In the garden this week
Autumn is nature's best planting time as it gives plants a good long period to establish so they can gain optimum growth before next spring.
Partial water restrictions began in the New Plymouth and Stratford districts last week and water conservation is urged.
It may seem an odd time of the season to be pruning shrubs, but that's exactly what we did at a public workshop at Tupare last Sunday.
Start planning your autumn sowing or planting of vegetables as your spring and summer crops are maturing.
Hotter weather is a signal to get chillies underway.
Spring flowering bulbs are starting to arrive in garden centres, the first being anemones, ranunculus and freesias.
With another Christmas behind us, it's now time to relax and enjoy the garden in the summer months ahead.
With the heavy downpours we have had lately, our lawns are growing at a rapid pace.
Plant beans, particularly the dwarf one that come in a range of varieties.
Gardeners can always use practical gifts
This week's rain may bring an infestation of blight on tomato plants.
Now is the time to start deadheading and removing seed heads in the flower garden.
Sow pumpkins, cucumbers, capsicums, melons, courgettes, chillies, leafy greens, radishes, beetroot, and corn and summer herbs such as basil
Tomato time has sprung. Labour Weekend is traditionally planting time for many summer edibles
October and November are the months for dividing or repotting orchids.
Even though we are now well into spring, we still need to be careful with planting petunias, marigolds and other tender flowers
Sow tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and other summer-loving plants. However, keep the seeds under cover. The ground is still too cool for outdoor sowing. Brassicas, however, can be popped outdoors. You should get a decent amount of growth before the white butterflies reappear again in warmer weather.
For a stunning display of colour this spring and summer, tuberous begonias are certainly hard to beat.
Now is the time to sow asparagus crowns. There are many varieties available at the moment. Remember, if you are putting them in for the first time they are a long-term crop. It's important to think about the placement of the plant, as you only want to plant them once.
With spring almost officially here (September 1), we need to start thinking about seed-sowing preparation.