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Sow seeds, save money, get a jump-start on spring

Media Release 28 July 2008

Sow seeds, save money and get a jump-start on spring with NZ Gardener

NZ Gardener magazine is encouraging Kiwi gardeners to grow their own food with expert advice for sowing vegetable crops from seed – and a step-by-step guide to grafting fruit trees for free.

“Despite the wintry weather, August is the perfect time to start ordering and sowing vegetable seeds – and it’s easier than you might think. Seeds cost only a couple of dollars per packet but can return 100 times that in organic, homegrown produce,” says editor Lynda Hallinan.

The August issue of NZ Gardener includes part three of the magazine’s Back to Basics Growing Guide, aimed at teaching beginner gardeners how to grow everything they need for Christmas dinner, from fresh peas and potatoes to strawberries for the traditional pavlova.

“Put a seed sowing plan into action this month and you’ll be ready to start planting out your seedlings as soon as the soil warms up again in spring,” says Hallinan.

Gardeners in frosty climates can sow seeds indoors or under cover in a traditional insulating cold frame made from a recycled window sash, as demonstrated in the August issue by NZ Gardener’s DIY guy Justin Newcombe.

Winter is traditionally fruit tree planting season and, with the growing popularity of heritage varieties, NZ Gardener’s Southland correspondent Robert Guyton also shows how easy it is to graft your own fruit trees, starting by sowing apple pips for a free source of rootstock.

“If you long to grow juicy apples full of flavour – like the ones our grandparents grew – then Robert’s expert advice makes it a reality. Grafting is a great project for gardeners of all ages to try.”

Winter is also citrus season and NZ Gardener features a six-page guide to growing zesty lemons, limes, oranges and unusual citrus varieties such as kaffir limes and Buddha’s hand citron.

Food editor Alessandra Zecchini then uses the winter citrus harvest to make lemon curd, mandarin liqueur, marmalade jelly and preserved lemons.

As NZ Gardener editor Lynda Hallinan prepares for her second spring of self-sufficiency, she’s expanding her horticultural horizons with a wish list that includes everything from asparagus, black salsify and Florence fennel, to popcorn and peanuts.

This month’s North Island garden of the month is Trelinnoe Park in Hawke’s Bay, famous for its magnificent magnolia collection. The South Island garden is Gardens of the World in Nelson, a six-acre oasis with an amassed collection of plantings from around the globe.

Plus NZ Gardener is giving away $5000 worth of Mainland butter and cheese vouchers to lucky readers this month.

The latest issue of NZ Gardener is on sale from Monday 28 August.


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