HOW-TO WITH CRAIG
Craig Stibbard of Craig’s Home Hardware gives some helpful gardening tips for the silly season
With the festive season and summer holidays just around the corner, now is the time to get both your house and garden ready for the influx of family and visitors that are about to invade your domain.
A little trimming, mulching and colour planting now will pay dividends come the summer holidays.
Mulching also helps your garden survive the stress of the summer heat and gives you more time to enjoy your family and friends, but be sure to weed before and only spread the mulch to a thickness of 4cm over moist soil.
Now is the time to prune your spring flowering shrubs and to trim hedges into shape before the Christmas lights start to decorate your yard.
A good dose of an organic-based fertiliser straight after pruning will encourage new growth.
Make sure that you also apply a good quality lawn fertiliser to keep your grass green and healthy all summer.
In the veggie patch sow summer crops such as tomatoes, capsicum, chillies, eggplant, zucchini, sweet corn, beans and cucumbers.
In the herb garden now is the time to add basil, chives, marjoram, dill, lemon balm and parsley.
A word of warning — if you want to grow mint, plant it in a pot to stop it from invading the whole garden.
As the days get longer and hotter, when planting leafy greens be sure to protect them from the hottest sun or cover them with shade cloth.
Be sure to liquid fertilise fortnightly to maximise growth during the festive season.
Here are a couple of tips that can be used inside the house to hopefully make your festive season one to remember:
■ Declutter: There is something about getting rid of a heap of stuff that clears your head and gives you a fresh start. Before the onslaught of gifts from Christmas enters the house, take some time to clear out anything that you no longer need and maybe giving the goods that you have cleared to one of our local charities for those that are less fortunate in our community.
■ Delegate: The festive season is a time for everyone to get a break and to just have some time out. Make a list of everything that needs to be done in the lead up to Christmas and delegate the tasks. Ask and teach the kids to help — let them know that Santa is watching.
Don’t forget the holidays are meant to be a time for rest, relaxation, friends and family — enjoy that more than anything.