Pittwater Life April 2018 Issue

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Safety First: Reducing risk on Mona Vale Rd. We Will Remember: ANZAC Day. Tina Harrod: Island Life. 40 Years' Courtship: Careel Bay Tennis Club

Garden Life

Garden Life

Jobs this Month

April

The autumn rains will start

to abate, the warm soil

is damp and the days

are cooling down. It is time to

get gardening and prepare for

winter. Break up the surface

soil and feed the garden. If you

have been filling a compost

bin it should be ready after the

summer heat. Empty it into the

garden and start again with

autumn leaves, kitchen waste

and clippings as you tidy after

the storms. Two smaller bins are

better than one large one: as

each fills, leave it to break down,

don’t add more compost for a

couple of months, and start a

second one. This way you can

rotate the bins as you use the

compost. Gogo Juice watered

into the bins will accelerate the

process.

Plant pea seedlings

If you didn’t sow sweet pea

seeds last month, plant seedlings

now. Grow the taller ones

for picking. They will need

something to climb up. Put

this up at planting time – don’t

wait until the seedlings start to

grow. Netting around bamboo

stakes works well or re-use

your tomato frames from the

summer crop. Dwarf sweet

peas are great in hanging baskets

or pots.

Plant a hedge

The camellia sasanqua hedges

are flowering now. Look

around and identify the variety

that you like. Always buy

new plants with flower if you

can. They are often wrongly

labelled. This is the best

month to plant a new hedge.

Winter vegies

Plant your winter vegetables

now. Cabbages, cauliflowers,

broccolini, peas, spinach,

carrots, parsnips, lettuce and

onions seedlings or seeds are

in the garden centres ready

to plant. If the weather is still

hot, a light covering shade

cloth will protect the seedlings

from the hot sun.

Stop pests

Caterpillars and snails can

destroy seedlings overnight.

Spray with Yates Success to

control the caterpillars and

spread Multiguard pellets to

eliminate the snails.

Citrus care

Citrus trees are all bursting

into new growth after the rain.

Spray weekly with Eco Oil to

prevent the damaging leaf miners

that distort and twist the

new leaves. If already attacked,

prune back the damaged

Plant a slice of ‘Cherry Pie’

Often known as ‘Cherry Pie’ this sweetly fragrant, small,

woody shrub is great for the veggie patch, in a cottage

garden, in large pots or in hanging baskets. The bees love its

vanilla-like fragrance that gives it its name. The heads of tiny

violet flowers sing out against the dark green, crinkled leaves.

There are several other varieties – one has golden leaves

with violet flowers; there is one with pale lilac flowers; and

another with white flowers – but the original violet variety is

the easiest to grow. Once established it looks after itself.

Tip is to prune young plants to keep the compact and

remove the old flowers as they finish.

leaves and put them into the

green bin, not the compost.

Succulent option

It is fun to have outdoor pot

plants on tables and balconies

but they can be a lot of work

for busy lifestyles. Succulents

are the answer. They are very

forgiving if forgotten! They

are easy to grow either in

small pot or mixed together in

large bowls or window boxes.

Love your lawn

Give your lawn some attention

this month. The soil will be

compacted after heavy rains.

Aerate the grass with a garden

fork or hire a spiked roller

before feeding with Sudden Impact

for Lawns. By aerating the

lawn it will allow the oxygen to

the roots that the grass needs

to grow, it will also let the water

and fertiliser soak down.

Annuals swap

Replace summer annuals with

pansies, violas, poppies, snapdragons,

primula, alyssum,

lobelia, or verbena for winter

colour. English marigolds are

good in the vegetable garden

to attract the bees.

Attract bees

Spray the garden with Bee

Keeper; it works wonderfully

well to bring back the bees to

our gardens.

Bulb tip

Wait until next month before

planting spring bulbs, the

weather is still too warm. Keep

the bulbs in the chiller drawer

of your refrigerator until you

plant them.

Crossword solution from page 67

Mystery location: BROKEN BAY

70 APRIL 2018

The Local Voice Since 1991

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