HOW-TO WITH CRAIG

Craig Stib­bard of Craig’s Home Hard­ware gives some help­ful gar­den­ing tips for the silly sea­son

Highfields' Own - - Retail -

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.

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