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NZ: A Wet, Cold Spring Holds Back Growth

The planting of ground crops has been held back this Spring because of the inordinate amount of rain that has been regularly falling and the temperatures have been cold. In the North Island, snow was low on the hills as recently as last week and rain has been incessant over the last two months.

If early crops were planted early over July/August then loss of plants will have been high due to the big wet. The problem is that not only are the temperatures holding back growth but root systems and stems are simply rotting in the ground.

Supplies of seedlings such as tomatoes and other household vegetables have been slow to appear for sale in plant outlets this year too.
In my own garden the constant wet has made working outside unpleasant and the sight of plants with an absence of growth, disheartening. In the last few days I have been around replacing plants that have died and high cloud and a little sun have meant that the ground can dry out a little.

A visit to the supermarket shows that vegetable prices haven’t budged a lot from their astronomical winter highs, with small decreases in some areas. Where I live tomatoes have dropped from $20 a kilo to $15 a kilo. Lettuces are still expensive and of poor quality as are cauliflowers, cabbages and cucumbers. Needless to say, eating a healthy salad for the evening meal is a costly experience.

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