Riversdale School – 10th March 2021

What a great session we had with Mr Hills room 11 class! We managed to get the garden beds we planted up with room 12 all weeded, as well as weed, feed and plant up 2 more large beds with lovely season vegetable seedlings that we supplied to us by the awesome team at Awapuni Nurseries. We made sure that the bigger vegetables – cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli – all had enough space to grow nice and big, and we planted the faster growing vegetables – radish, lettuce, bok choy – in between them, as these will be picked first. The gardens were very dry so we spent a long time watering them well. We looked at how to check if the garden was watered enough by digging a small hole to see if the water had seeped into the soil enough and talked about how often the gardens will need to be checked for weeds and watering to ensure the produce grows well.

The hall was a hive of activity as wonderful yummy recipes were made by the the amazing room 11 chefs. Chopping, grating, mixing, sifting, whisking and washing up – I was so impressed at how everyone worked together to make such a delicious lunch to share. Unfortunately I didn’t get to stay for lunch this time but it was reported to me that the food was outstanding! Ka pai team 🙂

Plant to Plate is coming back to Parkland School on the 7th April and I look forward to seeing how the gardens are growing – I wonder if there will be anything ready to harvest???

Until then, happy gardening everyone! Jacinda


Grow an Avocado Tree

Growing an Avocado tree is so much fun! It does require quite a bit of patience – they can take up to 8!!!! years to produce fruit, but they are lovely trees and a challenge is good!



Autumn is the time to harvest the last of the summer produce, clear and prepare for the winter garden planting. I find the garden starts to look a little rough around the edges in autumn. Pruning fruit trees, pulling out the old zucchini plants and spent tomatoes to tidy things up is a great plan. Remember not to put your tomato plants in the compost bin as they can spread any diseases this way.

Once the garden has been tidied you can start to replenish the soil with compost, sheep poo or whatever you usually use. once worked into the soil get your winter  vegetables in. Sow carrots, radish, swede and turnips directly into the soil and keep the soil moist. Brassicas – cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and kale – but make sure to watch for slugs and snails. Also, white butterfly caterpillars can destroy your crop in a few days. Kiwicare has a great organic spray you can use which won’t hurt our bees and other beneficial insects. Lettuce, silverbeet and spring onions are also great to plant this time of the year – Red lettuces grow better in the winter than green ones do, so they are a great option.

Gardens can be mulched after planting which will help to keep weeds done over the wetter months. It’s a good idea to turn your compost bin before it gets to cold and if you get frosts cover the bin. I use an old piece of carpet and some black plastic to keep the heat in.

Most importantly, enjoy the warm evenings outside before the cold sets in – walk around your garden and pick the last of the cherry tomatoes and strawberries.