Garden Tips for September
The fruit and vegetable garden
Blood and bone is a gentle boost of nitrogen around blueberries and strawberries as they produce the first flower buds. Place pea straw around developing strawberries to keep weeds out and the moisture in.
‘Architectural’ edibles in the vegetable garden: plant globe artichokes, cavolo nero and bay or upright rosemary.
Install decorative climbing frames: bamboo teepees and metal stakes add vertical interest and will support beans, cucumbers tomatoes etc.
Seeds or seedlings that can be sown directly: carrots, parsnip, radishes, fennel, mesclun mix, bok choy and lettuces.
Useful summer herbs to plant in early spring include parsley, coriander, dill, chervil, sage and oregano.
Sort some lemon flavours for summer cooking: lemongrass, lemon thyme and lemon verbena all add magic to cordials and syrups, marinades, and tea infusions.
The ornamental garden
Pep up the garden areas by fertilising with Prolawn All Purpose. It’s fast acting and will replenish nutrients that have washed through gardens in the heavy rain.
Time to trim topiaries and hedges and fertilise, then add mulch around them.
Fertilise roses and check for aphids. Squashing them by hand is easy with small colonies, otherwise you may need to spray. An organic remedy, Aquaticus ‘Bugtrol’ will do the trick.
Free plants – Look out for seedlings around the ‘mother’ plants in the garden – NZ grasses, native trees and shrubs and flowering perennials often produce babies that you can transplant now.
There are some great spring-flowering shrubs around to enjoy. Try blue flowered Californian lilac (ceanothus), there’s a range of azaleas in many hues, plus many rhododendrons flower from now onwards.