We are still having some cold weather and as I type it looks as though there may be a frost in some lower areas of the city in the morning. Even indoor plants can feel the cold as many come from tropical clime’s so move them away from cold drafts.
Winter wet days are a great time to do some crafts that will enhance your indoor garden or make a great gift. For those with less time we have made some for you!!
Lots more changes in the shop to for you to explore, so we shall see you soon.
THE FLOWER GARDEN
Dahlias, Gladioli and Tuberous Begonias are in store this month. While Dahlias and Gladioli are best (I think) in the garden Begonias are hardy, easy to grow and very versatile. Try in containers, hanging baskets, indoors or out. In the garden use a Bulb food or General Garden food to feed.
Feed Spring bulbs (daffodils, hyacinths etc with bulb food for improved flowering. You should be seeing new growth now.
Lilies including the Christmas Lily should be in the ground now. Well drained soils are a must and side dress early Summer with bulb food to improve flowering. Stake or label to stop the “significant other” putting the spade through them!!.
Pansy’s, Violas, Polyanthus and Primulas still have lots of flowering time left and there are lots of varieties and colours to choose from to brighten the day. Feed with dried blood and dead-head regularly to maintain flowering.
Sweet peas are a favourite to look at sowing toward the end of the month especially if you want a great show over Christmas.
GENERAL TREE AND SHRUB
Magnolia, Camellia, Daphne, Flowering Cherry, Roses. Wow what a line up to have in the Garden Centre. Be in quick as some varieties sell out fast.
Rose pruning should be complete now. Remember to keep up a Copper spray to prevent Spring/Summer disease.
New plantings require plenty of compost and sheep pellets and we recommend mulching well for added organic matter and to reduce weeds and also plants drying out in Summer. Stakes are compulsory for taller and “standard” trees to prevent Spring winds blowing them over.
THE VEGE PATCH
Potato lovers need to start sprouting their seed tubers (takes 4 – 6 weeks) for September planting. Take tubers out of packaging and put in a warm dry spot until the shoots are 2-4cm long.
Early crops include……
Asparagus crowns are available to plant now. Find a sunny well drained spot (you may consider raising the bed 10cm or so) and work in plenty of compost and Sheep pellets or Blood n Bone. Harvest in finishes early December.
Beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauli, onions, peas, radish, silverbeet and the ever popular spinach are still available to plant. Lettuces will still grow for early Spring salads!
Beware slugs and snails with caterpillars still lurking in warmer gardens.
It’s a great time to plant Fruit Trees so they settle before Spring flowering and establish before the dry Summer. Look out for the many dwarf fruit varieties available for the smaller garden.
Plant all trees with plenty of Gardeners Choice compost and sheep pellets. Stake taller specimens well to guard against Auckland’s Spring winds.
Pruning of deciduous trees, grapes and berry fruit needs to be complete this month. Take out dead or diseased wood first and then any unproductive wood to open up for good air circulation, allow the sunlight and encourage new fruiting wood. Remember to use clean sharp tools and use a pruning paste to help prevent die’back.
Spray with Lime Sulfur to control overwintering scale
Mandarins, Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruit, Limes are all available and some fruiting. Feed well with citrus food if leaves yellowing, as fruiting plants are usually very hungry. Mulch well to keep soils warm and weed free. Remember not to put mulch against trunk.