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# A typical Hawke’s Bay summer is hot and dry. Water conservation is very important.
 I find the raised beds for my vegetables great, but they do dry out quickly. So every 2 days give them a good soaking, NOT a sprinkle with the hose every night, and use a good compost when replanting.

# Beans will be very plentiful from now on. Keep them well watered and continue picking every couple of days, as this will keep them flowering and cropping. If you have space, sow some more seed. Climbing beans up a ring of bamboo stakes is a good idea. Vertical cropping!

# Now, is the time to plant leeks and Brussels sprouts, for the winter and sow carrot and parsnip seed. Dibble holes for your leeks. Drop a seedling in each hole, and cover only the roots with soil, by gently running the hose in each hole. As the stem grows it fills the column made by the dibble.

# Watch out for White Cabbage Butterflies laying eggs on your brassicas. Sprinkle with Derris Dust, which the caterpillars will ingest as they chew the leaves. Anew product Insect mesh, is very good to cover vegetables, keeping out butterflies, physllid and birds.

# Bend the tops of onions over now. It causes the bulbs to swell. Harvest garlic, leaving stem and roots on, storing in dry place.

# Once potato tops begin to yellow and die back, it is time too dig up a plant and check the tubers. If they look and feel mature start too eat them, and lift the lot before it rains in the autumn. Some of the early maturing varieties don’t keep in the ground very well.

# Prune peach and nectarine trees, after the fruit has been picked.

# Deadhead roses, give them their summer feed and a good soaking, likewise with your dahlias.

# Give trees planted last winter a long soak every week and mulch.