Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa Go to Te Ao Hou homepage
No. 18 (May 1957)
– 58 –

The Home Garden


Spraying programmes should be strictly adhered to. Unfortunately gardeners start off in the spring with very good intentions, but after spraying their crops and orchards two or three times, they refrain from continuing the good work until such times as infection is apparent. Always remember that spraying is a preventative method and not a cure. Spraying materials are very costly and must be used continuously, otherwise their effectiveness is useless. Therefore, for late crops of tomatoes, potatoes, and the later varieties of peaches, apples and pears, continue to apply a covering protective.

Where potatoes have been harvested from the garden, continue to sow carrots for winter use. If the previous crop has been well manured, refrain from using any further fertilizer. Sow onion seeds for transplanting later in the year. A sowing of cabbage, cauliflower and lettuce can now be made at intervals, so that a complete succession of the crop may be utilized later in the season. The variety of cauliflower known as Phenomonal Early can be strongly recommended. When planting out, always remember to fertilize with a nitrogenous manure such as blood and bone, and plant on ridges allowing three feet between the rows and eighteen inches between the plant. As spring grown crops mature, harvest carefully and avoid bruising so that the crops will not deteriorate during storage. All proportions of the garden not required for other use should now be sown down with a cover crop. Blue lupin is a most suitable type of crop for digging in at a later date. Owing to the fact that in most home gardens there is a need for continuous and usually intensive cropping, it is very important to dig in all available organic material. All rubbish and trash which has not been infected by insect pests and fungoid disease, should be returned to the soil either by composting or dug directly into the land. As a rule the home gardener is never likely to have more organic material available than his garden will require.


Home gardeners realize that most soils in New Zealand require applications of lime from time to time, but it must be understood that while lime does have an influence on soil and crops owing to its calcium content and while calcium is essential for plants, lime is not regarded as a fertilizer. For instance, when lime is applied to very heavy clay land the effect is to neutralize the acidity and therefore, make the land more friable and easier to work. Another feature of liming the garden occasionally, is the fact that often phosphorus and potassium, although they are in the soil, are not available as plant food. An application of lime will often liberate these elements. The best time of the year to apply lime is in the late Autumn, an always apply on the surface after digging so as to allow normal winter rains to take the lime into the soil. Lime is not required for potatoes and tomatoes, and only to a small degree where pumpkins, squash, watermelons and kumaras are to be grown. On the other hand where peas, bean cabbage, lettuce and spinach are grown, ample quantities of lime may be applied.


As the later varieties of fruit mature, harve carefully and store for later use. Fruit which not noted for its keeping qualities, should be immediately preserved. Where plantings of your fruit trees are desired, place orders with the local nurseryman early, so that the best selection of trees may be procured. Too often, due to the lateness of ordering, intending purchasers have not been able to procure a satisfactory variety of trees.

⋆ ⋆ ⋆

The Judge Carr Cup for Maori citrus growers was won last year by Mr Peta Taukamo of Ruatoria. Points are awarded for the general care the citrus area; the tidiness and appearance of the grounds and garden have an important bearing on the number of points awarded.

⋆ ⋆ ⋆

The first Maori to qualify as a Government inspector is Mr R. T. Walter, son of Mr and Mrs R. Walter, Turihaua, Gisborne.

Mr Walter has been assistant inspector at the Horotiu freezing works, Waikato for the past two years, and was recently advised of his success the Agriculture Department's meat inspection examination. He is an ex-pupil of the Whangara Maori school and the Gisborne High School.

– 59 –