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SUMMER 2017

Welcome to summer and our winter rain storms which have given your gardens a good drenching.  Now is the time to get busy again in your garden.

A few tips.      This is the same practice every year to remind you about the important watering and feeding to encourage their growth.

Water regularly and feed with weekly liquid fertiliser.  Worm liquid is a splendid free fertiliser if you have a worm farm that is.  I do encourage you to try growing some vegetables if you haven’t given it a go, with tender care you will be delighted with your produce.

Below please find some helpful tips to get you started this summer.

Bonsai dry out very quickly in summer so keep them in dappled morning sun and afternoon shade.  Requires watering once or twice a day.

Bulbs   For those who grow bulbs lift your tulips and hyacinths now then dry them out before storing in a cool dry place in the garden shed.

Camellias & Rhododendrons            These need to be kept moist as they are forming their buds now for their next winter-spring displays.

Frangipani      These love being in the sun, so if it has been in a protected area, move it now.

Fruit    If you have any fruit trees they can be thinned now, this will improve the fruit size.

Hydrangea      now these are at their best, if you don’t have one, go to your local nursery.

Roses   these require regular feeding, so if you like plenty of blooms, it’s up to you to trim off spent blooms and prune any straggly and inward growing shoots.

Shrubs & Trees   which can be pruned lightly are azalea, bottlebrush, clematis, gardenia, grevillea, honeysuckle, jasmine, sweet mock orange and rosemary.

Vegetables.   

Beans  Try dwarf beans, they can be harvested 8-10 weeks after sowing, climbing and runner beans in 10-12 weeks, pinch out tips on the climbing beans.  Try growing these on a trellis using the air space above your other vegetables.

Carrots            It is important to prepare soil deeply as small sticks, stones and debris will cause deformed roots.  Sow seed direct 5 mm deep and in rows 25 cm apart.  Pick 12 – 16 weeks depending on the variety.

Capsicums   These can still be planted, they should bear right up to the end of  autumn.  They love growing in the warmth.

Lettuce           prepare soil first by digging, liming and adding a 10 cm level of rotted manure or compost, they need good drainage.  Sow seed direct in clumps spaced 20 – 30 cm apart and covered lightly with soil.  The outside leaves can be picked about 8 – 12 weeks.

Pumpkin seeds can be sown in early summer.  Pinch out tips once established.  Fully mature in 14 – 20 weeks.

Silverbeet       any kind requires full sun to part shade, harvest the leaves from the outside of the plant, this will encourage new growth.

Tomatoes       This year, I am looking forward to eating my own tomatoes. they require a sunny, well composted garden bed or large container.  After planting apply mulch and feed with a good soluble plant food when the fruiting starts to occur.  Pinch out side tips and pick tomatoes when firm, this will minimise any pest damage,  this is your choice.  Remember to keep water up to your plants.  Good luck.

Visit your local nursery for their excellent selection of vegetables that you could grow in your own garden.

If you are new to gardening, try a good gardening book, this will contain lots of information about When to, How to etc.  Please check with your local Nursery all throughout the year as they will give you an indication of the suitable plantings for the following season.  It is also a lovely idea to encourage a friend to start a vegie patch or big box by buying them a Gift of a useful guide to planting vegies.  Of course, you could always ask them how their composting is going?  If they say they haven’t got one yet encourage them to give it a go. 

A FEW COMPOSTING TIPS

DON’T COMPOST the following :       animal droppings (especially cats & dogs), bones, bread or cake (these attract mice), diseased plants, fat, large branches, magazines, metals, plastic, glass, sawdust from treated timber, weeds that have seeds or underground stems, meat & dairy products.

TROUBLE SHOOTING

If too wet :     ADD SHREDDED NEWSPAPER & TURN REGULARLY

Not heating :  ADD SOME NITROGEN & VEGIE SCRAPS

Too Dry :         WATER LIGHTLY

Too Hot :        IF THE MIXTURE GOES GREY & SMOKES, TURN IT AND SPREAD IT OUT TO COOL IT

Smell :             REDUCE IT BY KEEPING COMPOST DAMP, NOT WET

SUCCESSFUL COMPOSTING

Vegetable and fruit peelings, vegetable oil, prunings, lawn clippings in a thin layer, tea bags and coffee grounds, vacuum dust, leaves, shredded paper and cardboard, used potting mix, eggshells, flowers or wood ash in a thin layer.

 

Enjoy your garden

Patricia