Aerate the lawn with a garden fork (thats making lots of little holes), followed by Scotts lawnfood. If you have a wet lawn, take the opportunity to add sand to help with drainage. Spray with Prickle Weedkiller to stop the need for shoes while playing backyard games. New lawns can be sown, but you will have to be more careful with watering over Summer.
THE FLOWER GARDEN
The change of season sees the end of cyclamens and the influx of Geraniums and New Guinea Impatiens as bold splashes of colour and great gifts. Keep an eye out for the Sunpatiens later in the year. As the name suggests the will handle full sun.
While still in great flower, winter annual colour requires constant deadheading to keep them going. Start making decisions about what to plant for Summer with Marigolds, Petunias and S
Dahlias, 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.
GENERAL TREE AND SHRUB
Lavenders look good at this time of year and can be used as Bee attractors for pollinating your favourite fruit and Vege. Plant now to establish for the dry season.
Start Swan plants early to get good growth for the hungry caterpillars
Magnolia, Camellia, Daphne, Flowering Cherry, Roses still have good numbers in store. Be in quick as some varieties sell out fast. Weigelia, Duetzias, Spireas are also budding up and will be looking good soon.
Roses, require regular copper and oil sprays to prevent fungal disease. If you haven’t fertilised yet, add Burnets Rose food and sheep pellets then mulch with Gardeners Choice Compost.
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 new higher yielding and more disease resistant Electra (similar to Swift), Red Fantasy (Desiree) and Nectar (Cliff Kidney). Check out http://www.fiestabulbs.co.nz/
Tomatoes, Courgettes, and other summer crops are becoming available. We recommend you only plant if you have a very warm sheltered patch, or can protect with a greenhouse or cloche. Cold soils and the cold and damp make seedlings vulnerable to downey mildew. You can spray with Copper to help prevent.
Chillies are a fantastic and rewarding crop to grow. Plant in full sun either in the ground or they can look awesome in pots. Check out our new range of HOT HOT HOT seeds.
Seeds to sow... beetroot, chinese cabbage, carrots, eggplant, onions, radish, silverbeet, tomatoes.
HERBS HERBS HERBS. Don’t think I have to say more. Basil in stock for the warm garden.
Beware slugs and snails with caterpillars still lurking in warmer gardens.
Still 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.
Fungal infections can often invade new growth at this time of the year. Diseases such as Peach leaf curl and brown rot are best prevented now with a copper spray.
Watch for early signs of aphids on new buds as the damage they do now has long lasting effects on you plants. Spray with pyrethrum to control.
Mandarins, Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruit, Limes are all available. Fruiting is finishing but 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.
New Season Passionfruit, Rhubarb and strawberries are all available to plant