Time for corn. Sweet.

Plant them in blocks for best pol­li­na­tion and be sure not to dis­turb their shal­low roots. Mary Lovell-smith shares her grow­ing tips.

The Dominion Post - Your Weekend (Dominion Post) - - Gardening -

ED­I­BLES • Sow broc­coli. Be­fore sow­ing, dig in blood and bone

or any ni­tro­gen-rich fer­tiliser. • Sow sweet corn in blocks or sev­eral short rows. This aids pol­li­na­tion and helps pro­tect against wind dam­age. Sow two seeds in each hole, with holes 15cm apart. Double sow­ing means the strong­est seedling can be kept, the other dis­carded (or the fru­gal may like to plant it else­where). • Al­ways keep soil around sweet corn moist, and avoid deep hoe­ing when weed­ing, as sweet corn has shal­low roots which may be dam­aged. Mound­ing up soil around the base of the stalks will also help pro­tect them from be­ing blown over. • Sow oregano where it is to grow, in a sunny spot in the gar­den or in a pot. Once es­tab­lished, oregano is quite drought hardy and is handy as a ground cover (al­beit a raised one). • A gen­er­ous layer of or­ganic mulch around the base of fruit trees will help con­serve wa­ter and sup­press weeds. • Pine nee­dles around the base of straw­berry plants

will pre­vent any fruit rot­ting on damp soil.

OR­NA­MEN­TALS • Clip ever­green hedges. • Plant, plant plant an­nu­als and peren­ni­als. • Pro­vide stakes or hoops as sup­port for taller peren­ni­als, such as del­phini­ums, or those with heavy heads, such as pe­onies. • Sow can­dytuft, clarkia, love-in-a-mist, lark­spur and shirley pop­pies where they are to grow as they dis­like be­ing trans­planted. • Take soft­wood cut­tings of ten­der peren­nial shrubs such as mar­guerite daisies, pelargo­ni­ums and fuch­sia. • Prune spring-flow­er­ing shrubs such as japon­ica, mock or­ange, flow­er­ing cur­rant and lilac af­ter flow­er­ing. • Crowded, dead or dis­eased stems of Clema­tis

mon­tana may also be re­moved af­ter flow­er­ing. • Do not re­move bulb fo­liage un­til it has turned yel­low.

BITS & BOBS • Do not let glasshouses or tun­nel­houses over­heat as sum­mer pro­gresses, as this can kill plants. Open win­dows and door on hot days. • Glass may be white washed to re­flect the sun, and ex­ter­nal or in­ter­nal blinds or cov­ers used on plas­tic houses. • A cheaper op­tion is shade cloth which can be placed over the struc­ture and pegged down for the warmer months. • Turn com­post heaps – keep­ing aside and us­ing

any that are ready. • Start a heap if you haven’t one. They can be as sim­ple as wire net­ting stretched around four stakes, or as fancy as a tum­bler one, but it makes so much sense to turn kitchen and gar­den waste into fab­u­lous hu­mus-rich soil to feed your plants.

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