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Embrace your green thumb at home

Published: 1 May 2020

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Embrace your green thumb.

No matter how big or small your garden is, now is the perfect time to give it some TLC.  

Auckland Council’s Jack Hobbs, Manager of the Auckland Botanic Gardens, says “Autumn is a great time of the year for getting plants into the ground, as recent rains have moistened the soil and although the weather is starting to cool, the soil is still warm enough to sow seeds, plant shrubs and seedlings.”

For those of you with established gardens, here are some gardening tips doable during the COVID-19 lockdown this April.

What to harvest

  • A few summer edibles may still be available to harvest, such as squash, capsicums, chillies and some leafy vegetables
  • Jerusalem artichokes will also be ready to be dug up and roasted through autumn
  • Continue to harvest late varieties of apples and pears, feijoas, figs, guavas and passionfruit as they ripen
  • Collect ripe seed from crops, such as peas, beans and other vegetables.
  • Pick any late flowering asters, helenium, daisies and roses.

What to plant

If you have any seeds at home or some plants you’ve been meaning to repot, here’s some things that are ideal to plant this month. 

  • It is an ideal month to plant shrubs, as soils are still warm and the wet months that follow enable them to establish before next summer
  • It’s a good time to sow broad beans, peas, coriander, lettuce, parsnip, radish, rocket, spinach, carrots, beetroot and silverbeet. Or plant seedlings of winter vegetables, such as cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, and kale
  • Now is also the best time to plant winter annuals, such as lobelia, pansies, violas, polyanthus, snapdragons, alyssum, Californian poppy, cornflower, stock and calendulas.

Indoor plants

Indoor plants offer many benefits, such as cleaning the air, increasing oxygen levels and adding a bit of nature and colour inside.

Growing conditions within your house environment are incredibly variable – it can be sunny and hot on a kitchen windowsill but colder and darker in the bathroom. Popular choices for low maintenance, easy to care for plants include Phalaenopsis orchids (sometimes sold in supermarkets), succulents (ideal for sunny spots) and Spathiphyllum peace lilies (perfect for shady spots).

Check out this link for some tips on keeping your indoor plants healthy

Composting tips

Each year, Aucklanders put about 100,000 tonnes of food waste into their rubbish bins. Diverting food from landfill is not only one of the biggest climate change interventions an individual can make, but composting food waste instead can have big benefits for your garden.

Take a look here for tips to help you get started with composting today - including setting up worm bins, making the highest quality compost, and finding out what items can and can't be composted.

Find out more

Stay tuned

Keep an eye on the Auckland Botanic Gardens Facebook page for more tips on all things gardening.

Have a gardening question? Email botanic.gardens@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Finding the latest COVID-19 information

Read more: At Home Environment

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