IN DE­CEM­BER Keep those salad greens grow­ing fast

CHB Mail - - GARDENING - BY WENDY from Liv­ing Colour

Keep plant­ing salad greens.

Pun­net let­tuces, if of rea­son­able size will be ready three or four weeks af­ter plant­ing. mesclun mixes can add a bit of va­ri­ety.

It is a dif­fi­cult year for the warmer lovers such as mel­ons, capsicums and egg­plants. A bit of shel­ter with some plas­tic is a smart move this year.

Nip­ping the first crown fruit out of capsicums is a must. This stops the bush from putting all its en­ergy into one lot of fruit, a greater num­ber of branches, all fruit bear­ing re­sult and the pro­duc­tiv­ity en­hanced.

Keep tomato bushes tidy by nip­ping out ex­cess lat­er­als. A few can be left but be care­ful not over­tax the root sys­tem and ask too much of your bush by leav­ing them all on. Spray with cop­per to keep rust away. The hu­mid con­di­tions at the mo­ment suit rust and moulds.

Beans and corn can now be planted. Plant corn as a block rather than a row, as it is wind pol­li­nated and com­plete cobs re­sult from this prac­tice.

Spray fruit trees with Yates Suc­cess Ul­tra if trou­bled by grass grub bee­tles.

These fly at night and munch their way through leaves do­ing con­sid­er­able dam­age. Pear and plum trees should also be watched from now on for pear slugs — small black slugs that eat the green of leaves leav­ing a skele­ton be­hind.

Flower gar­den

Mulch the gar­den beds as much as pos­si­ble and keep top­ping up the peas­traw as birds steal it, to keep the weeds at bay and the wa­ter­ing man­age­able.

Dead­head roses and spray reg­u­larly with cop­per to keep rust and black spot un­der con­trol.

As an­nu­als fin­ish a flow­er­ing, dead­head, feed and wa­ter to get a sec­ond dis­play or in­ter­plant with fresh new ones to takeover the dis­play into the mid sum­mer.

Keep wa­ter­ing and take the time to en­joy your gar­den.

Nip­ping the first crown fruit out of capsicums is a must.

Keep tomato bushes tidy by nip­ping out ex­cess lat­er­als.

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