MAY 2013

With Alan Jolliffe

Michael is away on chrysanthemum duties so I’m in the hot seat this month. The only reason I have a laptop with me is that I’ve left my papers at home.

In your garden  – autumn.   ‘What a mess’

This is the time to think…….what did I like in the garden last year?  What do I need to shift ?   This is the time to think about next summer.  Your colour combinations. Over the next three months if you shift only one a day you would have shifted ninety plants.   You can shift big plants.  There are notes on the Society’s website.

I’ve already trimmed some roses.  Use your green bin a little and often does the trick.   Remember ‘The Great Pruning Day’………..Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

Think about annual planting.  Think about planning your garden.  Are there any bulbs that need shifting?

Hellebores (winter rose ) need a feed.

Time to spray your plants for scale and thrips using the winter spray rate.  Twice over winter is fine.

Your vegetable garden.  Plan what you want to eat.  Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, silver beet, broad beans, winter lettuce and kale.   Succession planting.

Harvest pumpkins and store inside   Clean up your garden.

Plant a green crop such as mustard, lupins etc. to winter over and be dug in later.

Clean out your glasshouse.  Throw around some Jeyes Fluid. Plant mustard in the ground and keep it clean and tidy.

Garden hygiene………………is housekeeping in the garden.

Time to clean up your tools.  Get lawnmowers sharpened and set.  Outdoor furniture need  rubbing down and oiling.

Q;        I notice that pumpkins are in the shops for one dollar.  Why would I bother? growing them ?

A;       Because you’re a gardener.   Admittedly, pumpkins set very late this year.

Q;       What do I do with my strawberries ?

A;       In the ‘old’ days we used to run the lawnmower over them. Take all the leaves off and leave the centre crown.  There will be rapid growth in springtime. They produce lots of runners which produce next seasons crop. Usually four seasons is the maximum in the ground, then plant a new crop.

Q;      Why is there a lack of worms in my garden ?

A;      I think this years drought conditions was a major factor.

Q;      What can I do with my winter rose ?

A;       Remove dead leaves and compost around them. Don’t forget to move your cold sensitive potted plants into a more sheltered position away from frosts.   With two frosts already there is an unmistakable chill in the air that heralds the start of a busy season of planning and planting.