Fertilising, we use our own fertiliser that we’ve produced or we might use some dolomite, depending on what we’re planting. So we use fish, dry fish fertiliser if that’s available, but primarily those are the main ones.
How do you prepare the fertiliser that you make?
We’ve got a big huge 500 litre tank, and we put in seaweed, kina shells, kina juice, the insides of kina – if we can get them, fish bodies. Anything like that that can go down into a compost, a bio liquid compost we have for a fertiliser. So that just ferments away. It’s been there for years. We just keep adding things to it, adding water. When we need to use it we just siphon it out, so it’s about a 20 to 1 mix, so it can be quite strong and powerful. We also have worm farms and we use the mimi from the worm, the vermicast, so that also goes into the garden. It’s a real potent brew.
How often would you fertilise?
When we’re planting out the best seeds or seedlings we always put dolomite in. A bit of dolomite just to give it a bit of a boost. When we first start we would probably give them a bit of watering. It’s stuff that’s no science for us in terms of how much we’re fertilising, but we probably unfertilise if anything. So maybe as we’re planting, maybe once a month we might put some fertiliser on to give them a bit of a boost.
Do you do any green manures at all between planting?
We have done when we’re looking at the smaller pots, we do a rotation. We would put in lupin. Lupin has been unavailable for the last couple of years now and it’s been difficult to get, but yes we have used those in the past to help put some nutrients back into the soil, to replace what we’ve used.
no Geneva Hildreth, Nga Puhi