The fruit and vegetable garden
Assist eggplant flowers to pollinate – use a small paintbrush to transfer pollen between flowers. Eggplant flowers are pale mauve and droop downwards, so they’re uninteresting to the bees.
A regular squirt of water over the bean plants is said to increase bean production. Picking regularly also encourages a bumper crop.
It’s all in the staking – plant such as beans, tomatoes and cucumbers benefit from good climbing supports through the summer.
Find out if your potatoes are ready by gently excavating from the edge of the mound. Early cropping potatoes are generally ready from now onwards.
Thin apples and pears now to allow fruit to grow to decent size. Keep watered through the summer months.
The ornamental garden
Christmas tidy-up in the garden: weeding makes the garden look great and focuses the eye on the desirable plants.
Avoid clipping hedges and topiary as freshly exposed foliage will burn in the hot sun.
Flowering agapanthus should not be left to go to seed. These plants colonise easily in Auckland at the expense of other more desirable options.
Summer prune the wisteria, rambling roses and jasmine to maintain control as they grow extensively in the heat.
Plant carpet thymes, prostrate muehlenbeckias and coprosmas as hardy groundcovers to keep the weeds at bay.
Heading away? Move pots and baskets into shadier areas to reduce their water consumption, water and mulch them to tide them over.
Project for December
Nourish the garden for the summer ahead
To make the plants sit up and look lush, try spraying or drenching with a liquid fertiliser over all the garden now. Our favourite is Aquaticus Organic Booster which contains fish, seaweed and humates to deliver a great range of nutrients to the plants. Spray before it gets hot, or in the evening.