Digger Dan’s Monthly Garden Tips April 2010

0800 005 444

The Veggie Garden

  • Near drought conditions – up North from Waikato and beyond it’s getting serious: water the crops still producing – tomatoes, chillies, pumpkins courgettes and cucumbers etc and harvest regularly.
  • Remove tomato vines, beans and all crops that have finished. Dig in our Living Earth Compost to aerate and replenish the soil. It’s important to do your clean-up’ to remove diseased plants and foliage between seasons.
  • Try rejuvenating veggie beds you aren’t using for winter with a green manure crop: sow lupins and mustard seed, then cut the plants as they bud up and leave the cuttings on the soil for a few weeks. Dig them through your soil to add structure, whilst the nitrogen has been ‘fixing’ through the roots of the plants.
  • In cooler areas sow a crop of broad beans.
  • Brassica time: plant the autumn/winter staples: cabbage for late season coleslaws or the perfect accompaniment to roast pork; cauliflower and broccoli for winter salads and soups and the pak/bok choy family for delicious stir fries.
  • Anyone with an abundance of the following herbs can make an enticing brew of natural teas: lemon verbena, lemongrass, chamomile and bergamot, not to mention the drought challenged mint…infuse them in hot water individually or try your own mixes!

The Rest of the Garden

  • Fruit Trees: Feed Citrus trees, harvest feijoas, apples, late peaches and figs. Clean up diseased foliage and fruit from stone and pip-fruit trees and apply a clean-up spray of copper now
  • Hedges, Edges and Topiary: Trim into shape and apply some controlled release fertiliser around the drip-line.
  • Fertilising: Don’t waste it – apply to most trees and shrubs now, but leave the roses to their own device
  • Annuals: Plant new season’s polyanthus, primula, poppy and cineraria seedlings. Water in with our Liquid Compost to get them set up for winter.

Planting in autumn is generally the most successful time to plant – Here’s how:

  • Soak your new plant in a bucket of water ‘til the bubbles stop or for at least an hour
  • If the soil isn’t rich and loose, dig Living Earth Compost through the area to be planted to add good structure for the roots to grow
  • Dig the planting hole at least as deep as the roots of the plant and twice as wide.
  • Fill the hole with water. (If it drains quickly, you need more structure to your soil, if it takes ages, then check whether the plant variety can cope with ‘wet feet’)
  • Loosen the roots of the plant, then place it in the hole and ‘firm’ the soil around it.
  • Water it in, then mulch with our Premium Mulch, Reharvest Coloured Mulches or Bark Mulch.

The Lawn

With autumn here it is time to turn attention to your lawn. After a long hot summer even existing lawns need some TLC and the sooner you do this the better it will look for the autumn. This will enable your lawn to go into the winter months looking lush and healthy. If your lawn is looking tired, yellow, full of weeds or just a little thin then it’s time for a autumn renovation:
  • Fertilise with Turfmaster Gold to encourage strong growth.
  • Spray weeds with a broad range weed killer to control broadleaf weeds.
  • About 3-4 weeks later scarify the lawn heavily to create a good seed bed.
  • Oversow bare or weak areas with the appropriate GTi Prolawn seed blend and fertilise with Turfmaster Starter.
Our Central Landscapes Yards are open Easter Saturday & Monday (some are even open Sunday – check our website) for all your Garden Projects. All our yards are closed Anzac Day. Come and see us for great advice and service! Don’t forget our great home delivery service or borrow our free loan trailers.



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