This week 8 Sept 2006

  • If you have any luculias in your garden, now is the time to prune them as they are
    preparing to burst into spring growth. Usually you can see little leaf buds down the stems. If you prune back to these, it spurs them into growth. Even a light prune will encourage bushiness instead of legginess.
  • Stay on top of the freshly germinating weeds at this time of the year and we make no apology for the fact that we will remind you of this often. Remember the old adage “one year’s seeding, seven years weeding”. Good gardens need vigilant weed control and weeds are easier to kill when they are young and small.
  • As you give the garden its spring clean up, consider laying mulch wherever you can. Compost is best because it feeds the plants as well as adding texture to the soil and being a barrier to weeds. Other alternatives are pea straw (expensive because we don’t grow peas here commercially and it has to be shipped in), bark, sawdust or shavings.
  • If you have patches of spring bulbs which are looking very congested, put a plant label beside them now to remind yourself to lift and divide them when they become dormant. While you think you will remember where they are and what they are, it is not so easy to remember when they have returned below the ground.
  • If you have citrus trees with fruit going rotten and leaves falling off, a copper spray can help even if you are too late to save this year’s crop. Remember to get it on earlier next year. The good news is that now is the optimal time to get a copper spray on to deciduous fruit trees which will all be poised to break into growth. The copper deals to a whole range of bacterial problems which will affect plant health and fruit yield.
  • Continue with early sowings of vegetable seed such as carrots and peas and even onions will still produce a crop if put in now. Don’t delay on the onions now as it is nearly too late for these slow growers.

  • All but the coldest areas should be safe for potatoes now but it is still much too early for kumara.