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Rose flowering season is almost finished and by allowing the rose to produce rosehips, it puts nourishment back into the plants. File Photo: PIXABAY

Plenty of jobs yet to be done

Winter is not the time to hang up the gumboots and store the spade, there are still jobs to be done and much to be enjoyed. With the trees shedding their leaves it brings everything into sharp relief allowing others to strut their stuff.

It’s time for shapely branches and beautiful bark to take their turn in the limelight. Trees or shrubs with berries are a must for winter colour also. A large tree which puts on a great show with its berries is Idesia Polycarpa. Smaller example just as pretty are Nandina, Skimmia Japonica, Corokia and Viburnum.
Adding compost around growing vegetable plants helps to absorb excess water from the bouts of heavy rain we may experience. It also helps with the ground temperature and provides valuable nutrients. Plant Beetroot, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli and Brussel sprouts. Continue planting winter lettuce.
Cos is a good choice at this time of year. Carrots and parsnips – harvest those sown December and January as ready and continue to plant carrot seeds this month. Silverbeet, spinach and Kale – harvest outer larger leaves to help plants to continue producing through winter. Make further sowings of spinach. Winter seedlings need occasional cultivation to aerate soil and control weeds. Foliar fertilise to stimulate growth. Rhubarb – old crowns which have been lifted and stored can now be divided and planted in permanent growing position.
Nature doesn’t like bare soil so you might consider planting a green manure crop such as lupin, mustard, clover or buckwheat. This is a way of putting valuable nutrients back into the soil in your vegetable garden.
In the flower garden, winter flowering annuals should now start coming into full bloom. They are great for adding colour to dreary parts of the garden. They are also good in pots so they can be moved to become more visible from inside the home and brighten up the deck. Try, alyssum, calendulas, lobelia, pansy, poppy, snapdragon, stock, cineraria and primulas. Bulbs already planted out, daffodils and freesias
are well on the way due to the continued warm weather.
Leaf fall is almost complete on stone fruit trees – Mid June apply a winter copper spray especially on varieties prone to bacterial canker. Apples, Pears – begin mid-winter pruning to regulate fruiting characteristics and improve fruit bearing. Citrus – Severe winter cold damages shoot growth and fruit. Where possible lightly cover trees on clear frosty nights. Feijoas – Continue harvesting. Strawberries – Now is the time to sort your strawberry bed. They require full sun with free draining soil. Dig in strawberry fertiliser and liquid feed every fortnight. Raspberries, boysenberries and loganberries – Prune out last season’s cane growth – tie new seasons growth onto supports, select strongest – prune out spindly shoots.
Rose flowering season is almost finished. Allowing the rose to produce rosehips puts nourishment back into the plants. Prune in July. Turn compost heaps this month add garden lime and blood and bone to stimulate decay. Cover to protect from excessive rain.

Stay safe and well.
– Ngatea Garden Circle