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Cultivated News
In the news...

Dargaville residents have been busy diggin' in, and in the process are becoming skilled workers.

A new Salvation Army garden in Maunu has been providing paid work for a dozen employees who help grow fresh produce for the organisation's foodbank.

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Summer is smooth

If you're looking for a tasty breakfast treat this summer why not try a brilliant berry smoothie.

Slice 1 cup of fresh strawberries (grown from your garden!) and place in a blender with 1 banana, 2 cups of low-fat milk, 2 scoops of vanilla ice-cream, 2 tablespoons of honey and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Process until smooth. Pour into two glasses, serve and enjoy!



Kids' Korner


Keep your kids occupied this summer with building their own seashell wind chime. Kids will love making the wind chime, hanging it up and listening to it singing away in the warm summer breeze.

Winmay

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for more information on how to make your own wind chime.
 
Leeks: your garden's little sweetheart

As a national emblem of Wales, the humble leek can be a bit of a dragon in your vege patch! Some people seem to have the knack at taming them, while others are left baffled at the sight of shriveled spring onions where their leeks ought to be.

With a little bit of extra care, if you follow my easy to grow steps, they'll be your garden's sweetheart in no time. Plus, for the aspiring chefs out there, I've also included a 'sweet' risotto recipe.

So let's get started. Pick up your Awapuni leek seedlings from Bunnings, the Warehouse or your local supermarket when you're next out.

Once you've purchased your seedlings, make sure you plant them in a well drained and sunny position.

Leeks love the sweeter things in life, so if your soil is a bit acidic or you've had a bit of rain lately, add some lime to the soil a few days before you plant to help raise its pH level.

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Burning questions

What can I do to make sure my vege garden is in top condition?

For the best vegetables use a well-rotted compost to add nutrients and texture to your soil. This will promote greater worm activity and better growing conditions.

Rotate your crops each year to get the best out of your soil. This will also help to keep pest and disease levels down.

Green manures are crops that can be turned back into the soil, to provide a natural fertiliser. In this process, quick growing crops, like mustard or lupins, are grown and then dug into the soil just before you plant your main crop.

Alfalfa, broad beans, lupins and red clover are all nitrogen-fixing green manures. This means the bacteria on the roots of these plants turn nitrogen gas into forms that other plants can use.

Non-nitrogen fixing types of manure include, buckwheat (for acidic soils), black oats (good in winter), comfrey (has nutritious leaves) and mustard which is the most popular of all green manures. Mustard is an excellent weed suppressant, grows quickly, can be sown at any time and is best dug in before flowering.
January is a good time to…

Water your garden. January is often one of the hottest months throughout the year, so the biggest thing you need to worry about is your garden drying out. Here are some helpful hints on how to keep your garden hydrated during the warmer months.

The best time to water your garden is either early in the morning or in the evening when the temperature outside is cooler. The water will soak into the soil easier and not dry out as fast. Check the moisture before you start watering. If the soil is still moist 10cm below the surface you don't have to water.

Watering by hand or irrigation system is much more efficient than sprinklers. When watering, aim at the roots, your plants will be able to absorb the water better which will encourage deeper root growth. Be careful not to get too carried away – over watering can rot your plants.
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