The weather we’ve had in the past week is definitely a sign that spring is on the way. While we can still expect to have some cold nights and days over the next few weeks, and hopefully more good rain, there is a shift in our weather patterns. This means that it’s the perfect time to start getting our gardens ready for the next season.
Summer veggies will be in store this month and while the soil is still too cold to plant things like tomato, chilli and capsicum, you can certainly buy them now and pot them up to “grow on”. By doing this your plants will have a head start when the soil does warm up sufficiently (folklore says the soil must be warm enough to sit on comfortably with a barebehind!), will settle in quickly and grow strongly. In the meantime, this is the perfect opportunity to be preparing your vegetable plot for all your summer veggies. Animal manure, such as cow manure, and mushroom compost can be spread over your plot and dug in giving them four weeks or so to break down before your plants go in.
If you like to grow veggies from seeds get them going now too. Tomatoes, capsicum and chillies can all be sown now and will be ready to plant out in four to six weeks. There is still plenty of time to plant seed potatoes too with lots of varieties in store now. You can grow them in the ground or pots and they’re really easy, just ask if you’re not sure and we’ll be happy to give you some advice and tips.
Feeding Your Garden
Feeding your garden should be another priority at the moment. Fruit trees, although not producing flowers or shooting yet, will have their root systems becoming active and looking for the first feed of the season. Spring flowering bulbs which are just starting to show colour will appreciate regular feeding from now too, I use Powerfeed on mine fortnightly right up until the foliage dies down.
Peach & Nectarine Trees
Do you have peach or nectarine trees? It is time to start applying a copper-based spray such as Leaf Curl Spray or Liquid Copper, to control curl leaf which is a disease that overwinters in the bark and buds of the trees and causes “bubbling” of the leaves as they form. When the flower buds are just starting to show colour get out and try to cover the whole tree. This will need to be done again in Autumn when the leaves fall off too.
Maybe you are looking to plant a hedge this year, if so, we have two really good options in stores now. Japanese Box, in my opinion the best of the hedging Buxus, growing to about two metres but can be kept as small as half a metre if you wish. They grow in a wide range of positions, full sun to part shade and different soil types too, a great all-rounder! Another option is Pittosporum Silver Sheen, a fast-growing plant up to 3-4 metres, growing 1 metre per year. This one is best grown in full sun although they will tolerate some shade.
August is also a great time to give your irrigation a once over before the warmer weather arrives. Run your lines to check for leaks and other problems. Replace drippers and sprays as necessary and don’t forget to check O rings on hose fittings; they degrade over time and may need replacing too. If you don’t have a watering system perhaps look at installing one, they can save you a lot of time and money by applying water where and when it is needed. Even something as simple as a mechanical Tap Timer can be very useful over summer.
So, as you can see there is plenty to do this month. When you are painting the saying goes “it’s all in the preparation”, but this holds equally true in the garden. Putting in a bit of effort now will provide greater results and rewards down the track.
If you are unsure about anything to do with your garden both inside or out, just ask one of our qualified garden staff for help, we would be more than happy to point you in the right direction. Visit your local store now or give us a call on 1300 165 165.
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