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Earliest varieties of plums mature by late November. File Photo: PIXABAY

Nourish your garden

Revitalise and nourish your garden with a good balanced fertiliser followed by mulch. Spring is a time of rapid growth, so this is an important task. Liquid feed container plants and keep well-watered. Don’t let your plants compete for nutrients with weeds.
This is the time to plant those warm season crops that will provide us with the makings of many a delicious meal over the summer months to come. Hopefully we have had the last of the frosts. I hope you didn’t suffer too badly with the couple of unexpected frosts we had last month.

Beans, and root vegetables should be sown directly into the garden now. They will germinate quickly in the warm soil and will benefit from having their roots undisturbed thus growing strong root systems. Sow direct now – beetroot, carrots, celery, spinach, brassicas (protect from white butterfly).
Also sow pumpkins, zucchini, eggplants, basil. Regularly plant the salad greens, radish and spring onions to keep a continual supply. Potatoes – Continue to mound up earlier planting as crops start to make rapid growth to protect new tubers from light. Sweet Corn – Sow short and long maturing varieties at the same time to give a spread of harvest. Plant them in blocks rather than rows so they will provide support for each other. Once established keep weed free and water regularly. It is also time to start planting your tomato seedlings. Just remember to protect all your seedlings from slugs and apply mulch.

Flower Garden
Bearded iris – These are starting to come into their own, flowering beautifully. Once flowering is complete late in the month, divisions can be taken from the main plant and transplanted immediately. Bulbs to plant out now – Begonia, canna, carnation, chrysanthemum, dahlia, delphinium, gerbera, gladiolus, hippeastrum. Just remember slug protection. Roses – Continue with pest and disease sprays. Water frequently if dry, weed and mulch.

Earliest varieties of plums and cherries mature by late November. Feed fruit trees and water when necessary. Mulch to help retain heat and soil moisture. Apples and Pears – Early season varieties will need thinning if necessary. Do this after the initial fruit drop which is usually 10 to 14 days after petal fall.
Grapes – New growth is rapid, tendrils which becomes excessively long should be trimmed back to five or six buds above the bunches of fruit. Citrus – After fruit set, tree nutrition is important. Apply citrus food and a good handful of sheep pellets now and again late summer. Water when required and mulch. Berries – Keep well-watered and cultivate to remove weeds. Spray when
necessary. Strawberries – Cultivate to control weeds. Water well and feed with
strawberry food. Keep mulched.

Lawns withstand hot, dry summer conditions if there is a thick mat of turf. Don’t cut lawns too short.

Compost Heap
Turn over heaps. As the warmth increases the composting is much more rapid. If they are dry add a little water to further the decomposition.
Enjoy your garden.
– Ngatea Garden Circle