Unfortunately Covid-19 is still restricting us from meeting. As I write this I do miss the personal contact at the monthly meetings, but the plants carry on regardless!

One advantage of the restrictions is we have plenty of time to spend in the garden and be up to date with every thing that needs to be done. My garden is coming along with many of the new plants now in their second year starting to grow as I'd hoped. I have been putting photos of some of these as they begin to flower on Facebook have a look here.

Weeds just do not have a chance in my garden, it is as if I am waiting for them to grow so that I can hoe them out instantly.

This month plants will begin to grow rapidly so it is important that we get on with the planting and sowing of all the summer vegetables and flowers.

Fruit trees will benefit from some fertiliser and spraying for pests and fungal diseases. Stone fruit may need to be thinned so that good size fruit will develop.

Summer flowering bulbs and tubers can now be planted. Plant gladiola every 2-3 weeks to get a succession of flowers. Begonias will be growing so the bedding and tuberous types can be safely planted or potted on. Don't leave this until the plants have become leggy as they will not develop strong stems to support the flowers.

Roses will be starting to bloom so look out for aphids and back spot. These will often go unnoticed until until we look to pick some flowers, so treat the plants to prevent infestation to have clean flowers to pick.

The grass has been growing fast for a couple of months now so the lawn will need some fertilisers and water to keep it looking green. Later in the month treat the lawns for grass grub and porina with one of the granular insecticides available.

Tomatoes, peppers and chilies may now be planted outside in a warm place in the garden. Remember to put the stakes in first and also be prepared to spray them regularly for the psyllid with an insecticide.

Main crop potatoes will also need to be treated for psyllid as last year there was a lot about.

Citrus will need to fertilised, kept well watered and given a mulch during the summer months. Also look out for any signs of scale insects and treat if needed.

Green house tomatoes will be in flower and growing fast. Remove the laterals, keep up constant and even watering and liquid feed once a week to get good even fruit development.

Good gardening, Michael Coulter

Remember: questions can be posted on HortTalk or you can email Michael directly at coultchrys@xtra.co.nz