11 months ago

Selwyn Times: August 09, 2016

26 Tuesday

26 Tuesday August 9 2016 SELWYN TIMES Gardening August in the garden DEPENDING on the weather, August can either be the depth of winter or the first hope of spring. With the unusually warmer winter, there are some confused plants around various parts of the country! Daylight hours are on the increase and there is more time to devote to the garden. For gardens with poor drainage, soils are as wet as they’ll ever be, and wet cold soils are not very inviting for new plants. However, for re-vegetation planting (where plants will be left to survive on their own eg: trees, shrubs etc), this is the last month for safe planting. Citrus fruit trees should be cropping heavily this month. Keep feeding them throughout the growing period with a good quality citrus fertiliser such as Daltons Incredible edible Citrus Fertiliser. Remember citrus trees are frost tender, so position any new trees carefully when planting and take protective measures when frosts are occurring. For stone/pip fruit trees, now is an excellent time to do the last preventative fungal spray of copper oxychloride. It must be applied before bud burst as buds will be swelling on these trees in late August. Continue to harvest your winter crops in the veggie garden. It is still too early to plant Use your outdoor living areas all year round • Warm & dry in winter • UV protection for summer • Stylish & permanent • 5 year warranty “AS SEEN ON TV” your summer salad vegetables; however, you can begin sowing seeds of beans, cucumber, lettuce, pumpkins, peppers and tomatoes indoors. Prepare soil for the planting of early variety potatoes to be ready in time for Christmas. Winter flowering annuals such as cinerarias, pansies, primulas and violas will be at their very best! Summer annuals are better to be planted in September as daylight hours increase and soil temperatures rise. Bulbs should be in bloom during August – depending on the weather of course! Daffodils, hyacinths, muscari, jonquil and lachenalias all produce beautiful displays of colour at this time of year. Take note and mark the best flowering varieties in your garden as you may wish to lift and divide them later in the season. With roses, in many areas new growth should have commenced. Usually, new growth is ‘clean’ and not infected with the typical diseases that attack roses. Inspect your rose bushes regularly for early signs of any problems. It is still a little too early to apply fertiliser, so leave that till next month. However, you can apply fresh compost around the base of the rose bushes. August should be a time of respite from regular mowing of lawns. For some, moss may well be appearing in parts of the lawn that are either shaded or FOR: : • Garden Makeovers • Garden Makeovers • Landscape • Landscape Design Design & Planting & Planting • Plant • Plant Supply Supply (discounted rates) [at discounted rates] • Hydro & Ready Lawns • Hydro & Ready Lawns particularly wet. These areas may require over sowing in spring. The moss will slowly disappear as soil temperatures rise and the soil drains in the summer months. • For more gardening advice or information on the wide range of Daltons products, visit Thinking of Landscaping? • Grounds Maintenance • Grounds Maintenance Irrigation Systems • Irrigation Paving Systems • Paving Decks & Pergolas • Decks FREE Quotes & Pergolas • FREE Quotes Chris Thorndycroft Phone 0800 27 24 46 | 15 months INTEREST FREE Normal lending criteria apply Phone: 03 349 4363 Mobile: 027 260 2621 The Landscape Specialists Phone: 03 349 4363 Mobile: 027 260 2621 It’s time to grow The magazine for gardeners who like to get their hands dirty Bigger from August 22

SELWYN TIMES Tuesday August 9 2016 27 Get passionate about perfect pansies • By Tod Palenski PANSIES ARE the perfect plant for just about any garden. They’re hardy and easy to grow. They’ll survive wind, rain and even frosts. And, just as importantly they’re stunning and striking – with a colour and pattern for just about any style of garden. To plant, choose a spot in the garden that receives morning sun and has good drainage. Next, boost soil fertility and encourage bright, healthy blooms by adding organic compost and fertiliser. Once that’s done, dig a wide, shallow hole for each plant and space the holes 10 to 20cm apart. Make sure the holes are wide enough so the plant’s roots don’t become cramped. Cover the plant roots with garden soil and give them a good watering, then add a layer of mulch to retain moisture, suppress weeds and keep frosts at bay. If you’re after an alternative planting spot, you can’t look past a hanging basket. In fact, I can’t think of a flower more perfectly designed for this. Just remember not to over water. If you’re not sure when to water, put your finger in the soil RICH: Encourage bright, healthy blooms by adding compost and fertiliser. to test. If it’s still moist, don’t add any water. Once planted you don’t really need to pay any more attention to your pansies. Simply make sure the soil doesn’t get too dry and pick the flowers as they fade to encourage more blooms. What to be doing in the garden now Potatoes Such a staple and stalwart crop, you need to start gearing up for the upcoming potato-planting season. Those of you who know your spuds will already have seed potatoes quietly “chitting” away somewhere cool indoors. Once the sprouts are finger length and the soil has warmed a smidge, they can be planted out in September. The sprouting phase does take four to six weeks; hence you need to get a wriggle on if you want fresh new potatoes in December. While the seed spuds are sprouting, take an hour or two to prepare the soil, work it over with a fork, blend in well-rotted compost and, a week before planting, work through some potato fertiliser. Adding the spud food prior to planting prevents burning the delicately sprouted seed potatoes. Vegetables If your patch has been vacant over winter, now’s the time to get it ready for spring planting before the soil warms up. Hoe off weeds and, when the soil isn’t boggy, turn it over and blend in layers of compost or sheep pellets – one or the other, not both. Then, rake it level and leave to settle for a few weeks. Seedlings to plant out now include silver beet. Look for brightly coloured hybrids or the mega-sized ‘Ford Hook Giant’, which can grow stems up to a metre long. Rows of radishes can go in, too. Try white ‘Hailstone’ for something different, or stick to your knitting with reliable round red ones. Remember, both the leaves and roots can be eaten. Asparagus crowns are dormant and ready to be planted. Look for the biggest and fattest clumps, and avoid anything that are dry and withered. Spring flowers With the official start of spring just around the corner it is time to start dusting of those vases and filling them with spring flowers such as daffodils, snow drops, hyacinths, anemone, ranunculus and irises. When picking these flowers, only pick the flower stem. Leave the foliage in the ground and allow it to die down naturally, as this supplies the hard-working bulb all the nutrients it needs to produce flowers for next season. Fill the vase to the top with water and change it every third day. gardening without guesswork Question: Can you please tell me when I should be preparing my garden beds for planting out in spring? And what should I be doing to prepare them? If you are looking to rejuvenate existing garden beds or Answer: planter boxes and raised gardens, you can add some of our organic compost through with the mix that is already there. Sheep pellets are also an excellent choice as the combination of these two products will help to create an excellent growing environment for your new plants, as well as adding vital organic nutrients to the soil. If you are starting from scratch, you can’t beat our Veggie Garden Mix. It is excellent for growing a variety of veggies in, and is pre-fertilised so you don’t need to add any fertiliser when you plant out. The bonus of having the fertiliser in there is it will give the plants the nutrients they need to sustain healthy growth, giving you the best produce it can. If you are wanting something more organic, we do also have Organic Potting Mix, and in bags Organic Growing Mix. Thanks to Erica for her question. for more information, check out our website: or visit our facebook page: QualITy prOducTs frOm ThE WEB TO ThE shEd! WIN! a $50 INTEllIgrO gIfT VOuchEr! patience is a virtue While the weather is still chilly and unpredictable, don’t be in too much of a rush to plant veggies (even when we hit spring it can be too early). Waiting a wee bit longer can often pay dividends in the long run as the soil and air temperatures are more stable for the plants to grow. Send us your question and BE IN TO WIN! Email to: or post your question on our Facebook page: Questions must be received by Tuesday 23rd August