CHB.NET.NZ

your central hawkes bay community portal
this is

The Garden

# Early spring can be frustrating for us gardeners. We are keen to get planting but we have to remember how changeable the temperatures can be. Later in the month you can begin to sow seeds of tender plants such as cucumbers, pumpkins, cucumbers and tomato seeds in containers in a greenhouse or somewhere warm and protected from frosts. These can then be planted out mid October, depending on the weather. But don't forget  to harden them off before planting out into the elements. Be weary of frosts to avoid disappointment!!!!

# Top up veggie bins with compost and sheep pellets. Dig in cover crops that have been cut down. It will then be ready for planting into in October.

# Continue to prune your roses. Renew the ties on climbers and standards, using soft stretchy cotton strips of fabric. Follow with spray of spraying oil.

# Later in the month fertilise roses with a specific rose food and apply a layer of mulch/ pea hay/ compost.

# Add groups of colour by planting potted colour flowering polyanthus...it won't be long before summer flowering annuals are available. Keep off very wet gardens.

# Keep planting fruit trees, berries, roses, and ornamental trees. Cut runners from strawberry plants and use as new plants. Replace plants if more than 3 years old.
 
# Clean out greenhouses/glasshouses in preparation of new season tomato and cucumber plants. Replace soil if needed as you don't want too plant tomatoes in the same soil as last year. Replace with good quality vegetable mix.

  • Enjoy the winter fragrance of daphne and winter sweet. Plants available now.
  • Plant new strawberry plants now, in hanging baskets, troughs or even in the flower garden.
  • Plant garlic cloves. Put them in the ground [about 5cm under the surface] with the pointed tips poking upwards. Important to keep water up to them in spring.
  • Sharpen, clean, oil, repair and replace worn out or broken tools. Clean out your garden shed before spring.
  • Complete pruning of trees, bushes and vines as soon as possible.
  • Plant new fruit trees…plums, peaches, apples and pears etc.
  • Plant new roses and begin pruning towards the end of the month.
  • You can still plant a flowering polyanthus or two in any drap pots or corners and they will continue too flower until it is really hot again.

#  Plant Christmas Lilies in containers to enjoy their perfumed flowers at Christmas

#  Sprinkle a little Lime around carnations, lavenders, dianthus, sweet peas and gypsophila

#  Feed Polyanthus, Primula and Pansy both in the garden and pots. They like very small amounts of Dried Blood or mix some Thrive with water. Also take off dead heads, this encourages them to keep flowering.

#  Vegetables you can plant in June are…Garlic cloves, Red Onions, Pukekohe Longkeeper Onions, Shallots, Silver Beet, Spinach, frilly lettuce,  and Broccoli.

#   You can plant a punnet of frilly lettuce [these you can pull off individual leaves] in a pot, using good potting mix and placing it in a warm sunny spot and don’t forget to water it.

# Leaves will be starting to drop, so rake up and add to compost. Now you can make a pile of this good brown material to add to compost with green stuff during the coming months. We tend to have plenty “green”  and not much ‘brown’ and too much “green” makes gluggy compost.

# Sow lupin or mustard seed in areas of veggie garden not in use over winter.

# Christmas and other lilies are available in garden centres from mid May. So don’t forget if you like to have them to pick at Christmas.

#Flowering Polyanthus are good value for instant colour over winter. Give existing ones a teaspoon of Dried Blood and they will come away.

# Prepare areas where you plan to plant new roses now. They will be available beginning of June so it’s good to prepare the hole now.

# Sow Broad Beans and they will grow, then sit all winter and set beans when it begins too warm up in spring. Remember to put at the back as they can get quite tall by early summer.

# Sow Sweet Pea seeds in a warm, well drained position, with compost and a little lime and they will flower in spring.

# Leaves on deciduous trees begin to colour and drop off. Keep in a pile beside the compost bin to be the brown or carbon layer when making compost.

# Time to plant bulbs to give you spring flowers such as daffodils, freesias, tulips, hyacinths, anemone and ranunculus.

# Store pumpkins in a cool dry place and don’t forget to check them every now and then for signs of decay. Painting with a dilute solution of Janola and water will help kill bugs that can cause them to decay.

Lots of Zucchini ??????? The zucchini can be used in chocolate cakes, pies and salads .

Prune stone fruits e.g plums, peaches after harvest, on a clear warm day to prevent silver blight getting into pruning cuts.

March is time to think about winter vegetables…broad bean seeds, brassica plants, spinach etc. Sow cover crop of lupin or mustard in areas not needed.

If caterpillars, green vegetable bug or passion vine hoppers are attacking your vegetables spray with Beat A Bug , a natural insecticide made up of garlic, chillis and pyrethrum.

There is now a product, of a very fine mesh, available  to keep white butterflies out. It is 2 metres wide and can be put over several hoops and seems to do a good job.

Spring bulbs are beginning to come into garden centres now. Place in fridge for several weeks prior to planting, to encourage early flowering, as they think they have experienced winter. A few daffodils or tulips in a pot are always a delight in spring. Always plant into a good quality potting mix.

Trim hedges now to allow some growth before it gets too cold. E.g lavenders

Continue to dehead  roses and dahlias and you will get more flowers.

# We are now busy watering, feeding and harvesting. But we also need to be thinking about winter. As the summer crops finish it is time to plant leeks, brussel sprouts, broccoli and the like. Sow seeds of carrot, parsnip, turnip and swede.

# Protect brassicas from white butterfly by covering crop with the new insect mesh, rather than using derris dust.

# Dead head roses, dahlias and perennials reqularly to encourage flowers all summer.

# Harvest garlic and onions when the leaves start to go brown and die off. Fork out and lay in sun for a few days before storing in dry place.

# Dead head agapanthus now to stop them spreading.

# Happy New Year and may most of your gardening be successful. We always have to have the odd failure, but we aim to do better next season. Gardeners are generally optimists.

# Your garden should look after itself for a week or so. Just make sure someone is watering and harvesting your crops[so they continue too produce] when you go away.

# Continue to dead head annuals and roses, so they produce more flowers over the next few months.

# Summer prune peaches and nectarines. Trim and tie down new growth on grapes. After berries have fruited, remove these old canes and select the strongest of the new canes for next seasons fruiting.

# Summer pruning is OK for once flowering roses and wisteria.

# Plant leeks by drilling a hole with a stick and just drop them in it.

# Plant heat loving annuals like petunias, zinnias and marigolds for summer colour.

# Continue to remove laterals from tomatoes.

# Liquid feed all newly planted flower and vegetable plants.

# Adding compost will help the soil to hold more water and also attracts earthworms which will make more nutrients available to plants.

# Set mower blades high...if you scalp your lawn it can burn and also dries out and allows stronger weed varieties to establish.

# Tie up to stakes delphiniums, dahlias and roses new growth.

# Tie or support with stakes, new growth on roses. Also the nice new basal shoots on climbing roses. Same applies to dahlias and delphiniums.

# Plant tomatoes, peppers, chillies, kumara, cucumbers and pumpkin family outdoors now, but watch out for frosts and cold winds.

# Take out laterals on tomato plants. Do this with care, so do not remove trusses of flowers. Feed regularly and sprinkle ground beneath with Neem Granules, as an insecticide. Cover with insect mesh to keep psyllid off. This has been proven to work, also on potatoes.

# Sow bean seeds now its warmer and also sweet corn seed. Sweet corn gives better results if planted in blocks.

# Cover berry fruits to protect from birds. Keep well watered and side dress with a little potash to enlarge fruit.

# October is a busy month in the garden, particularly in the vegetable garden. But be warned, some things prefer it quite warm so don’t be in too big a hurry. Wait until the end of the month to sow sweet corn and bean seeds, and the planting out of cucumber, kumara and tomato plants. It is now when you wish you had a greenhouse.

# Start to fertilise, as the soils warm up, plants put on growth, especially roses, fruit trees and citrus. Citrus can be quite yellow due too the cold winter so specific citrus food and some compost is beneficial, likewise with black passion fruit.

# Watch for slug and snail damage on emerging delphiniums, hostas, gypsophila and dahlias.

# Sow pumpkin, cucumber, zucchini etc. seeds in peat or paper pots and place in a warm spot, too plant out later without disturbing their roots.

Pages