Ram­pant basil flavour of the month

Northern News - - GARDENING -

line as well, but don’t mulch around the trunk of the tree to avoid col­lar rot.

If you’re grow­ing citrus in con­tain­ers, feed them now and in sum­mer with a slow-re­lease fer­tiliser, then give them an ex­tra boost of TLC by ap­ply­ing a liq­uid fer­tiliser once a month. Re­fresh the pot­ting mix in pot­ted citrus ev­ery two years.

If you’ve just planted a new citrus tree and it’s flow­er­ing, re­mem­ber that it’s a good idea – al­though re­quires an ad­mirable amount of willpower – to take off the de­vel­op­ing fruit in the tree’s first sea­son so that it can de­velop a strong root struc­ture. If you can’t bring your­self to do that, know­ing that means no citrus next win­ter, com­pro­mise by re­mov­ing at least half of the fruit.

– Rachel Clare

TOMATO TO-DO LIST

If your toma­toes are flow­er­ing they need less ni­tro­gen (for leaf growth) and more potas­sium for fruit set. Feed once a week with a liq­uid feed such as Dal­tons Con­trolled Re­lease Tomato Fert or Yates Thrive Tomato Liq­uid Plant Food. Wa­ter well af­ter feed­ing. Re­duce to a fort­nightly feed once fruit has formed.

If you haven’t staked your plants yet, do it now be­fore they get too big and you dam­age the roots. Mine look a bit OTT right now un­der their tall stakes but I have ex­pec­ta­tions that they’ll achieve great heights of 1.5m at least!

– Rachel Clare

GET GROW­ING

This col­umn is adapted from the weekly e-zine, get grow­ing, from New Zealand Gar­dener mag­a­zine. For gar­den­ing ad­vice de­liv­ered to your in­box ev­ery Fri­day, sign up for Get Grow­ing at: get­grow­ing.co.nz

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