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Digger Dan’s August gardening tips

 

There’s plenty to do during August in the garden in preparation for Spring.

The Veggie Garden

  • Time to get ready for the spring planting season – weed and dig over the veggie patch, taking care not to compact the soil.

  • Get a trailer-load of organic compost (Living Earth is a good one) dug through the area, or, if the growing area is small, add an organic veggie mix.
  • Seed Potatoes are available now for sprouting – place on a tray in a dry area for a couple of weeks until the ‘eyes’ are at least 2cm long. Early varieties around now include Swift and Rocket Cliffs Kidney
  • Onions – spring, red or the popular Pukekohe ‘Long Keeper’ can be planted now, provided the soil is draining well.
  • Elephant Garlic is still around in stores and soils are nice and cold for planting now – Elephant Garlic is amazing when roasted, mellow and delicious.
  • Indoors or in the glasshouse, seeds of favourite tomato varieties can be germinated, to grow on in shelter, ready to plant out in October.
  • Seeds of coriander, carrots and hardy lettuce can be sown directly into the garden.

Trees

  • Citrus trees may need to be covered against late winter frosts in sheltered areas.
  • New season’s fruit trees particularly pip and stone fruit can be planted out now.

 The Rest of the Garden

  • Dahlia Tubers – the ‘retro chic’ garden darling are in garden centres now and ready for planting
  • The value of winter flowerers such as this Euphorbia wulfenii (below) should not be underestimated lighting dull parts of the garden
  • ‘Wet feet‘ is a major symptom with the rainy season that we are experiencing – quite a number of evergreen shrubs succumb to poorly draining soils, so choose plants to cope – moisture lovers include dichroa (evergreen hydrangea), ferns, ligualarias, taros and hostas
  • Snail Bait should be used now around emerging seedlings and new growth
  • Scented treasures that provide winter cheer in the garden include daphnes, boronias, small-leaved camellias such as transnokoensis plus the soon to flower Viburnum burkwoodii.

The Lawn

  • August can be a tricky time of the year for your lawn. This is because we don’t really know exactly what weather we are going to get.
  • Fertilise to keep your lawn thick and healthy.
  • You may find the growth rate of grass increase so it is important to keep on top of your mowing.
  • If we have a mild August you may consider a broadleaf weed spray to take out any undesirable species that may have come into your lawn during winter.

 

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