Garden tips for December
The fruit and vegetable garden
- Assisting eggplant flowers to pollinate – use a small paintbrush to transfer pollen between flowers. Eggplant flowers are pale mauve and droop downwards, so they’re often overlooked by 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 – plants 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.
- Young citrus tree leaves curling up? An infestation of aphids on the backs of leaves can dealt with by manually wiping them off, or by spraying with a fish-based oil spray such as Aquaticus ‘Glow’.
- Leek plants are available in seedling punnets or bundles. Separate them carefully, then plant each one in a 10cm deep hole (use a pencil to create the hole). Don’t fill with soil, regularly watering will gradually fill it in.
The ornamental garden
- Weeding is a great way to tidy the garden up for summer, giving space for plants to grow and for mulch to be spread.
- Avoid clipping plants like hedges and topiaries from now on as freshly exposed foliage will burn in the summer 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.
- The scent of summer – climbing star jasmine, bushes of philadelphus and michelia – or add a favourite rose - these all offer wafts of perfume around the summer garden.
Project for December
Paving the way to an al fresco Christmas! The Feinwerk range of pavers are thinner and lighter to work with than most other concrete pavers. They also have a very high strength rating, making them our most popular paver for several years now. Lay a courtyard for Christmas and enjoy the outdoor experience.