Central's Tips December 2021
Feed autumn fruiting plants, cover the berry crops with bird netting, plant sunflowers and pot up herbs as Christmas presents.
Do a weed clean up before Christmas, perfect time to mulch the garden, take care of potted plants if you’re going on holiday.
Plant out pots of herbs to give away as gifts at Christmas. Most of the popular summer herbs such as basil, dill and chervil can co-exist in a medium size pot or bowl for the summer season.
In the Edible Garden
Autumn fruiting plants such as feijoas, passionfruit and tamarillos all need fertilising now, then add a layer of mulch around them
Place bird netting over strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries before they ripen, or else the birds will demolish the crop!
Leeks can be planted now. Separate them out, trim half the green part off and drop them into holes about 5cm deep. Don’t fill in with soil because they need to thicken outwards - gradually the soil will surround them
Lettuces and herbs that have ‘bolted’ and gone to seed may be doing a service in the vegetable patch – their flowers will attract bees and other beneficial insects, so if you’re not averse to the wild look then leave a few in place
Last chance to throw some sunflower seeds in – they are available in both tall and short types, great fun in the summer garden
Control pests organically by making your own deterrent sprays – there are plenty of recipes available on-line – just remember to spray at the end of the day out of direct sunlight, as the bees are less likely to be on the plants
The rest of the Garden
• With the garden recovering from a wet spring take advantage of still-moist soil and mulch. Warmer, drier weather will encourage new growth and mulching will have the added advantage of supressing any weeds competing for space
• Install a birdbath or large bowl as a decorative yet functional garden feature: keep it topped up with water to help thirsty birds get through the summer heat
• Permanent Christmas tree: The NZ pohutukawa makes an excellent alternative to the exotic varieties that are sold at roadside stalls this month. It will live in a pot for many years, with minimal care required
• Going on holiday? Move pots into a semi-shaded area to avoid them drying out. With large pots that cannot be moved, gently fork water storage crystals into the potting mix, then water deeply and top with mulch
• Get the more rapacious weeds under control, before they control your garden: dig out onion weed by the bulb, untangle and spray or pull out convolvulus, trim ivy off trunks of prized trees before they smother them, spray or weed patio areas, so they look neat for the summer days outdoors
Project for December
For more information on how to make your project happen talk
to the knowledgeable team at Central Landscape Supplies.