What to do in the flower beds and vegie patches this month.
IN THE GARDEN WEEK 1
When it’s so hot and humid, many plants fall victim to fungal problems. Try Eco-fungicide, a registered organic fungicide to control powdery mildew, black spot and rust on many plants.
Snip back flowering plants as they finish blooming, like gardenias and roses, and they should re-bud for another autumn flush.
Summer is a great time to take cuttings of plants, such as rosemary, lavender, azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias and photinia. Use sturdy sections of new growth – you might need to trim the tips. With a sharp knife or secateurs, scrape a few centimetres off the outside layer of the base of the cutting to expose the green underneath. Dip in growth hormone, then place in potting mix. Keep well watered until it grows roots.
Mowing can seem never-ending in summer. If you’re going away or just want to keep your grass thicker and slower, try a growth retardant. It will also help to suppress weeds.
IN THE VEGIE PATCH WEEK 1
Asian greens are fast growing, stand the heat better than Western lettuce and taste delicious in a quick stir-fry straight from the garden. Think bok choy, mizuna, senposai
(a new Japanese hybrid of cabbage and mustard spinach), wombok or Chinese lettuce.
Summer stone fruit comes into its prime after Christmas. If you’re growing peaches, plums, nectarines or apricots, remember to protect them from fruit flies. Use baits, exclusion bags or eco sprays.
Stake any top-heavy crops, such as capsicum and eggplant, if they are heavy with fruit. Keep cucumbers and zucchini free of powdery mildew with a fungicide and pick the fruit regularly to encourage more to grow.
Dig up young potatoes for salad or continue mounding them with earth to get larger and more plentiful tubers for autumn’s harvest. Yes, you read that correctly, potatoes need to be buried as they grow!
Watermelon Beetroot Squash Zucchini Lettuce
Extra light Long summer days mean more time to spend in the garden.