Plenty of sum­mer jobs to be done in gar­den

Hamilton Metro News - - Gardening - For more gar­den­ing ad­vice visit: dal­tons.co.nz/home­gar­den­ing

SUM­MER HAS WELL and truly ar­rived in most parts of the coun­try. With masses of growth in the gar­den, there are plenty of tasks to do while en­joy­ing the sun­shine.

For a healthy gar­den, and in par­tic­u­lar veg­etable, al­ways try to have good gar­den prac­tices. This in­cludes gar­den hy­giene such as clean­ing up any dead leaves or fo­liage and reg­u­lar weed­ing, which helps dis­cour­age pests and dis­eases.

All sum­mer veg­eta­bles should now have been planted. This in­cludes; beans, beet­root, cab­bage, cel­ery, corn, cu­cum­ber, let­tuce, cour­gettes, spring onions, peas, pump­kin, radish, spinach, toma­toes, sil­ver­beet and ku­mara. Make sure your de­vel­op­ing veg­eta­bles are well wa­tered— with­out over­wa­ter­ing them. Con­tinue to ‘lat­eral’ (nip out shoots that ap­pear be­tween the junc­tion of a leaf and the stem) toma­toes and tie them to stakes for sup­port. Keep stag­ger­ing your veg­etable plant­ings for con­tin­u­ous crop­ping over the sea­son.

New sea­son herbs should also be planted by mid-Novem­ber. It’s now safe to plant herbs like basil and co­rian­der as the chance of frosts is min­i­mal. Re­mem­ber herbs grow best in a fine, well-drained soil in full sun. They strug­gle in heavy clay soil and in shady parts of the gar­den.

Sum­mer flow­er­ing an­nu­als should be in vig­or­ous growth now and look stun­ning in the gar­den. They in­clude alyssum, ager­a­tum, aster, can­dytuft, corn­flower, cos­mos, marigold, neme­sia, phlox, por­tu­la­cas, petu­nias, salvias, strawflower and zin­nias. Keep dead­head­ing (re­moval of fin­ished flow­ers) to pro­mote con­tin­u­ous flow­er­ing.

Fruit trees are in full growth mode now and it’s worth­while ap­ply­ing a side dress­ing of fruit tree fer­tiliser, es­pe­cially with young trees. Wa­ter deeply when re­quired to help es­tab­lish strong root sys­tems. Mulch around trees to re­duce wa­ter loss and sup­press weeds.

As gar­dens re­duce in size, con­tain­ers on decks and bal­conies as­sume greater im­por­tance and can be used for grow­ing herbs, mini-veg­eta­bles or pro­vid­ing a splash of colour when planted with sum­mer an­nu­als. Be­ing in a con­fined space, pot­ted plants do de­plete the soil more quickly of nu­tri­ents, so feed them ap­prox­i­mately ev­ery two to three weeks with Dal­tons Pre­mium Gold­cote Land­scape and Gar­den Fer­tiliser, and keep them well wa­tered.

Of­ten the best month for roses, full, clean blooms are grow­ing on healthy plants. Side dress with a rose fer­tiliser ev­ery four to six weeks. Dead head reg­u­larly to aid con­tin­u­ous bloom­ing.

For hedges, aim to trim them ‘a lit­tle and of­ten’— they are best trimmed af­ter a flush of new sea­son’s growth. Wa­ter and fer­tilise plants reg­u­larly to help achieve a strong dense hedge.

For or­na­men­tal trees and shrubs, fer­tilise them reg­u­larly and­mulch to re­duce wa­ter loss over hot dry sum­mer­months and dis­cour­age weed growth. Give them a sum­mer prune; es­pe­cially or­na­men­tal trees to help a strong frame­work for later growth.

This is the last month to sow or patch large parts of your ex­ist­ing lawn be­fore it be­comes too dry.

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