Autumn In The Garden - April
Autumn is nature's planting time as the soils are warm and moist. As the cooler months settle in, now is ideal to get your winter vege garden underway, plant your bulbs for spring flowering and establish or repair your lawn. Plants have the winter to settle their roots into the soil ready to flourish in spring, so there's plenty of options to plant in April, and the first of the rain helps new plants, trees and lawns get established.
Tomatoes, capsicums and chillies will be coming to an end in cooler parts of the country, where the nights are beginning to draw in and the earliest frosts may start to appear. In warm regions, these crops will last another couple of months.
As you harvest the last summer crops April is the perfect time to plant your patch with winter staples including broccoli, cabbage, celery and silverbeet. Freshen the flower garden with pansies and polyanthus and don't forget the Kiwi favourite of feijoas in the fruit garden!
THE VEGETABLE GARDEN
Beetroot, bok choi, broccoli, Brusssels sprout, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, coriander, garlic, kale, leek, lettuce, mesclun, onions, parsley, peas, radish, rhubarb, rocket, silverbeet, spinach, blueberry, feijoa, lemon, orange, mandarin, lime.
Basil, beetroot, bok choi, beans, broccoli, carrot, celery, coriander, courgette, cucumber, kale, leek, lettuce, mesclun, onion, parsley, radish, rhubarb, rocket, silverbeet, spinach, spring onion, sweetcorn, tomatoes, apples, Chilean guava, grapes, pears, passionfruit, late peaches.
Giving your vege patch a rest over winter? Add nutrients back in to the soil by sowing a crop of blue lupin or mustard seed which adds nitrogen and improves soil structure.
- Dig in Tui Compost and Tui Sheep Pellets before planting to replenish nutrients used by previous crops. Compost is also an excellent water saver.
- Beans - tie up floppy plants, and keep them well watered - they should keep producing for another month or so.
- Brussels sprouts - stake taller plants to prevent them from falling over.
- Carrots - thin rows of carrots to ensure the roots develop evenly.
- Sweetcorn - pull out plants once they have finished, and add the stems to the compost heap.
- Tomatoes - in cold areas, pull out plants and leave any green fruits on a windowsill to ripen in the sun (this may take a few weeks).
- Feed established plants once a month with Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic.
- Lay Tui Quash to control slugs and snails, and spray aphids and whitefly if they are still a problem.
- Remove runners from strawberry plants and pot up into Tui Strawberry Mix ready for planting out in the winter.
- Aphids, whitefly and scale insects may be about, blast off with a hose or select a suitable spray from your garden centre.
- Once nectarines, peaches and plums have finished fruiting prune to shape and to remove any dead or diseased branches.
THE FLOWER GARDEN
Bulbs: It's not too late to plant bulbs for spring flowering.
Bellis, lobelia, polyanthus, flowering kale, primula, violas, snapdragon, wildflowers, sweet William, cineraria, alyssum, calendula, daffidol, tulip, hyacinth, forget-me-not, pansy and viola, poppy, sweet pea, cyclamen, daisy, delphinium, dianthus
Scabious, Peruvian lily, poppies, marguerite daisy, statice, Japanese anemones, roses, coreopsis, echinacea, strawflowers, dahlias, lilies, sweet peas, gypsophila, cosmos, zinnia, pineapple lily, agapanthus, hydrangeas.
- Apply Tui Bulb Food to bulbs already in the ground.
- Apply a side dressing of Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser to shrub borders and flower gardens.
- Add thick layers of Tui Mulch & Feed or Tui Pea Straw Mulch to garden beds and pots to conserve water, reduce weeds and add valuable nutrients back to the soil.
- Mulching also keeps your garden looking tidy and cared for!
- Aphids and whitefly are all still moving about now, particularly if the weather is still very warm.
- Lay Tui Quash every few weeks to keep slugs and snails at bay.
- Prune back summer flowering perennials and bulbs that have finished for the season, to tidy up garden borders and beds.
- Lift and divide overgrown perennials.
- Save and dry seeds of summer flowers for sowing in the spring.
This is the best month for sowing a new lawn or repairing your existing. We have a great range of lawn seed from hardwearing for playgrounds to easy care.
Mix in Saturaid with your lawn seed and spread over the area, this will improve water penetration through the soil and reduce dry patches.
Sounds like that Greenwaste bin is going to be full. Give the team at Bay Enviro Bins a call for collection or to talk you through the best option for you or book online
Sources: Tui Garden + Palmers Garden Centre