Michael Coulter’s Top Tasks

February is one of the busy months of the gardeners’ year, during this time we are harvesting fruit and vegetables, weeding, watering, Summer pruning fruit trees, dead heading flowers and roses and getting the garden ready for the coming Winter. Tree ripened fruit is for me the real highlight at this time of the year, so far we have enjoyed strawberries, gooseberries and peaches, yet to come are nectarines, plums, grapes and apples. The vegetable garden is in full production with a big choice of produce available, to keep the quality up I have been giving plenty of water every two days or so as the weather is hot and dry and is predicted to remain like this for the next two to three months.

Keeping the lawns looking nice is a real challenge during Summer so I have let the back grass look after itself and kept the front nice by feeding and watering so that it complements the flowering plants in the surrounding borders.

Fruit & Veggie Garden

  1. After stone fruit is harvested prune them and get a spray on for the leaf curl.
  2. Give apples and pears plenty of water for fruit development and Summer prune to let in more light on the fruit and to shape the tree.
  3. Keep the water up on the vegetables so that they will grow quickly for the best quality.
  4. Hoe the weeds when they are small in the morning to get the best control.
  5. Keep regular plantings of green leafy veges for continuous supply.
  6. Leeks, carrots, silver beet can be sown or planted now for Winter supply.
  7. Tomatoes will need plenty of water, laterals and lower leaves removed to encourage ripening of fruit. Watch out for pests that attack the plants and spray if needed.
  8. Feed and water citrus now.

Lawns & Flower Garden

  1. Keep up the water and feed on the lawns and do not cut too low.
  2. Dead head spent flowers on the annuals, perennials, dahlias and roses to encourage more flowers.
  3. Deep water garden so that plants do not get too stressed in the heat.
  4. Spray plants for thrips and spider mites now to avoid damage to leaves.
  5. Treat grass for grass grub if it is a problem.
  6. Trees and shrubs can be pruned to remove any unwanted growth. Keep the hoe active so that weeds are well controlled (best done in the morning to let the hot sun kill the weeds).
  7. Do preventative sprays on the fruit trees so that pests and diseases are controlled before they can damage the crop.
  8. Strawberries and other soft fruits will start to come into season from now on so keep up the water and liquid feeds to get the best results.
  9. Mould up potatoes and look out for the potato psyllid on the underside of the leaves and spray for them especially on main crop potatoes.