After such a lovely Christmas / New Year break, I suppose everyone is eager to get into gardening mode. The most important thing for the garden during these hottest months of the year is to mulch your garden well. If you have not already done so, get cracking!
There is still time to plant many of our staple vegies; lettuce, beans; carrots and corn. In the latter part of this month we have to think about starting regular sowings of vegies that will feed us during the winter months. Some of the best are broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.
Dig in plenty of organic matter, water with one cup of vinegar with 10 litres of water. Seed can be planted direct, but I like to plant into a seed tray with a damp hessian bag or piece of shade cloth covering. This way you can plant a few seeds of each variety in one tray, (make sure you mark them).
Plant only a few more seeds than you actually need and plant a new tray every two or three weeks. When planting out new seedlings give them a boost with half strength liquid fertilizer or diluted worm water. Save all your egg shells, dry them thoroughly, crush them and sprinkle around seedlings to deter snails.
The end of January is also when I trim my day-lilies. I cut foliage back to about 30cm and give them a light dressing of fertiliser. Clear away any dead foliage and weeds and water well. Roses also benefit from a light prune and general clean up. To help combat black spot, spray liberally over and under the leaves with fish emulsion.
A good home made white oil for scale: Pour one cup cooking oil (canola or sunflower), one cup water and one teaspoon dishwashing detergent into a blender and process to a creamy or mayonnaise-like consistency. Store in a screw top jar. Mix ½ cup of emulsion in ½ bucket of water, (1:20). Spray all over foliage and stems of scale infested plants. On citrus trees spray three times in a month.
As you can see I like to share any garden tips I have collected over the years. If anyone has a tip they would like to share I would be very happy to hear from you. Lismore Garden Club meets on the second Thursday of each month at Lismore Workers Club. Next meeting February 14. For further information phone Dorothy 6621 4100 or Judy 6622 0974.