From Michael Coulter

We are now at the height of Summer which this year is one of many extremes. December was hot and dry, stressing plants and bringing on many crops early. It also caused the berry fruit season to be short with many of the different berries all cropping at the same time.

January has been warm but with plenty of rain which has plants making rapid growth, while also providing perfect conditions for fungal diseases on many of our crops and plants. These conditions look like they are going to continue for the rest of the Summer which will keep us all busy in the garden.

Summer pruning on fruit trees will be needed to allow light on to the ripening fruit and give good air movement to help reduce diseases spreading. Grapes are growing at a rapid rate so keep trimming back the leaves as I think they will ripen early and be very sweet.

Weeding will be an ongoing requirement as they seem to pop up overnight but as it is still hot a quick hoe in the morning soon fixes them.

We will need to start thinking about our Winter gardens so remove any crops that have finished to get the ground ready for planting those vegetables and flowers in a few month’s time.

For any gardening queries through the month you can consult our online facebook group

Lawns

  1. Water lawns to keep them growing about once a week with a good deep soaking.

  2. Cut each week but not too low so as to protect the roots from the hot sun.

  3. Using an edging tool now is a good time to trim up the edges at about a 30 degree angle.

Fruit & Vegetable Garden

  1. Prune out berry fruit canes that have finished fruiting.

  2. Prune back excessive growth on pip fruit especially on espalier plants.

  3. Continue successive sowings of brassicas, lettuce, dwarf  beans, spring onions, silver beet and carrots etc.

  4. Water tomatoes evenly, remove lower leaves, treat for the psyllid and keep well supported.

  5. Mould up potatoes, keep weed free, treat for blight and psyllid.

  6. Treat stone fruit with a copper spray after the fruit is picked and prune if needed.

  7. Give asparagus a fertiliser and keep well watered to encourage the top growth.

  8. Thin out root crops to allow the roots to develop to an even shape.

Flower Garden

  1. Encourage continuous flowering on annuals, perennials and roses by dead heading spent blooms.

  2. Any Summer annuals that have become untidy give a prune back and a liquid feed and they will give another blooming this season.

  3. Prune out any branches on trees or shrubs that have made excessive growth but prune to keep the natural shape of the plant.

  4. Cut back roses as they finish flowering to where there are five leaflets on a leaf to get a second flowering.

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