Gardening in August.

This is the perfect time of the year to be out and about in the garden. Put on your gumboots, rain coat and garden gloves along with the children and head into your back or front yard.

If you have not done so already now is the time to plant garlic and onions and shallots.  Also for garden greens like cabbage, cauliflower, parsley, rocket, silverbeet, spinich and herbs.

Fruit trees.  This is the time for planting fruit trees.  Also a time for pruning fruit trees.

My apple tree in need of a prune.

Prepare your garden beds for potatoes, peas and broad beans.

Time to Mulch – which means to place dead leaves, bark, sawdust, compost,  onto the garden it also protects the soil from rain in the winter.  It also reduces watering and weeding.

The Maramataka is the phases of the moon.  You can use the Maramataka as a guide to help you to do things at certain times of the moon’s phase in your garden.

Here is a great page you should check out for gardening with children.

Sowing seeds.  It’s also a good time to be sowing seeds either directly into the soil or into seedling trays.  You could recycle plastic containers to plant seeds into too.  Even empty black pots that you may have brought seedlings in in the past are great to utilise now.

Too much rain?  If your like me and been having a lot of rain recently your garden may be flooding.  Now is the time to drain that water away from your plants.  I created channels allowing water to drain away from the plants.  Shelter small plants and seed trays out of the rain if possible.  Small tip: I have a trampoline and use as a shelter for plants, soil etc.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I wish you all happy gardening at this busy time of the year.  Anyone with some good tips please leave a message in the comments.

 

 

 

How to start a worm farm – pamu nuku.

Worm farming with children is great fun.  Children will find this activity very interesting.  How to start a worm farm is pretty easy.  I will go through the steps you will need to take to establish a worm farm at home or in your centre.

  1.   Find an old bath.  You can pick them up for around fifty dollars or even free.

    I made my worm farm in an old bath tub.  But you can use a worm farm set up from a shop or use different containers that stack on top of one another.

  2.  

    Add rocks or gravel to the bottom of the bath,  Then cover with weed matting.

  3. smart

    Add shredded paper.  Get the children to rip up the paper.

  4. Add compost, coconut fibre and dry leaves.

  5. smart

    Add your tiger worms.  These can be brought online or get some from a kind worm farmer.

  6. Add food scraps and cover with wet cardboard.

  7. smart

    Add a cover I used some old wet walling and cover so water proof.

  8. Add a bucket under the bath hole to catch the worm juice and water down and add to your garden.
  9. Feed worms once a week.

Let’s make a terrarium – rāihi kōataata.

Happy New Year Whanau and friends!  I hope that everyone is enjoying their Christmas holidays.  If you have children at home I have a great idea for an activity.   Today I am going to show you how to make a rāihi kōataata- a terririum.  This could even be made for a christmas gift for someone.

Making a rāihi kōataata/terrarium.

Step 1.

Find an empty glass container.  You can pick a glass container up from the warehouse or  second hand shops.

Step 2.

Fill the bottom of the terrarium with pebbles.

this provides drainage.

 

Step 3.

Sprinkle over activated charcoal on top of pebbles about a tablespoon or two full.  I got my activated charcaol from King’s Plant Barn.  This ensures that the terrarium does not smell especially if it is closed with a lid.

Step 4.

Add potting mix.  Enough to cover the pebbles and deep enough for plants to root in.

Step 5.

Add plants that can fit into the terrarium.  I found succulents, cacti and water loving ferns good  plants to start with.

Step 6.

Add pebbles or shells or tiny ornaments to the top of the terrarium.  You can place a lid on top which will help the terrarium produce its own moisture.

Step 7.

Spray plants with  water try not to over water.  Keep out of direct sunlight.  Enjoy or give away for a gift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growing kai with children.

Have you a garden?  If not well it is time to start growing kai with children.  Māori were great gardeners and knew how and when to plant in the garden.  The maramataka or Māori calender was useful in creating their gardens.  I will look at the maramataka in a future post.

Gardening is a fun activity and children love helping out here.  If you have no garden at all or have one that needs work I have a good idea for you.  Lasagna gardening.  It is the creative way to get gardening with children and also incorporates recycling.

So I will let you in on how I do my lasagne gardens.

ONE.  First a layer of cardboard to cover the ground you will be using.  You can rough up the ground a bit first if its straight grass.  The cardboard will stop the grass coming through.  Water the cardboard to hold it down.  You can use newspaper or other cardboard pieces.  Recycle what you have.

TWO.  Then I put down a layer of scraps from the kitchen.  You may have to collect a bucket of scraps over a few days.

THREE.  I follow up with some lawn clippings.

FOUR.  Put a layer of  brown material paper,straw, cardboard

FIVE.  Then put a layer of green material leaves, grass clippings,.

Keep layering brown and green until you have a substantial pile.  Place compost or soil on top and sow your seeds or place your seedlings you have grown in.  There you have it your very own lasagna garden.

 

Add water throughout the process and after planting or sowing.  Ensure the garden is watered daily.  Children love to water the garden.  If you have no hose then use containers or watering cans.

Make sure your hands are washed after gardening.

 

In no time at all you and the children will be collecting fresh garden produce.  I would suggest to start with radishes if you want to see fast results.

Happy Planting!

Tania.