garden at the moment. The Rhubarb variety is Cherry Red. This was grown from seed only last year and we have harvested Rhubarb from it already. It's an incredible winter grower. Unlike most varieties that die down over the winter, this one has gone from strength to strength. Well worth a spot in the garden. The other plant that is well worth a spot in the garden is the yellow pea Wando Select. This pea was stunning last year with a Bean and Pea ring and again this winter hasn't dissappointed us. Not only are the peas delicious as a type of snow pea they are an extremely attractive plant worth growing for the floral display during the dreary winter months.
Monthly SpecialCompost is again on special this month to help you get those beds ready for the sprint planting.
Buy 2 Revital compost for $15.00 - usually $8.50 each
Vaild to 31 August 2018
Offer only good in store, does not apply to online purchases.