Central's Tips January 2022
The summer garden is in full swing, make sure you harvest fast growing vegetables regularly to keep plants producing.
Watering in the cooler morning and evening hours is important now, and don’t forget to leave some water out for the birds.
The fruit and vegetable garden
Summer is big harvest time and it’s important to pick fast-growing vegetables such as zucchini, beans, and cucumbers regularly otherwise the food grows beyond its best.
Watering is very important – with watering restrictions train the household to capture buckets of water in the shower, dishwashing etc, for use on container gardens and raised beds that dry out more quickly.
Pea straw is a major aid in keeping the roots of vegetable plants cool and helping to stop evaporation. Water beds, then layer it around plants.
Lettuce and herbs going to seed? Leave a few in the vegetable garden – their flowers attract the bees for pollination.
Use an organic pesticide such as Bugtrol to control whitefly and aphids that are breeding quickly in the heat. Spray very early before bees are active.
Maintain a regular fertiliser and watering programme around fruit trees while fruit is growing and ripening. Cover fruit trees and grapevines with netting to prevent birds eating ripening fruit.
The ornamental garden
• NZ cabbage and kowhai trees come under attack from caterpillars in the summer. For young plants control is helpful, so they don’t lose all their foliage.
• Get some bright summer colour going by planting canna lilies, alstroemerias, hibiscus and impatiens.
• For plants with lower watering requirements, kalanchoe and freely flowering succulents make a great show during the summer and work well in pots.
• Swan plants in the ornamental garden add colour and bring the monarch butterflies around. Purple and pink flowering plants attract them as well.
• Remember to top the water up birdbaths and bowls in the garden as the temperature increases – dehydration doesn’t just affect humans.
• Delay trimming hedges or big branches that can expose shrubs beneath – a sudden burst of hot sun on foliage that was in the shade will cause burning.
• Deadhead or cut back spent summer flowers to encourage a fresh batch of flowers to grow.
Anyone for a round of petanque?
How about using hoggin or crushed shell to create an ideal surface for a petanque court? Measure out the area and dig out the topsoil. Box it in with timber and lay a sub-base of GAP 20, then compact it. Apply hoggin or crushed shell on top to a depth of 5cm.
For all the products you’ll need for your petanque project visit www.centrallandscapes.co.nz