The seasons have turned: It’s well and truly autumn, and with or without rain, cooler nights mean more soil moisture. The ground is still warm however, making April the best month to re-sow lawns. It’s the start of the planting season for trees and shrubs, while seedlings of lettuce and other greens are less likely to be fried to a crisp now things are cooler.
Compost fodder is abundant for soil building. Pile it into heaps, or lay directly onto beds to keep weeds away and rot down over winter
Mulch: Check the soil is wet at a spade’s depth before mulching. Even though we’ve had some heavy rains, they can take a while to sink into parched ground.
Plant shrubs and evergreen or subtropical trees like citrus, feijoas, natives, shelter belts… Split clumps of perennials like alstroemeria.
Keep planting brassicas/ leeks/winter greens/green manure crops/broad beans. Snow peas and Chinese greens like bok choy are more cold tolerant, so grow better over winter, than their relatives the fat-podded peas or European cabbages.
Green crops: A handful of seed can turn into a great layer of mulch- grow your own soil! Find out more at the Green Gardener workshops or on this website.
Plant: Brassicas, silver beet, lettuce and other salad greens, red onions, fennel, beetroot, strawberries.
Sow: Coriander, rocket, calendula, alyssum, miner’s lettuce, peas, broad beans, peas, green crops (direct); lettuce, spinach, silver beet, peas (in trays).
The Council Green Gardener, Hannah Zwartz, offers sustainable and waterwise gardening advice to local residents, community groups and schools.
Community Visits and workshops are free.
To contact the Greener Gardener, call the Council on 04 296 4700 or 0800 486 486 or see www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/greenservices