Summer In The Garden - December
Enjoy the festive season by harvesting and using fresh crops and flowers from the garden. Sprigs of mint brighten up salads, drinks and, of course, new potatoes, which will be ready for Christmas if they were planted in early spring!
Remember that water is the lifeline of the vege garden in summer. Plants are best watered in the morning or early evening, not during the searing heat of the day. Water deeply every few days rather than a little every day, as this encourages plants to develop deeper roots.
Pick vibrant summer blooms including roses which are in full bloom leading up to Christmas. Pick them in the morning and they can last for a good week in a vase with fresh water.
It seems only fitting that plenty of red coloured fruits ripen this month including strawberries, raspberries and currants - just in time for the festive season!
- Sow your favourite seeds such as Ageratum, Cosmos, Cyclamen, Rudbeckia, Marigolds and Zinnia.
- A layer of mulch around the base of trees and shrubs will conserve moisture and protect roots from the hot sun.
- Lift spring flowering bulbs once the leaves have died down completely and store in a cool dry place.
- Remove dead flowers from roses to encourage new blooms.
- Plant seedlings such as Chrysanthemum, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Portulace and Salvia.
- Water gardens in the evening or early mornings, especially plants in containers which will dry out quickly in jot or windy weather.
- Use Waterwise Water Storage Crystals in potted plants to help them survive infrequent watering while you’re away on holiday. This can be added without re-potting the plants.
- Fill pots with flowering annuals such as Petunias, Marigolds, Phlox or Impatiens for a bright Christmas and summer display.
- This is a month of rapid growth so ensure you pay attention to watering, weeding, feeding and spraying.
- Apply a layer of mulch around vegetable plants to conserve soil moisture, compost works well.
- Plant seedlings of lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, tomato, sweetcorn, beetroot, pumpkin, courgette, capsicum, eggplant, melon, cucumber and gherkin.
- Feed tomatoes once a week with a fast acting liquid such as Tui Organic Seaweed Tonic. Remove laterals (side growths) on tall tomato varieties as they grow and ensure they are firmly staked. Water regularly.
- Courgettes and cucumbers can be protected from powdery mildew with FreeFlo Copper.
- Protect plants from caterpillars with Diatomaceous Earth.
- Raise the lawn mower up a level for the summer season. If cut too short, lawns will dry out too quickly,
- Water lawns in dry weather and apply fast acting lawn food such as Tui Lawn Force to keep lawns fresh and green.
It's time to to tidy up your Greenwaste wheelie bin. Give the team at Bay Enviro Bins a call and they’ll talk you through the best option for you!
Sources: Tui Garden + Palmers Garden Centre