When gar­dens come to life

Sum­mer months – per­fect time to en­joy what you made out of your gar­den

Stanthorpe Border Post - - LIFE - GRAN­ITE BELT GAR­DEN­ING MORWENNA HARSLETT

NOVEM­BER and De­cem­ber are some of the most glo­ri­ous times to spend in the gar­den.

Take this time to en­joy the flow­ers and new growth that make all the hard work worth­while.

To keep your plants look­ing their best and to ex­tend their flow­er­ing, dead­head (or snip off ) spent blooms and give a light prune to any shrubs that have sent out un­ruly new growth to keep bushes com­pact and dense.

There are some plants that de­mand to be no­ticed as sum­mer be­gins.

Hy­drangea and aga­pan­thus are a match made in heaven with their big round flower heads con­trast­ing in blue and white, th­ese show-stop­pers are great for wow­ing the fam­ily when they visit at Christ­mas and can be cut for amaz­ing ta­ble cen­tre­pieces.

If you feel like ex­per­i­ment­ing, you can play with the soil pH and try to turn your blue hy­drangea pink or vice versa.

Gen­er­ally speak­ing, acidic equals blue while al­ka­line equals pink and there are solutions you can add to the soil to cre­ate this ef­fect.

White hy­drangea will re­main white re­gard­less.

As sum­mer draws near, it is im­por­tant to pre­pare for the hot months to come.

Keep­ing gar­dens moist is the great­est chal­lenge at the height of sum­mer so check your ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems to make sure there are no holes or block­ages and if you use sprin­klers, make sure there is no plant growth ob­scur­ing the sprays.

Mulch the ground heav­ily to cre­ate a layer of in­su­la­tion, keep­ing the mois­ture in and the heat out.

If you have an ed­i­ble gar­den, you should have your to­mato, pump­kin, potato, zuc­chini, cap­sicum, corn and cu­cum­ber crops well un­der way by now.

Keep them well wa­tered and dis­ease and in­sect free as best you can and you will soon be re­warded with boun­ti­ful crops.

With the on­set of sum­mer, we also get in­creased heat and hu­mid­ity.

Fun­gal dis­eases love this time of year.

Black spot on roses is one of the most pro­lific con­tenders.

Pick off the worst af­fected leaves and burn or bin them.

Don’t leave them on the ground or put them in the com­post, as this will spread the dis­ease.

Pre­vent black spot by wa­ter­ing plants at ground level only, fer­tilise to boost the im­mu­nity of the plant and main­tain good air­flow around bushes.

There are lots of sprays that will also help to keep the dis­ease in check.

Sooty mould, pow­dery mildew and downy mildew are other com­mon fun­gal dis­eases.

Re­moval of af­fected fo­liage and ap­pli­ca­tion of fungi­cides helps with th­ese prob­lems.

If you have fruit trees, you should be start­ing to see the for­ma­tion of your crop.

Fruit fly will also have no­ticed this de­vel­op­ment so now is the time to set traps and spray if you start to see punc­ture wounds in the fruit.

PHOTOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

EYE-CATCHER: White hy­drangea and blue aga­pan­thus cre­ate beau­ti­ful con­trast in the sum­mer time.

RIGHT: Find a shady nook in your gar­den and re­lax and en­joy all of your hard work.

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