Our District


 By Hannah Zwartz, Green Gardener

As we enter the season of abundance (zucchini and beans anyone?) it becomes obvious how greatly plants need water, and how gratefully they respond. It’s the difference between a luxuriant lemon tree and a sad, twiggy one; or crisp, delicious lettuce and yellowing, bitter ones. For plants, water is their lifeblood.

Waterwise gardening doesn't mean not watering your garden. With the cost of water currently at around $1 per 1,000 litres, growing veges won't break the bank for most people. But it pays to think before you turn on the sprinklers. Target your watering: newly planted things need daily attention, especially in hot weather, while established shrubs and perennials should be more self-sufficient.

 Sowing and planting:

  • Pop in more zucchini and beans as these hard-working plants will likely run out of steam before we run out of warm weather.
  • Winter crops: Time to start preparing beds for brassicas, and get sowing if you want to grow from seed.
  • Leeks also need to go in pronto if you want them fat by winter.
  • Lettuce and other salad greens do best with a bit of shade in the heat of summer.

Plant: Late beans, basil, zucchini, lettuce, red onions, leeks.

Sow: Carrots, beetroot, fennel (direct – water these well); kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower (in trays, protected from white butterflies), calendula, alyssum, lettuce, green manures (sprinkle seeds of lupin, phacelia, buckwheat or mustard into any bare spaces as you pull up summer crops.)


Other jobs:

  • Summer-prune grapes (back to two leaves beyond the bunches of fruit), and stonefruit trees once the fruit are gone. Pruning stonefruit in late summer avoids the risk of silverleaf spores infecting wounds.
  • Prune out any unwanted, unproductive upright growth in apples and pears.
  • Mow the lawn higher in summer so the roots don’t get so stressed out.
  • Keep compost wet.
  • Prepare beds and gather seeds for autumn-sown fennel, peas and broad beans.  



The Council Green Gardener, Hannah Zwartz, offers sustainable and waterwise gardening advice to local residents, community groups and schools.

Community Visits and workshops are free. Get together five friends or neighbours and invite the Green Gardener round.

Contact Hannah through the Council Service Desk 296 4700 or at greengardener@kapiticoast.govt.nz


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