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SEASONAL NOTES 

 

Spring 2020

Welcome to the best time of the year in your garden. The Fruit trees have been producing their delightful flowers, this has been followed by their plump green buds and tiny leaves that have been encouraged by the warmth of the sun. Won’t be long and you’ll have delicious fresh fruit to eat and share with the neighbours.

 

Spring flowering bulbs

They have produced their annual miracles once again and are beginning to die down. Do not cut off the leaves and stems. This enables feeding to the bulbs, ensuring good flowers for next year’s Spring.

 

Australian Natives

There are so many for you to think about before planting, visit your local nursery and plant as directed. Once they have established, if you buy them when they are blooming be prepared to wait until next year, then they will bloom again and you will be so pleased. They are lovely to have in the garden. When they flower their flowers are small and seem to hang on for quite a while. The birds love them and so do I. When sitting quietly or reading outside I enjoy watching the visiting birds peeking into the small flowers and of course they enjoy a snack if they find any small insects, 

 

Do you have a Shady Garden?

Spring flowering shrubs and trees are now providing good shade cover. This is necessary protection for your garden’s younger plants. Now the time is right to plant a few younger trees and younger plants. If you are planting a new tree or two the protection of young roots is essential from the hot sun as it heats up the soil. Another plant that enjoys these conditions is the beautiful Hellebores.

 

For some Blue hues, plant Senecio mandraliscae Chalksticks. They just love full to part sun and form a lovely mass of silvery blue leaves with a small white flower. The vision will be delightful.

 

Plant Foods

This time of the year your compost bin is useful as it has been working hard to produce the organic matter from your kitchen and garden. A visit to your local nursery is also called for as they will have many products that will assist your garden requirements e.g. slow release fertilisers, Blood and Bone, Complete Plant Foods, animal manures – horse, cow, pig and chicken. Before use read the instructions carefully

 

Pelargoniums and others

They have flowered their heads off.  They can now be pruned by half and tip cut the Fuchsias. Prune Boronia and Lilac by one third after they have finished flowering. Spring flowering old fashioned Roses can be pruned immediately after flowering.

 

Pests to look out for - JUST KEEP CHECKING!

They are hiding everywhere around your garden – slugs and snails, aphids, black spot, leaf miner, mildew, white fly, caterpillars and earwigs. It is good to say I haven’t seen any big black cockroaches yet, actually I haven’t seen one since last year. fingers crossed.

 

Roses

The July pruning now should reveal the pink tips of the new leaves and a few buds. Look out for aphids so keep checking those new tips – use the finger method or an environment spray. Apply a good sprinkle of well rotted manure around the base scratched in but not too close to the stems.

 

Vegetables

The following vegetables are all easy to grow as long as watering and fertilising takes place. Begin to sow seeds in early September or you can buy small seedlings from your Local Nursery.

 

For quick results try silver beet, spring onions, carrots, potatoes and loose leaved lettuces. 

 

Marigolds grown around your vegetables keeps the pests away. 

 

Depending on what vegetables you prefer to eat, your local nursery will have every kind to choose from. Plant Lettuce, Rocket and Asian greens, Leek, Squash and Chillies. Don’t forget Strawberries in pots or raised beds.

 

Reminder: some frost tender plants such as Beans, Capsicum and Sweet Corn should be planted at the beginning of October. 

 

Potatoes sown this month will be harvested in December.

 

Happy Gardening

Patricia Insall

 

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