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Dahlia Electro Pink is a stunning example.

Rain a great benefit for gardens

The first month of summer has presented many challenges in the garden thus far.
With consistent heavy rainfall, strong winds, high humidity and even a tornado thrown in, gardens are perhaps not performing as you would normally expect for the time of year.
Although we are all wanting some fine sunny days, rain at this time of year is of great benefit. For those that are going away for the holiday season there is not as much worry of watering the garden and it lessens the chance of prolonged dry conditions for the rest of summer.
With the warm rain it is an ideal chance to put your indoor plants outside for a revitalising drink. Your plants will be refreshed and will thrive from being free of the chemicals that are in tap water. If you have a large number of indoor plants that may be difficult to move outside, try capturing some rain water and mixing some Ican Fast Food to give your plants a healthy boost.
In the flower garden, early Dahlias are just starting to flower. Stake them well, as the windy conditions will tend to make them fall over. Dahlias make a very beautiful showing and will continue to flower for a long period of time. Keep up with removing spent flower heads to encourage more to come along.
Dahlias can also be grown in pots, with many shorter growing varieties available. Dahlia Electro Pink is a stunning example, with its’ cactus type flower heads and vibrant pink colour it is definitely a winner in any garden.
Vegetable gardens have certainly been put through their paces over the last couple of months. Some plants have not been faring as well as we would like. Beans have been slower to get started in some gardens and wind and rain have hampered sweet corn, tomatoes, courgettes and cucumbers. Although it is now on the late side to plant tomatoes, cucumbers, corn and courgettes can still be planted and will produce good crops.
Carrots, beetroot, lettuce, onions and pumpkins can also still be planted now.
Hopefully many of you will have the pleasure of new potatoes from the garden, pot or potato grow bag for Christmas Day.
All this unusual weather has also been tough on fruit trees. Many lost blossoms before fruit could set and others that had fruit have had a lot blow off. It is unfortunate to lose fruit crops to the weather, but we can live in hope for a better harvest next season. Even with a reduced crop, keep up with feeding and mulching your fruit trees to ensure excellent plant health.
Any damaged branches need to be cleanly pruned and pruning paste applied. Pruning paste will help to ensure clean healing and less chance of fungal disease and bora becoming a problem. A big congratulations to Carolyn Purcell, the lucky winner of Country Dog Garden Centre Christmas Raffle. Carolyn is the recipient of $250 worth of garden products to make her garden look great this summer.
Wishing a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and safe holiday season to all from our team.
– Supplied by Country Dog Garden
Centre, Paeroa