Eastern Courier : January 21st 2010
8 EASTERN COURIER, JANUARY 21, 2011 NEWS SAVE THREE LIVES BEFORE THE LONG WEEKEND. IT'S EASY. JUST SIT BACK & RELAX FENCIBLE LOUNGE HOWICK LIBRARY HOWICK WED26&THUR27JAN 1.00pm -- 7.00pm AND FRIDAY 28 JAN 9.00am to 2.00pm BRING YOUR ARM AND A FRIEND Spirit of Christmas alive and well Christmas time: Pat and Noel Williams dressed up as Mr and Mrs Claus on Christmas Eve, which they do every year. Giving back: Noel and Pat Williams have been nominated by their neighbours for a Bouquet of the Week for their generosity and kindness at Christmas Photo: KRISTINA RAPLEY By KRISTINA RAPLEY Christmas spirit comes naturally for this Golflands couple. Pat and Noel Williams-- also known as Mr and Mrs Claus -- have been nominated for a Bouquet of the Week for their generosity and kind- ness at Christmas. For about 15 years they have allowed thousands of people to visit their home which is decorated with amazing lights and decorations. On Christmas Eve, they dress up as Mr and Mrs Claus and Santa is escorted to the house in a police car with sirens and flashing lights. Neighbour Dawn Morrish nomi- nated the festive pair and says they really bring the community together. The joy they give to thousands of children at this special time is precious and all the people who visit Simon Owen Place during the month of December will agree.'' Mr and Mrs Williams say Christmas has always been a special time of year for them and their family. We come from humble beginnings and Christmas has always been precious to us so we just want to give something back to the community and the youngsters,'' Mr Williams says. Mrs Williams says she loves watching the children's eyes light up when they see the house all decorated and they get so much enjoyment out of it. If you know of someone who deserves a bouquet, send an email to email@example.com or fax 265-1285. The sweet taste of summer Amazing: Plant sweetcorn in full sun, making sure it is sheltered from strong winds, Dave Bradshaw says. I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas and New Year and your garden didn't suffer too much from the heat. The weather in November and December was very hot and mostly dry which made the garden produce their crops early but also keep an eye out for blight from the humidity. A useful idea is to start a diary of the happenings in your garden because they will provide useful records when looking back in future years. My top tips are: Citrus need to be well watered for the production of healthy fruit Mow your lawns higher than usual. This helps con- serve moisture and keeps the grass greener You can plant marigolds around your vegetables to stop dogs from urinating on them Plant cleome as they act like a magnet for vegetable bugs, keeping them off your beans and other vegetables Plant nasturtiums to deter whitefly Add water retention crystals to your baskets and pots to keep them moist If you have scale (insect pest) on your plants, dip a toothbrush in a weak solution of vinegar, oil and water then brush the scale Bees are not easily attracted to capsicum flowers so to increase pollination, plant lav- ender or thyme close by Chop up rhubarb leaves and put pieces in the bottom of the planting hole for brassica seedlings to deter club root Watch out for mites (pests) on your container plants, infected leaves look a little yel- low with a fine speckled pat- tern and you will need to use a miticide. For the vegetable garden: Remember to harvest your courgettes otherwise they will grow into marrows Now is the time to plant seedlings of beetroot, carrots and lettuce Sow seeds of broccoli, cab- bage and leeks in a tray for transplanting later Sow directly into the ground, beans, peas, radish and parsnip Feed tomatoes weekly with a tomato liquid fertiliser avail- able from garden centres and remove laterals (side shoots) from your tomato plants, this will ease congestion and result in good fruit size Side dress plants with sheep pellets and/or blood and bone Soak the garden twice a week, watering in the morning to avoid sunburnt leaves Time to harvest garlic now -- plants are ready when their foliage goes brown. For the flower garden: If you prune roses lightly after flowering it will promote more flowers Pinch out the tips of chrysanthemums, this helps to make bushier plants Time to sow alyssum, ager- atum, and violas Mulch and keep plants weed free Dead head dahlias and ferti- lise plants to encourage more flowers. Plant sweetcorn in full sun making sure it is sheltered from strong winds. It likes soil rich in compost and manures which will encourage plants to grow fast and produce well. Traditionally sweetcorn was intercropped with beans and squash -- a combination that benefits all three vegetables. Plant runner beans to climb the corn stalks and plant squash around the base. You can also plant peanuts near the sweetcorn as it helps reduce the number of corn ear- worms (caterpillars). Start checking your corn for ripeness when the silks turn brown by pressing a fingernail against one of the kernels. If the sap looks milky then it is ready and you can twist the cobs away from the stem with- out causing any damage. Next month I will be discussing oregano. Dave Bradshaw is head of the Manukau Institute of Technology's school of horticulture and landscaping. MIT delivers horticulture programmes at its Otara campus and at Unitec's Mt Albert campus.
January 19th 2011
January 26th 2010