Now summer is almost here we are having cold snaps followed by warm spells. All the rain means our lawns are greener than ever. Plants like roses are thriving with the moister conditions too.
So what is a good plan leading to holidays?
Lawns: if you haven’t fertilised your lawns yet, then apply a slow release lawn fertiliser now , but apply in the rain or water in well to avoid possible leaf burn. If you still have moss, apply iron sulphate in a watering can. Keep cutting the lawn regularly, but only cut lightly as you want a thick sward not a scalped lawn prone to weed growth. If you have weeds you can manually remove or use chemicals carefully but remember a healthy, vigorous lawn will swamp out weeds.
Roses: keep deadheading spent flowers. Apply a rose fertiliser and water in. Keep an eye out for aphids and apply soapy water or Yates Bug Oil if needed. The moist conditions make black spot more likely so apply a copper spray on an overcast day.
Edibles: keep up the watering unless you have an automatic irrigation system ( recommended). Add compost regularly like a mulch to smother the weeds and add nutrients. Hand sprinkle blood and bone around your plants – the dogs will love it as much as the plants! Stake your tomatoes and train your climbing plants eg beans. You can rotate your crops eg leaf, root and legume ( eg beans) or grow the “three sisters” together ie beans, pumpkins and corn, as they compliment each other.
Trees, shrubs & perennials : trim your hedges with hedge clippers to thicken them up, taking off no more than ¼ at a time. Stake any new trees or check their ties with all the wind we are having. You can add a general fertiliser to each plant but water in afterwards. Keep on top of the weeds, and mulch to keep weeds down before they get away and seed. The old saying “ One years seeding seven years weeding” applies. Once plants finish flowering cut them back with hedge clippers past the spent flowers to bush them up and put the energy into leaf growth.
Irrigation systems: if you have a battery- operated timer check the batteries are ok before you head off for holiday.
Here are a few favourites flowering now:
Arthropdium cirrhatum, renga lily
Hebe Wiri Mist
Xeronema callistemon, Poor Knights lily
Have a great Xmas and New Year