Even though we have had an excellent spring and start to summer for the garden with good rain and comparatively mild weather, we must remember that we are in that seven per cent of that state that is not in full drought or marginal drought. We should also keep in mind that we are yet to experience the hottest part of the summer. These factors should influence our gardening plans for the balance of the summer. Heres a list of back to basics jobs that you can do in your garden now.
One of the true joys of having a garden is to regularly spend a little time in it just appreciating the beauty of creation, so while you are doing this keep a look-out for problems. Check roses for aphids and black spot, watch all soft growth for chewing insects like grasshoppers and caterpillars, inspect cucurbits for powdery mildew and keep up the war against fruit fly. These can all be treated with low-cost, alternative, eco-friendly methods.
This is the worst time of the year to start new plants. The best plan is to plant nothing until early autumn. If you must plant seedlings, select only the toughest and most heat tolerant. Flowers: dwarf vinca, marigold, petunia, portulaca, amaranthus. Veggies: sweet corn, pumpkin, snake bean.
The rain that we have had may be good for the plants but it also gives the weeds a boost, and unless you keep on top of them now they will get away from you. I do not recommend the use of gyphosates against weeds, as there is growing evidence that they are probably harmful to most living things (including humans). Hand pull or use boiling water.
One of the most important jobs right now is to top up the mulch on everything in the garden including large plant pots. Keep the mulch back from the trunks of trees a little so as to avoid collar rot.
Deadhead annuals and perennials regularly and give flowering natives a light trim after each flowering, Prune off about 30cm, this induces new flowering.
The next meeting of the Lismore Garden Club is on Thursday February 8 at 1.30pm at the Lismore Workers Club. Visitors and potential new members most welcome. For further information phone me on 6624 7422 or 0421 021 451.
Finally:Your garden is one place you can escape to a place to relax, replenish and regenerate.
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