January in the Vegie Patch, Prune Espaliers, Feed Citrus + Eat Cake

Evening Sun Sunflowers

Pests can be all consuming. I remember those days and the constant mystery of who was wrecking my plants. Working out the “damn pests” took up far too much head space, so I was super excited the day I learned that I was attracting them with the way I gardened and that if I changed a few things up, I could minimise their numbers. Yes please, sign me up!

Teaming up with nature is the answer here – the more varied the team the better the results. Instead of spraying and trapping and angsting, all I needed do was build a wild, magical, diverse playground for beneficial insects and soil life, and let them do the bulk of the work – heaps more fun! It was such a relief to know that pests weren’t inevitable, nor was I at war – they were simply responding to my call.

The more life your garden supports = the less and less pests you attract. Life, you see is the key. The wonderful messy chaotic wholeness of life. Relaxing into it is the final piece of the puzzle.

Happy New Year, my friends. May you and your gardens flourish.

Yours in the earth
❤️ Kath


  1. Rosalynn MacGregor says

    For me last summer, it was slugs. Hundreds of slugs!

    • Oh tricky! My 3 top slug tips are remove all the mulch for a while, beer traps and night missions with a head torch and a bucket of very salty water to throw them into… together these make a huge difference. Good luck!

  2. Kevin Darragh says

    Hi Kath,
    Comfrey, I have proven that my fruit trees are doing better with it planted around the base.
    I’ve brought some more plants from Kahikatea Nursery, they worked our fairly expensive when the $20 freight is added. I’m also attending to grow them from seed.
    Could you please expand on the advice you’ve given about transplanting by dividing existing plants.
    Wishing you a Happy Christmas a more settled New Year.

    • Hiy a Kevin, yes it does work out as expensive, but at least now you got your own supply and def worth it!
      Dig up the roots by sliding a trowel in around the edges of the clump of foliage. Pull out the licorice like looking roots. Preferably in 10cm and longer bits.
      Start your cuttings in pots if your soil is sandy or heavy. Plant out when sprouted and growing well. Plant direct into good/ free draining soils.
      To plant root cuttings direct.
      Plant root cuttings in a group of three at 20cm spacings, rather than as lonely singles (everyone does better in a community!) Make a shallow trench about 4cm deep and big enough to accommodate all three cuttings. Work a layer of compost into the original dirt and press the cutting in, laying it flat on it’s side. Cover thinly with compost, lay wet newspaper on top and mulch.

      Pay special attention to the new plants for their first summer by keeping them weed free and moist. Splash some liquid feed on them when you feed your garden.

      Steadily increase your comfrey by taking new root cuttings in spring, from 3 year old plus plants.
      Happy christmas to you guys too 🙂

  3. Julie Mador says

    Hi Kath, I have flowering annuals and green manure on the go but what flowering perennials do you recommend to attract beneficial insects. Julie, vege gardener, Invercargill.

  4. I’m not that much of an internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back down the road.

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