Although February is the last month of Summer, it is usually the hottest and driest, so watering is a must.
THE EDIBLE GARDEN
With fruit and vegetables being abundant in February it is sometimes hard to know what to do with it all. To freeze, dry or preserve - that is the question. Which ever you choose, you will appreciate later in the year. Keep it simple I always say, you can boil up tomatoes and garlic then put into plastic containers and freeze; great for soups, stews and pasta.
Bottle your beetroot, it is delicious with just about everything. Beans are great blanched, cooled and then frozen.
We currently have leek plants instore, a bundle of 20 leeks for $4.99 - they are a fabulous winter vege, so versatile and good for you, just remember to feed them as they are hungry little fellas.
With watering in February - it is better to leave the sprinkler on longer each time, but not to water as often. You want your plants to look for water deep down in the ground and not for the roots to come up to the surface, where they can dry out and burn. One good way to combat this is to use a soak hose on low pressure or a seeping hose that doesn't spray out so there is no water loss by the wind blowing it away.
Try to water your tomatoes evenly every time. If they get too much water all of a sudden the fruit tends to split. Keep feeding them as now is the time they need it. Wally's Secret Tomato Food with neem, used every 4-6 weeks helps keep tomatoes pest free, and spraying with copper every 3-4 weeks helps with fungal problems. Cut yellowish leaves off and keep the stem just above the ground clean and free of leaves. Liquid feeding is also recommended.
Bulbs have arrived in store - Anemones, Ranunculus, Crocus, Hyacinths and a few Daffodils with more bulbs expected every day.
You can plant out brassica seedlings, but will have to cover them from the white butterflies.
We have a small selection of Seed Potatoes in 1kg bags only - $7.99 . Still time to plant for Easter or main crops for winter harvest.
Tomato, Lime and Chilli Chutney
4 limes, quartered lengthwise
2 large onions, peeled and roughly chopped
450gm brown sugar
750ml cider vinegar
6 fresh red chillies, deseeded and chopped
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
To skin tomatoes, cut a cross in the top of each, place in a bowl and pour boiling water on them. Leave for a few minutes until skins start to split, then strain and plunge into cold water. This will loosen skins so you can slip them off easily. Roughly chop tomatoes and place in a large, wide saucepan or preserving pan.
Cut limes quarters crosswise into slices, then add to the pan with remaining ingredients. Bring slowly to boil, then reduce head. Simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until fruits are tender and chutney is thick.
Put chutney into warm sterilised jars and seal. Store in a cool place. Makes 3 x 500gm jars.
THE FLOWER GARDEN
Deadhead roses, petunias and any perennials that need it. This tidys up the plant and encourages more flowers.
Prune deciduous trees now, also wisteria, buxus and any hedges. Check your garden for any signs of stress, disease and pests. Spray with appropriate spray (have a chat to us about what the disease maybe). Clean out any diseased or dead matter, then give a liquid feed, such as Seasol every week or two to help keep the plants healthy.
Happy New Year from the team at Portstone. January is the month for making the most of the long evenings, have a few barbecues, enjoy sharing your home-grown produce with family and friends.
THE EDIBLE GARDEN
Leeks can be planted now.
Leeks like a soil rich in organic matter. Dig in plenty of compost or well-aged manure before planting.
As a leafy crop, leeks benefit from one high in nitrogen, which promotes leafy growth.
Plant Leeks in trenches 15cm deep and 15cm apart with rows 30cm apart, making sure they get full sun; if planting in hot weather trim back the leaves to reduce moisture loss while the roots get established.
We have Leek plants available now $4.99 for 20 plants.
Even though we are all in holiday mode, remember to plant a few vegetable varieties every few weeks to give you an ongoing supply, and even though we are not thinking winter yet some varieties need longer to reach their maturity therefore plant out your cabbages and caulis.
Keep popping in lettuces and salad crops.
Your herbs will be flourishing so now is the time to use them – try this basil oil, easy to make and great
drizzled over salads or new potatoes.
2 cups (60g) tightly packed basil leaves
½ tsp salt
1 cup oil, eg olive oil or grape seed or a mix of both
Place basil leaves in a bowl and pour over boiling water to wilt. Drain at once and refresh under cold water. Drain thoroughly
and purée with salt and oil until smooth. Strain off solids through a fine sieve if desired.
Keep in the fridge up to 4-5 days or freeze in ice block containers.
Most of your herbs can be harvested, chopped and placed in the freezer for using later – great for adding into casseroles and
hearty winter cooking.
Your garlic and onions will be ready for harvesting – look out for leaves wilting and dying down. Dig with a fork, knocking
off the excess soil and place in the sun to dry for a number of days. Store in a well aired, dry place, like a shed or garage.
You may like to plait your garlic, this looks good and stores well by hanging, place 3 bulbs and plait until near end,
using a leaf to tie the end of plait and use this to hang the plaited garlic.
Your strawberry plants will be rewarding you with delicious big juicy fruit, that is if you have been watering andfertiliser them
well. The best method is spraying onto the strawberry leaves, the 2nd best is a liquid feed via a watering can.
Your roses will appreciate lots of deep watering and dead heading - take notice of any roses in
full bloom so you can order for winter planting. Our Rose catalogue will be available in autumn.
Keep checking for aphids, black spot and mildew on your roses and spray for control. Our range
of Grosafe products has Enspray 99 which is an organic spray. Do this during calm weather, best early morning
or evening. Give your roses a feed by scattering a handful of Nitrophoska around the base (not too close to the rose stem)
and water in.
Nitrophoska is a slow release fertiliser that gives long lasting nutrients to the plant.
Mulch, mulch and more mulch – your summer garden needs mulching as it protects your plants from extremes in temperatures, keeps roots moist, suppresses weed growth and creates a tidy, well cared for look. We recommend Tui Mulch n Feed, comes in 40 litre bags.
A fish pond is a delight to have in the garden especially at this time of the year as the water has a cooling effect on us. The addition of
a pump adds the sound of flowering water which is lovely in the back ground when you are outside entertaining in the summer evenings.
If your pond is in a sunny site, then plant water lilies so that their large leaves cover the surface of the water. This blocks out sunlight
which reduces the growth of algae. Also plant submergible plants as many of these help keep the water clean. Add marginal plants to
decorate the pond and provide food, shelter and spawing for your fish. Tall plants such as reeds offer protection from sun and wind.
Feed your plants with liquid "Aquatic Plant Food Plus". This product encourages strong, healthy growth in water lilies (which are gross
feeders) and other plants, whilst also discouraging algae. It has extract of barley straw in it which is another "weapon" in the fight against
algae growth. It contains no synthetic or toxic chemicals and is totally harmless to fish, pets, plants and wildlife. Add a few water snails in
there and hopefully algae will be at a low marginable level and not take over. If you have hedgehogs visit your pond at night, for
a drink of water, make sure you have a ramp or landing for them to climb out, as they are prone to falling in!
As always this is a busy time in the garden, watering and weeding are quite demanding when the weathers heats up.
Remember deep watering 3-4 times a week is usually better than a bit of sprinkle every day. This of course is dependant on your type of soil, whats growing in it, if its mulched etc. Also feeding is very important, both to feed plants and to replenish the soil, once you've harvested. Rotted animal manure, seaweed and nettles is a good brew or you can purchase one in a bottle.
Now is the time to cover your brassicas for the white butterfly is busy laying eggs. Also look out for aphids as they are on the go. Pyrethrum or soapy water normally sees them rights, or in that case, wrong!
We have some new releases coming in this month
Grandessa "The Grand Daisy"
Is a brand new Argyranthemum. Grandessa is more than twice the size of others. Available in four bright colours orange/red, pink halo, red and yello
The white flowers are subtly patterened with pink hearts. Charming in hanging baskets and containers. A real beauty.
New from last year. Flowers stay open all day and night. Compact and available in six colours.. Perfect for that wow factor.
Geranium Calliope Big Red
A very popular geranium new out last season, intense red blooms on lush green foliage and
a semi trailing habit.
Also new out this year
Redder than red. Also with a good habit for containers and baskets, but with more compact.
Both Geraniums perfect for that dry hot spot.
Keep planting lettuces, spinach, silverbeet, brassicas, carrots, beetroot, onions and peas to name a few.
Plant Feijoas now and enjoy the Pohutakawa like flowers. The red tinsel like flowers with golden yellow stamens is natures natural Christmas decorations in your garden, then you can enjoy the fruit next autumn.
Houseplants - we have a lovely supply of Phalaenopsis "Moth Orchids" with another shipment due mid December. They retail at $59.99, you can get your loyalty stamps or gold card discount off the total. We also have some stunning miniature Moth Orchids for $39.99.
Poinsettia shouts christmas, these are looking fabulous and are ideal as a centrepiece for your table.
We also have Peace Lilies, Anthuriums and Maidenhair plants.
Come in a view our sales table which is restocked with more Jennifer Dumet range of ceramic ware. There is also some large glass balls hanging and free standing that would make great terrarium.
Portstone Gift Vouchers - perfect for giving to lovers of gardening
March heralds the beginning of autumn which is natures optimal time for planting trees and shrubs. This is when plants make their maximum root growth, so planting now means the roots will get established before winter and then come spring the plant puts on lots of good top growth.
If you are unsure about what to plant or you would like some layout advise, then talk to our landscape designer Carol. With years of design experience and extensive plant knowledge Carol can help.
Plant out brassicas, your broccoli, kale, caulis, cabbages and brussel sprouts. By planting one or two punnets at a time you should get a continuous winter and spring feed. Brassicas are heavy feeders so put in compost and well rotted animal manure. Water and mulch to keep the soil evenly moist.
The best thing to avoid the dreaded caterpillers is to cover your crop with mesh or frost cloth until theres no sign of butterflies. So get cracking now so that your seedlings will be well established before the cold weather sets in.
You may wish to start thinking about sowing a green crop in part of your vegetable garden. Do this once harvesting is complete and you wish to rest your garden beds. The main options are mustard, blue lupin, and grain crops. you can get an all purpose mix with all of these seeds in one.Mustard seed is great for helping prevent wire worm, which attacks potatoes and carrots.Blue Lupin adds nitrogen to the soil, and grain crops add protein. They all help improve the soil structure. Best planted in late summer to autumn and let them grow for 7-8 weeks.Blue Lupin is best dug in when stems are still soft and green. Once you have done the initial digging it is beneficial to repeat a couple of weeks later.
Bulb, bulbs, bulbsWe have so many varieties in store now and they keep coming! Nows the time to get them planted, we stock bulb mix, bulb baskets and bulb food - one stop shop for your spring flowering bulbs! See our guide to grow fabulous spring flowering bulbs .
Autumn is the best time to plant.Temperatures are cooler but the soil is still warm allowing root systems to establish before winter.
Think about planting any trees, shrubs and hedging plants as these give a garden its structure and add a backdrop for any flowering plants. To provide a strong foundation for your garden, a half to two thirds of your planting should be trees and shrubs.
Evergreens offer year-round privacy and shelter, and can be trimmed. Deciduous trees lose their leaves in winter allowing light to come through; these trees offer the most glorious colours with the changing season.
A selection of fruit trees have arrived ready for autumn planting. They are from a new and exciting range that have been bred especially for the home garden. They don't grow too big, are disease resistant, and easy to grow. Homegrown fruit is so much more flavoursome than store bought as you can leave the fruit to ripen on the tree. This makes them sweeter and juicier. The trees can be trained along fences, up walls, trimmed into balls, or planted in a bonsai bag, in order to maximise space in your garden. These young trees are small enough to fit easily into your car so come in to make your selections.
Our fruit tree list is out now describing our autumn range and what is coming in mid winter. We recommend you place an order early as some varieties are selling out quickly.
For planting your trees and shrubsfollowing this advice to get your new purchases off to a great start
· Water thoroughly to saturate the roots before planting.
· Dig a hole at least twice as wide and 1 ½ times deeper than the roots.
· Mix compost and slow release fertiliser into planting hole.
· Position stakes while you can still see the roots. Staking is important for most young trees to anchor the plant against wind while the roots get established. The best way is to have two stakes, one each side of the tree. Tie firmly with flexible ties.
Firm soil around the root ball. Water well after planting. Add a layer of mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
With any deciduous tree you have fallen leaves so here’s a simple way to take care of them - Rake them up and put into some black plastic bags, add a scoop of soil and water lightly. Tie up the bags and leave in a shady corner of your property. Turn the bags every week and eventually they will break down leaving a beautiful leaf mould which you can dig back into your garden, adding back nutrients and feeding the soil. Do not add big piles of leaves to your compost, as they will stay like that for years.
Now is a great time to continue planting your vegetable garden.
Give it a feed of sheep pellets, seaweed and any organic fertiliser, and allow time for a thorough weeding and mulching. If you are "closing down" a garden for the winter, mulch with thick layers of peastraw as it will keep the weeds at bay and feed the soil. Also consider planting a green main crop such as blue lupin, mustard, or grain.
Broad beans can be planted out. This is traditionally done on ANZAC day, but anytime now will do. Pinch out the top of the plants when pods are 7-10cm long. This will encourage an earlier crop of well filled shoots and help to deter blackfly. Broad beans like a rich, well dug soil, but overall are not very fussy. We stock the new variety "Red Hughey" in seedlings and in seeds, their flowers are a little bit different from your normal flowers, they will surely brighten up your winter days with their wonderful red/crimson flowers.
Your tomatoes can now been removed if they have been planted outside. Pick off the ripe tomatoes and any green ones. Always discard your tomato plants into the green bin as most of them tend to pick up all sorts of diseases at the end of the season which you really don't want added in to your compost bin. Clean up the bed they were planted in, pick up the dead leaves and any winfall tomatoes on the ground. Give the bed a good raking over and a feed if you are going to replant or simply close it off for winter.
Herbs can be pruned back now to keep them bushy or simply replace the ones that might be on the way out with some ones.
Roses - our 2017 Rose Catalogue is out now with lots of exciting new varieties plus a very good range of your tried and true roses.
Order now to avoid disappointment.
Keep planting your spring flowering bulbs, we have many different varieties available that give variation in height and colour for the garden or containers.
We have great specials in store on daffodil bulbs - 50 bulbs for $39.99 special or single bulbs 99 cents special.
Keep a look out for our Weekly Special in the bedding area - every week there will be something different on sale with a good discount.
Autumn is such a beautiful season, the leaves have changed colour, as you are travelling round you will be aware of the bright tones of red, orange and yellow. You will also notice the leaves that have fallen.We really are now into mid Autumn, cooler mornings and evenings but when the sun is out – there is still warmth, therefore great gardening opportunities. Autumn is the optimum time of year for planting. It’s when plants make good root growth; so they’re well anchored and ready to take off in spring.
As well as leaves falling walnuts and hazelnuts will have hit the ground - these require collecting and drying.
Feijoas are in abundance at present – these plants are great as hedging, they are evergreen and produce gorgeous fruit. This recipe has been tested several times and it’s delicious.
Feijoa, Ginger and Banana Loaf
1 cup sugar
1 large overripe banana
11/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
1½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ cups chopped feijoas
½ cup fresh ginger, diced
In a saucepan melt the butter, remove from heat and add the sugar and mashed banana.
Beat well and add flour, spices and baking powder. Fold in the feijoas and ginger.
Place mixture into a prepared tin and bake for approx. 50min until golden on top and cooked through.
Leave in the tin to cool before placing on rack.
Vegetable seedlings of broad beans, lettuce, silverbeet, celery and brassicas can still be planted, growing brassicas in winter is often better than the warmer month as they don’t get attacked by the white butterfly. Try growing Coriander, it’s also easier to grow in winter as it doesn’t bolt so quickly. Give your winter vegetables a spray of seasol once a month for extra nutrients.
Roses arrive in store around Queens Birthday Week, so if you intend to plant some new roses or replace roses this is the time to prepare the soil for these new arrivals. Roses like at least half a day of sunshine but do not like wet feet, so the position selected should be well drained and sunny. Dig some Norlake Sheep Pellets into the soil and leave to settle for a couple of weeks before planting your new roses.
Garlic, Elephant Garlic and Shallots will be instore very soon, if not already by the time you receive this.
Grow great garlic by following our tips
Sections called cloves make up a garlic bulb.
·Before planting, split the bulb into individual cloves
·Dig a small hole about 5cm deep in the soil
·Plant garlic in a sunny well drained position
·For best results, plant around our shortest day – June 21st
·Plant each clove in an upright position, make sure the pointed end is at the top
·Plant the cloves in rows about 15cm apart with about 45cm between each row
·Water in dry weather and weed between the rows
·Harvest late December, when leaves turn yellow/brown
·Dry garlic in an airy spot under cover – this is when you can plait your garlic
Keep feeding your rhubarb with plenty of sheep pellets or fertiliser. You don’t need to ‘cut down’ rhubarb for winter; just remove all old and unhealthy stems. Stems should always be gently ‘wrenched’ from the crown and never cut.
If you are not planting a winter crop, then apply some lime and compost to the soil in preparation for spring planting. Then consider sowing a ‘green manure’ for the winter, in order to feed the soil and to suppress weeds. Try our Lupin, Mustard and Grain Mix, which provides nitrogen, carbon, and a clean up of the soil.
Protect your plants from the upcoming frosts – Portstone has good products.
We have Mikroclima frost cloth, in 2m and 4m wide options.This is perfect for your citrus or placing over ground crops.
Or try a cloche (French word for Bell) these bell shaped plastic
covers give super protection to seedlings, or plants.
Investing in one allows not only frost and wind protection but year round gardening.
View our range on site, take away information pack or talk to our staff.
Your pots and hanging baskets will need refreshing, Portstone has bedding plants or single potted colour that will work well – try the cascading pansies and violas from the Thrillers, Spillers, Fillers Range. Have a chat to Bjorg about your planting options.
June is roses month at Portstone. Our rose beds will be filled with high quality Matthews Roses. Portstone is proud to be exclusive stockists in Christchurch.
Consider planting roses in your garden as they add colour, perfume and because they come in many varieties, they are versatile, covering walls and arches or mass planted in one variety they make a huge impact.
Prepare your area where the roses will be planted by digging the hole to bring air into the soil, add deer compost or Tui Rose Compost, this is great to add bulk to sandy soil or air to heavy clay soil .
When you are ready to plant make sure the hole is twice the size as you first dug, add some more compost and place your new rose into the hole, replace half the soil with some more compost, firm the soil by heeling it then water in, top up with remaining soil, firm and water some more.
Get your pots looking good with a splash of colour to brighten the dull cold months. Winter flowering polyanthus and pansies, primulas and violas will provide cheer. Give polys and primulas a side dressing of dried blood to give added nutrients and you will be rewarded with longer flowering brightness.
Peony flowers are a good investment, after many decades they can still produce stunning flowers. They do not like being disturbed so choose a suitable spot, they grow well in soil with good drainage where soil is fertile and receives good winter sunshine. They thrive on a good cold winter. Come October/November you will have gorgeous blooms that are great in the vase.
For fragrance in the garden its hard to beat the ever popular Daphne with either pink or white flowers.
An exciting new variety of Daphne is "Perfume Princess". It's flowers are larger and last longer making it a real stand out Daphne. Also it can be planted in a sunnier position.
Himalayan Daphne has the same wonderful fragrance as the others, but flowers earlier, so if you have both then you have an extended flowering period.
Get your garlic and shallots planted in the next few weeks.
Shallots belong to the onion family, they have a mild, sweet onion flavour and cooks love them, add them to pizza toppings, salads or caramelise them. To plant place the individual cloves and the mother bulb separately. Plant them half in, half out of the soil, with the narrow end up and 8-10cm apart. Harvest in December on the longest day of the year or when the foliage turns brown.
Give leeks a side dressing of fertiliser.
There are fresh baby house plants instore which are ideal if you are starting a collection of house plants as these are priced $3.50 to $5.99 each.House plants are very trendy and growers are busy trying to supply the demand, come see our latest delivery but don't delay!
With colder weather comes the need for hats, scarfs and socks - we have what you need to keep warm. We have Scallys range of hats and scarfs and we are stockist of Point 6 socks made using NZ merino wool. Once you wear these you won't choose any other!
Look out for the new seasons Michel Design work range of serviettes, tea towels and other beautiful items for serve ware.
Winter is a good time to think of our feathered friends as with colder weather their food source is not as prevalent as warmer months
Portstone carries a range of bird feeders, seeds, houses to help protect birds
over the cold months. Here’s some Tui’s top tips for bird care –
Birds are vulnerable on the ground so raised feeders are the safest solution.
Sturdy tree branches, or a specially designed hook or stake are the best options for hanging your feeder.
Ensure you keep the feeder topped up so birds know they can rely on it as a regular food source.
Birds feed most actively in the early morning, replenishing their energy after the night.
Regularly clean and dry your bird feeding station or feeder. Feeding food from unclean feeders may contribute to the spread of disease amongst wild birds.
Always keep food dry. Do not allow it to go mouldy as rotten food is potentially harmful to wild birds.
Some birds feed on nectar – use a nectar feeder with sugar water to attract them to your garden.
Portstones fire is inviting and the café is super warm.
In the middle of winter, wouldn't it be nice to have a greenhouse to potter in when the weather is wet or cold. There are a number of jobs you can do now in the shelter of a greenhouse; re-pot indoor plants, sow seeds for spring planting, plant up hanging baskets so they are in full flower when spring starts. Frost tender plants can be sheltered in the greenhouse, and of course you can grow winter greens and lettuces quicker inside than out. So come in and look at our Winter Gardenz display models and discuss with our knowledgeable staff what your requirements are and how we can accommodate them. Winter Gardenzare NZ designed and manufactured to withstand our strong winds and harsh sun.
The ornamental deciduous trees come in with the fruit trees and we have a lovely range to choose from. Many deciduous trees are fast growing trees offering summer shade and winter sunlight. Their seasonal change keeps us in touch with nature, spring brings blossom, then the new lime green leaves, summer shade, then the fiery autumn colours and finally winter shows the bare tree like a fine metal artwork. Deciduous trees drop their leaves all in one go making for easy pick up.
Strawberries are instore now. They are such a versatile plant, great for children to take care of and enjoy the delicious fruit. Strawberries can be planted in numerous situations; strawberry beds, planters, pots, hanging baskets and they make a good ground cover anywhere you need to suppress the weeds. Feed them well as they are gross feeders. Mycorrcin is a liquid fertiliser that is particually good for improving strawberry yields and quality.
Fruit trees start coming into the garden centre this month. There is a high demand for fruit trees this year and some varieties have sold out already, so be quick to place an order to avoid missing out on varieties you want.
A lot of our trees are grafted on to dwarf rootstock to make them more suitable for small gardens and courtyards. If you want them even smaller, then a Bonsai Bag is the thing for you. The bag can be planted in the ground or in a pot and it also restricts the root growth thereby restricting the top growth, but the fruit size is normal.
Another way of keeping trees small is to plant 2, 3 or 4 trees in the one hole. The root competition restricts the growth. This is a good method to adopt where you need two varieties for pollination.
Our rose selection is good although some varieties are extremely popular and selling out so do not be disappointed come summer. Our roses are high health Matthews Roses and we are proud to be the exclusive stockist in Christchurch.
Its that time of the year when seed potatoes start to appear in store so you can get a head start by "chitting" them.
Leave the tubers in a warm, dry place, away from direct sunlight. When the sprouts are 1cm long, trim some of the smaller sprouts off and keep 3 or 4 of the stronger growing ones. Remember potatoes are frost tender so watch for Jack Frost in spring.
A good way to protect them is to place frost cloth over them for those cold nights.
When planting out remember potatoes do not like lime as it makes the potatoes go scabby so they grow better in a slightly acidic soil but usually benefit from a feed of superphosphate or a well balanced potato food, like Tui produce, as a base dressing and then a side dressing through the growing season.
If you have had problems with wire-worm you probably still have time to grow a quick crop of mustard
which germinates really quickly. Dig the area over a couple of times before planting.
Another use for mustard is to sow it in an area where herbicide may have been sprayed and if it
germinates there you know the soil is safe to plant.
There is a great selection of winter vege seedlings in store, Broccoli, sprouting broccoli, vege combo (great for the smaller garden) cauliflower, onion, silverbeet, kale, and spinach. Even though the ground and air temperature is cooler you can still plant them for spring picking. Once planted apply some sheep pellets for boosting flavours and growth come spring.
Great winter colour in our bedding area –
There is nothing like a splash of colour at this time of year, try our pansies, flowering kale, primulas and polyanthus and violas. Our cascading pansies and violas are just what the doctor ordered for pots or baskets to cheer us up.
Peonies, we have a great selection available in reds, pinks and whites covering early, mid and late season flowering and they are easy to grow. They are potted up so you just dig the hole and plant. Peonies are perennials, flowering happens over October/November and they become dormant over winter before reappearing in spring.
July is a good month to feed your pots and baskets with a liquid fertiliser such as Seasol, Powerfeed or organic liquid such as Bio marines fish fertiliser.
Also some dried blood will keep your polyanthus happy and further enhance their flowering and colour.
And last but not least, wrapping your garden up in peastraw, helps keep the cold away – place round your roses and fruit trees and your strawberries and veges. Great blanket over your potatoes and garlic as it breaks down and feeds the soil. $10 a bale.
Our rose selection is outstanding, we have some new and recent releases that you will love.
August weather can give you the feeling spring is not far away, blossom begins to appear, the soil is slowing warming up and its perfect to get your new trees and shrubs planted so their roots establish before spring growing.
The new seasons Rhododendrons come in so there will be a full selection of colours and sizes to suit all sorts of gardens. They are very easy to grow and provide spectacular colour when in flower. Some are wonderfully fragrant, but these are all whites and creams and the flowers tend to be a little frost tender. However, most rhodos are frost hardy as they are native to the mountains of China and the Himalayas. They range in size from nice low compact plants of around half a metre, up to 3 or 4 meres of bushy tree with gnarly interesting shaped branches. The feeder roots of rhodos are right at the surface so a good mulch over the soil protects the from weed competition and moisture loss. Peastraw and bark chips are a good mulch and pine needles are particulary good as they are acidic which rhodos love.
The new Kings Seeds catalogue has arrived so now is the time to check through it, decide on your seed requirements for the season and place your order with Portstone. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers will soon need sowing under glass in order to have them ready for planting out in October/November. Just to wet your appetite here are a couple of new listings to look out for - Oyster Leaf - a hardy Scottish native with leaves which actually taste of oysters, and even the flowers are edible, and the Pea Golden Sweet, a prolific climbing snow pea with yellow pods, a pre 1860's Indian heirloom.
You need to start with a good seed raising mix, this has the right fertiliser in it for seeds, reasonable quick and not too strong. It is important to use this instead of a potting mix which has a 6 month slow release fertiliser in it, not quick enough for raising seeds. Start with a suitable tray/container with drainage in the bottom, 3/4 fill with mix and firm down evenly, scatter seeds evenly, try not to clump, then lightly cover with seedmix. Water then place in a warm sunny spot to germinate, keep moist. You can also buy small plastic covered trays to keep seeds moist and warm. As soon as seeds germinate don't let them get too leggy. When old enough to handle "prick" them out into separate punnets to grow on ready for outside planting.
You can purchase jiffy or peat pots that you can put in individual seeds. For single plants or a few seeds for the likes of silverbeets etc that don't have to be separated. The jiffy range comes flat and when wet swell, then you can see where the seeds are placed in the centre, you don't require any mixes with these. Peat pots you fill with seed raising mix, plant the s
eed, then water well. Keep moist and warm and when seeds germinate you don't have to repot but continue growing and then harden off first before planting outside. Sowing seed to harvesting - a very rewarding process.
Asparagus ‘Jersey Giant’ available in packs containing 5 x one year old crowns.
As these are a perennial crop, care should be taken to ensure planting beds are free of
Raised beds tend to give better results, add plenty of compost, animal manure
seaweed and a complete fertiliser.
Harvest very sparingly for the first couple of years to aid establishment
of crowns good home variety and should produce good spears.
Spring is nearly here and to give you the spring feeling we have stunning pots of flowering daffodils. There are pots of dwarf Tete a Tete that are a mass of flower and bud.
These start at $13.99 each.
We also have in stock pots of Snowdrops, Galanthus in flower for $9.99 each and dwarf Iris reticulata for $7.99 a pot. We also have got pots of pink Autumn Crocus and miniature narcissus Bulbicodium in golden yellow.
Keep checking out perennial area over the next couple of months as we are expecting some lovely wee treasures.
A much loved perennial giving months of colour in the garden and for the vase. Choose a warm sunny spot, fertile soil, and give a dressing of blood and bone prior to planting.
As new growth is very delicate, avoid planting too early so wait until frost have finished.
Our pre-pack tubers have now arrived, including some new releases so don't leave it too late before checking out the selection.
In the shop we have restocked our supply of Boleslawiec Pottery which is beautifully hand made in Poland. It comes in a variety of patterns with different blue tones. Always a special gift for someone or is a great range to start collecting pieces for yourself.
It is a top quality product and the colour tones never go out of fashion in kitchenwares.
You can team this pottery with the blue and white indigo cotton range of kitchen products from Michel Design works. You can get teatowels, aprons, napkins, breadbins, cannisters and a few others interesting items. This range is made in Germany and we always restock when new designs come out. If we don't have the style or item you want let us know and we can try and source it.
Our seed stands are very popular at present as now is the time to get striking. The popular Kings Seed Range offers an incredible range of interesting varieties especially in the tomato range.
Come in and browse through our catalogue, talk with staff about your requirements. If we don't have what you need in stock, we will happily order them for you.
Growing your vegetables and flowers from seed is hugely rewarding.
For the month of September for every packet of Kings Seeds you purchase enter the competition to win a seed raising tray full of seeds, weeder and goodies to help get you starter. Drawn October 1st the winner will have time to get striking.
Seed potatoes are in full swing. We have a large range of well know varieties and European varieties, as well as a few Maori potato varieties.
Potatoes like super phosphate or use a well balance potato food as a base dressing prior to planting, then as a side dressing on established plants.
We have a very good selection of veges, all ready to be planted out now. From brassica to green leaves for picking to all sorts of onions. Tomatoes, courgettes and cucumbers have arrived, although they need to be under cover.
All citrus like a warm, sunny site, sheltered from cold wind. They require lots of moisture and fertiliser, so when planting citrus, place half a bag of Magic Mulch (which is the ‘fines’ of Spagham moss with seaweed fertiliser added) to hole first, then the bush on top. This will hold a lot of moisture and food right next to the rootball, reducing the frequency of watering and it will produce larger, juicy fruit.
Citrus bushes grow to approx. 1.8 to 2m high and wide but can be kept smaller by growing them in a container or bonsai bag, or by keeping them pruned. Some varieties are available on dwarf rootstock, so they would grow to around 1.2 to 1.5m high and wide. All citrus flowers are white and strongly fragrant.
The Meyer lemon is the cold hardiest of all the lemons and is easy to grow. Yen Ben is a smaller lemon but has a good sharp acidic lemon flavour. Lemonade lemon is the opposite, with a soft flavour that some people eat as you would an orange. Lisbon has large fruit with thick skin and high juice content. It crops heavily through autumn and winter. Tangelo Seminole is a cross between grapefruit and mandarin. The fruit is flattish with a soft reddish orange colour when ripe. The flesh is sweet, tangy and very juicy. Encore mandarin, a very popular one, is one of a few to bear fruit over summer. Medium size, thin skinned fruit with excellent flavour, very sweet and juicy, and easy peel. Seedless unless cross pollinated by other citrus. The fruit holds well on the tree.
Love your garden – we are here to help you achieve this
I think you can surely agree that Spring is here now, with temperatures improving lately.
We have all your vegetable plants in with tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries and many more exciting vegetable and fruiting plants for your edible garden.
There is a new tomato in town "Sugarpop". It is a sweet, small cherry tomato on trusses. It is study and easy to grow plant. A good option if you have limited space.
And then there is "Tasty Tom", bred to put the taste sensation back into tomatoes. It does require staking - but worth that extra support as its one of our best. Check out our incredible range of reds, yellows, talls, tumbling tomatoes instore.
You can begin putting your tomatoes in the ground this month but I would highly recommend putting a cloche around them to help them get established and keep them warm. Only water in the morning and avoid the leaves getting wet. Keep them on the dry side if nights are still cold. Liquid feed is best when young and throughout the season. Adding sheep pellets and fruit & flower organic fertiliser, as they get bigger.
Our roses are looking fabulous and healthy. We have a great selection of varieties including many new one, both in standards and bush. We stock Matthews Roses, who have just celebrated 70 years in business and supply Portstone with the very best quality roses.
If you are having any troubles with white fly or aphids on you brassicas or hanging around your roses spray with EnSpray 99. A relatively new organic spraying oil and is proving to be very successful in the home garden and is safe to use too.
There are is a new variety that has arrived called "Fire Alarm" as super hardy garden performer. Red to darker brown leaves, sun or shade and easy to grow.
Also have a look at the brand new Heucherella "Happy Hour Lime", a cross between Tiarelles and Heucheras, shade lovers with a vigorous spreading growth. Perfect in a woodland setting with its true lime green foliage.
To keep your garden pest and disease free is hygiene. Pick up leaves, remove diseased plants, clean your tools and deal with any problems as soon as they arise. Always keep plants well watered and fed. And if you need to spray use eco friendly ones so that we still encourage those important bees into our gardens.
It is time to seriously think about getting your potatoes crop in. We still have a good range of seed potatoes although some varieties have sold out for the season. If you have been sprouting them, they should have nice shoots ready for planting but still be cautious if there is any hint of a frost. When they are in the ground have some frost cloth handy to cover them so the fresh growth doesn't get burnt. Mix in some potato food as a base dressing then feed through the growing season regularly with Seasol
and once a month, potato food.
Hanging baskets look stunning enhancing porches and verandahs, or hung in areas of your garden on structures. To get the best looking baskets you need to plan what to plant and where your baskets will hang.
Suitable plants for hanging baskets:
Annual flowering plants - Aylssum, Impatiens (good for shade), Lobelia, Nasturtium, Pansies and Petunias
Baskets you can eat from - Strawberry, Parsley, Pizza Thyme, Nasturtiums, Tumbling Tom Tomatoes.
Easy steps to showy baskets :
Select a suitable sized basket or pot for the chosen area
Fill with a specialist potting mix
Plant your selected plants
Mulch the top of the basket with some spaghum moss or compost.
Our Kings seed range is restocked weekly and we can order in anything you require that is not on our shelves.
Do you have an apple or pear tree? If so, you might want to consider hanging a pheromone trap in the tree for catching codling moth. None of us like biting into a lovely looking apple only to find maggot damage. This is mainly caused by caterpillars of the codling moth. Female moths lay eggs on leaves and fruit. The eggs hatch after 10-14 days and caterpillars bore into the fruitlets carving galleries inside. The codling moth is 8mm long, grey, with black lines and a distinctive copper patch on the wing tips. The pheromone trap lures the male moths to a sticky death. This interrupts the life cycle as the female remains unfertilised. Male moths fly on warm nights when dusk temperatures reach 13 degrees c, then they start to mate when dusk temperatures reach 17c. This is from about mid Sept onwards. Enjoy juicy home grown, maggot-free apples and pears.
Love your garden - we are here to help you achieve this
Most of us have planted up our vegetable garden and are watching our seedling grow quickly. As well as the seedlings growing; many are experiencing weed growing, due to the recent rain. Remember to give a light hoe around potato crops and seedlings. It is easier to do this when the weeds are small.
November traditionally sees the planting out of Beans - an easy to grow nutritious vegetable. We have the follow varieties
Climbing beans - scarlet runners, snow beans; butter beans - yellow butter, which grow on a small bush, and French beans - green smooth-skinned that also grow on a small bush. Remember to stake climbing beans.
Choose a sunny position to plant your beans; add some lime to the soil. If you are limited for space, try growing beans in pots. Beans are generally ready to eat after approx 8 weeks. Regular harvesting will encourage new growth and a prolonged crop.
Use beans as a regular vegetable for dishes, they work well in stir fries and can be added to casseroles and stews. Beans freeze well and will last up to six months in the freezer.
Give established vegetable plants a weekly feed with either Seasol or Grosafe BioPower Seaweed Flake to enhance plant growth and improve yields and crop quality.
November brings some gorgeous flowers and if you enjoy bringing your flowers indoors, the following
tips will keep your pickings lasting longer.
cut stems slantwise with a sharp knife/scissors as it allows the water to suck up freely
change the water daily and keep the vase very clean
cut a little from each stem daily
remove any foliage from the water
It's time to plant your hanging baskets now so they are flowering beautifully for Christmas and right through the summer and autumn months. We have many pretty options for making a colourful display; come in and we will help you choose something, or ask Bjorg and she will custom plant a basket for you. You don't need to stick to planting just the top of the basket; plant round the sides as well. If using lobelia, then use the cascading variety in the top for it to spill over and hang down, but if you want it round the sides, then use the upright as it hugs the basket neatly. Fuchsias and petunias are a good option if you just want the simplicity of one plant.
Hostas and Ligularia are beautiful in shady areas with their big bold leaves,
and mix with ferns for a contrast of form.
Add a sculpture or piece of garden for focus in the foliage
Our range of English Dragonstone statue includes ornate urns, griffins, little animals, birdbaths etc and, of course, gnomes.
Indoor colour and foliage
Our houseplant range includes stunning Cymbidium hybrid orchids. The leaves are ribbon-shaped and
when long racemens of heavy waxy flowers are produced, the plant makes a truly exotic display.
They are easy to care for and can be put outside under trees, just bring them in or into conservatories