Saturday, August 17, 2013

Garden Check

Make the most of this rain. It'll be gone before you know it. Here's my list of what a garden should be like now:
  • Stone fruit trees, grapevines and roses pruned. I like to prune these ones hard.
  • Leaf litter and all that junk raked up from under the trees and grapevines and composting - you want bare soil here at this moment to minimise the fungus and insect disease lifecycle.
  • Some sort of fertiliser on that bare soil. I'll put complete mineral mix or citrus food out, but sometimes for some organic touch it can be dynamic lifter or blood and bone. I put cow manure out, about three weeks ago - same deal.
  • Get onto your citrus. In particular if you have bloating on the stems cut the stuff out, burn it or put it in the green waste. It's citrus gall wasp - leave it there after Aug and the wasps will hatch and resettle on your tree. It a few years your beautiful citrus tree will look like the elephant man. Be brave.
  • Notwithstanding the above, cut your citrus hard, right now. As the soils warm you'll get beautiful green shoots. I have cut all my citrus back to 30%.
  • After all pruning, spray with a garden oil. The type doesn't really matter at this time of year. Winter oil, pest oil, eco oil. It protects against many insects and fungus problems.
  • With stone fruit, spray with a copper fungicide as the pink tips of the flowers/leaves just start to look like they're breaking. It'll help with curly leaf and other problems.
  • Cut the lawn a little high, but keep in mind that kikuyu is about to go into a strong growth phase so over the next four weeks you can reduce the height down to where you have it basically scalped by mid september.
  • I'd throw some organic lawn fertiliser out (upsurge/blade runner) about now.
  • You could start "promoting" your pot plants now. That is repot them up into a slightly larger pot with some fresh soil. It's like letting them out to stretch their legs and get some fresh air.

So that's it. Bare soil with fertiliser on it, more tidying. But the season is set to explode. There will be a perfect time to get the mulch on and lock all that moisture in, but it's not right now.

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