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SEASONAL NOTES         SUMMER     2020

 

 We are into a dreadful Summer with the devastating weather  causing fires through the East Coast of Australia. The loss of lives, homes, farms and their animals, native animals, also their crops, all destroyed by extreme heat and fire are unbearable.

 

Our gardens are requiring assistance from the weather and its strange patterns that are occurring.  So we need to weed, water and mulch.

 

:Pest control without chemicals

 

Every summer the following applies for :

 

Bonsai as these dry out easily with dappled morning sun and afternoon shade.  They require watering once or twice a day.

 

Bulbs  especially tulips and hyacinths , dry them before storing in a cool dry place in the shed.

 

Camellias and Rhododendrons must be kept moist as they are forming buds now for their next winter – spring display.

 

Hydrangeas are for sale now at your local nursery.

 

Roses   Did you feed your roses in December?   Now in January a good mulch should be applied and water well.  Dead head the old roses and summer prune now.

 

Shrubs and Trees a few that can be pruned lightly are azaleas, bottlebrushes, clematis, gardenia, grevillea, honeysuckle, jasmine and rosemary.

 

Herbs  such as Bay, Lavender and Rosemary can make beautiful hedges. They need their scented foliage clipped regularly.  Plant Thyme, Basil and Oregano in pots close to your kitchen, it is nice to have some ready to add to the cooking when required.   Another popular use for excess herbs is making a Tussie Mussie as a gift for a friend, they are also very easy to propagate so pot up a few for Christmas  and give  a gift of growing herbs to a friend or neighbour.

 

Vegetables  Water regularly and feed weekly with a liquid fertiliser.  Worm wee is a splendid fertiliser and costs nothing if you own a worm farm.  Every year growing vegetables is becoming more popular and I encourage you to try growing some if you haven’t ventured into this aspect of growing your own vegies.

 

Listed below are some of my favourite vegetables that I find easy to grow in my small vegie patch. 

 

Beans  Dwarf beans can be harvested 8-10 weeks after sowing, climbing and runner beans in 10-12 weeks.  Try growing these on a trellis using the air space above your lower vegies.

 

Carrots  A reminder before planting  to check the area for small twigs, stones which can impede the growth of the carrots.  Sow seed direct in 5mm deep and in rows 23 cm apart.  Depending on the variety they can be picked 10-16 weeks depending on the variety.

 

Capsicum can still be planted, they should bear right up to the end of Autumn.  They appreciate growing in the warmth.

 

Pumpkin   Seeds can be sown now.  Pinch the tips once established.  They will be fully matured  in 14-20 weeks,  you will need a sunny area,

 

Silverbeet   So easy to grow in full sun position to part shade. Harvest the leaves from the outside of the plant as this will encourage some new growth.

 

Lastly Tomatoes   Require a sunny, well composted garden bed.  Apply mulch and feed with a soluble plant food when the fruiting starts to occur.  Pinch out side tips and pick tomatoes when firm this will minimise pest damage.  They will open up once indoors (do not leave them on a hot sunny windowsill). To keep water up to the plant, recycle a two litre soft drink bottle, make a hole in the lid and insert into the soil on a slant, remembering to cut off the bottom so the bottle can be refilled.

 

A vist to your local nursery where a huge collection of vegetables is available for you. Good luck with your crops.

 

 FEW TIPS ABOUT COMPOST AND TROUBLESHOOTING

 

TOO WET   Add shredded newspaper and turn regularly.

 

NOT HEATING  Add some nitrogen eg vegie scraps.

 

SMELL   reduce it by keeping compost damp.

 

TOO DRY   Water lightly

 

TOO HOT   If the mixture goes grey and smokes, turn it and spread it out to cool.

 

 Enjoy Your gardening

 

 Patricia

 

 

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