RHUBARB & AS­PARA­GUS CROWNS

NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Garden Tasks This Week -

Win­ter-dor­mant crops of rhubarb and as­para­gus may not be show­ing much signs of life yet, but they will at least be think­ing about it! (Even though the first as­para­gus spears are avail­able in shops al­ready, home­grown spears of­ten don’t emerge un­til early Oc­to­ber.) Re­move any weeds around these crops and mulch to stop an­other rash of weed seeds ger­mi­nat­ing in spring. No weeds also means no place for slugs and snails to hide, while mulching also helps in­su­late the soil.

Weed & feed straw­ber­ries

The first straw­ber­ries will be ripe in a few weeks, so spend time tidy­ing up es­tab­lished straw­berry beds. Weed around plants. Do this with a hand-held trowel or fork rather than a push hoe, as straw­ber­ries have wide spread­ing roots that are eas­ily dam­aged. Once cleared, lightly wa­ter in fer­tiliser. You can use any

gen­eral pur­pose NPK fer­tiliser, as straw­ber­ries are vig­or­ous grow­ers with a hunger for ni­tro­gen as well as the potas­sium in spe­cial­ist fruit fer­tilis­ers such as Dal­tons Straw­berry Fert or a tomato fer­tiliser. Lay mulch or straw over the bare soil around plants to sup­press weed growth and keep devel­op­ing fruit clear of the soil.

Sow root, corm and bulb crops; such as shal­lots, pota­toes, glad­i­oli and parsnips. Last quar­ter The month be­gins in a bar­ren phase. Don’t sow or trans­plant seedlings. Gar­den­ing by the moon

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