Monthly Tips & Tasks – May

Monthly Tips & Tasks – May

April 28, 2020

May is the month that we see the days getting much shorter and cooler so we need to get the gardens ready for the coming winter.

There is not much to do in the way of seed sowing and seedling transplanting but we can plant trees and shrubs so that they can make new roots and get established before the colder wetter ground of the late winter. Once the leaves have finished falling we can think about pruning fruit trees and getting the sprays on for pest and disease control in the coming growing season.

The last of the spring bulbs should now be planted; be careful to mark were they are so that you do not damage them when weeding near the time that they will be emerging. read more

Monthly Tips & Tasks – April

Monthly Tips & Tasks – April

March 30, 2020

The corona virus has made much of what we do very uncertain in our every day lives but our gardens go on following the change of season into Autumn unaffected by this pandemic. This may be a good opportunity to spend more time in our gardens and catch up with projects we have wanted to do but other activities have not allowed us the time. Autumn is a busy time in the garden as harvesting fruit and Summer vegetables will be finished by the end of the month and preparations from the Winter must be well under way.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – March

Monthly Tips & Tasks – March

March 2, 2020

As I write this we are still experiencing changeable Spring weather, but in spite of this there has been plenty of good plant growth. Although we have had some rain it has been intermittent and the warmer temperatures have meant that some watering is still required. The planting of Summer vegetables and bedding plants should be completed by Christmas to give the plants time to grow to maturity. read more…

Monthly Tips & Tasks – February

Monthly Tips & Tasks – February

January 28, 2020

As I write this we are still experiencing changeable Spring weather, but in spite of this there has been plenty of good plant growth. Although we have had some rain it has been intermittent and the warmer temperatures have meant that some watering is still required. The planting of Summer vegetables and bedding plants should be completed by Christmas to give the plants time to grow to maturity. read more…

Monthly Tips & Tasks – December

Monthly Tips & Tasks – December

November 26, 2019

As I write this we are still experiencing changeable Spring weather, but in spite of this there has been plenty of good plant growth. Although we have had some rain it has been intermittent and the warmer temperatures have meant that some watering is still required. The planting of Summer vegetables and bedding plants should be completed by Christmas to give the plants time to grow to maturity. read more…

Monthly Tips & Tasks – November

Monthly Tips & Tasks – November

October 31, 2019

The very changeable Spring weather of the last month will hopefully change to the more settled warmer weather that we expect this month. We are now in the month which we do most of our planting and sowing. In the vegetable garden it is time to plant and sowing of all the warmer loving plants. Many of the earlier planted crops will begin to grow faster and be ready for harvesting. Weeding and watering will be needed as the temperatures increase and the days are longer. Fruit trees will be getting to end of their flowering so the time for treatment for codling moth, caterpillars and aphids will be here. Soft fruits will be starting ripen so will need to be covered to protect them from the birds.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – October

Monthly Tips & Tasks – October

October 1, 2019

This Spring is bringing the usual mixture of warm and cold weather  – potentially a problem for the garden as we start to get ready for the planting and sowing time. To get the most from our plants we should really wait until conditions are consistent for the soil and the weather settles down. The Spring bulbs are in full bloom and will benefit from a fertiliser to build up the bulb for next season; removing spent flowers will also help. Spring flowering trees and shrubs should be pruned straight after flowering to ensure good growth for the next season’s flowers. Read more

Monthly Tips & Tasks – September

Monthly Tips & Tasks – September

August 27, 2019

September is the month in which Spring growth really gets going. The Spring bulbs are in full bloom and deciduous plants come into life.

The weather is still very changeable and there is always the danger of frosts that can damage new growth; this makes for a very busy time in the garden.

Ground preparation for sowing seeds and transplanting seedlings should be completed, old Winter crops removed to make way for Summer plantings and the last of Winter pruning completed.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – August

Monthly Tips & Tasks – August

July 23, 2019

We have now had some good frosts that have cut back many plants in the garden so it is a good idea to lift some of them to overwinter. Plants that benefit are dahlias, begonias (tuberous and fibrous types) and some perennials.The pruning of fruit trees and roses may now be completed and they can also be given their Winter sprays. These tasks are best done on a fine sunny day.Green houses should be washed, disinfected and any repairs completed in readiness for the start of Spring.All crop residue should now be removed from the garden or green house and either composted or disposed of.Prunings from the garden I shred up and add to the compost heap. My heap is protected from the wet and cold and turned over two or three times to ensure good quality compost is available for digging in later.New season fruit trees are now arriving in the garden centres. Make sure you get in early for the best trees.Strawberries and cane fruits can be planted now. It’s a good idea to try and get cultivars that will fruit at different times to achieve a longer harvest time ( ie. early, mid season and late types).Spring bulbs will be starting to emerge through the ground so be careful when weeding not to damage the shoots.If you have a heat bench or pad you can start sowing some early seeds to be ready for early plantings. Do remember the days are still short though and even with additional heat plants will take longer to grow now than in the Springtime.Early potatoes can now be sprouted (chitted) ready to plant in a few weeks in a well protected part of the garden.New season roses are also becoming available, make sure you get in early as some of the new introductions sell out very fast.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – July

Monthly Tips & Tasks – July

July 1, 2019

We have now had some good frosts that have cut back many plants in the garden so it is a good idea to lift some of them to overwinter. Plants that benefit are dahlias, begonias (tuberous and fibrous types) and some perennials.The pruning of fruit trees and roses may now be completed and they can also be given their Winter sprays. These tasks are best done on a fine sunny day.Green houses should be washed, disinfected and any repairs completed in readiness for the start of Spring.All crop residue should now be removed from the garden or green house and either composted or disposed of.Prunings from the garden I shred up and add to the compost heap. My heap is protected from the wet and cold and turned over two or three times to ensure good quality compost is available for digging in later.New season fruit trees are now arriving in the garden centres. Make sure you get in early for the best trees.Strawberries and cane fruits can be planted now. It’s a good idea to try and get cultivars that will fruit at different times to achieve a longer harvest time ( ie. early, mid season and late types).Spring bulbs will be starting to emerge through the ground so be careful when weeding not to damage the shoots.If you have a heat bench or pad you can start sowing some early seeds to be ready for early plantings. Do remember the days are still short though and even with additional heat plants will take longer to grow now than in the Springtime.Early potatoes can now be sprouted (chitted) ready to plant in a few weeks in a well protected part of the garden.New season roses are also becoming available, make sure you get in early as some of the new introductions sell out very fast.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – June

Monthly Tips & Tasks – June

May 28, 2019

June brings the end of the growing season with the shortest day about the 20th of the month. We know also that the coldest time of the year will be with us for the next two months.So there is not a lot of gardening to be done other than pruning and cleaning up plus maintenance of the hard landscape areas.We all find that in our seed storage there will be plenty of used seeds that have passed their use by date or have lost labels. Now is the time to go through the seeds and get rid of any unwanted ones, and make a list of those we will be needing in the Spring.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – May

Monthly Tips & Tasks – May

April 30, 2019

May is the middle of the Autumn and we now see the trees dropping their leaves. The days are shorter and noticeably cooler so much of the garden work is controlled by the weather.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – April

Monthly Tips & Tasks – April

April 1, 2019

April is when Autumn really gets going, the days are noticeably shorter and night temperatures cooler. The trees are starting to colour up and drop so we need to be preparing the garden for Winter.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – March

Monthly Tips & Tasks – March

February 27, 2019

We are now in Summer with plenty of hot weather and the usual periods of wind and little rain, all of which puts stress on plants and gives us the problem of keeping them growing and healthy.

Most of the berry fruits are finishing and the stone fruits are reaching their main production now, then to follow is the pip fruit.

The fruit crops that we are harvesting now are the results of the cultivation that we gave them over the last Winter and Spring so if the results are not up to expectations then review what was done to identify what needs to be done to improve the next crop.

Although winter is still a long way off we do need to be prepared. Spring bulbs will soon be in the garden centres but it is still too soon to plant most of them so choose the best quality bulbs and keep them until the time is right in the Autumn.

Most of the tasks around the garden at this time of the year is what I call maintenance gardening; weeding, watering, pest and disease control and of course, harvesting.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – February

Monthly Tips & Tasks – February

January 29, 2019

We are now in Summer with plenty of hot weather and the usual periods of wind and little rain, all of which puts stress on plants and gives us the problem of keeping them growing and healthy.

Most of the berry fruits are finishing and the stone fruits are reaching their main production now, then to follow is the pip fruit.

The fruit crops that we are harvesting now are the results of the cultivation that we gave them over the last Winter and Spring so if the results are not up to expectations then review what was done to identify what needs to be done to improve the next crop.

Although winter is still a long way off we do need to be prepared. Spring bulbs will soon be in the garden centres but it is still too soon to plant most of them so choose the best quality bulbs and keep them until the time is right in the Autumn.

Most of the tasks around the garden at this time of the year is what I call maintenance gardening; weeding, watering, pest and disease control and of course, harvesting.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – December

Monthly Tips & Tasks – December

November 28, 2018

December is the real start of Summer and after a very changeable Spring we look forward to a more settled and warmer time. Overall Spring has been a good growing season and as a result there has been a good set of both stone and pip. Because of this there is a need to thin out the developing fruit so that the size and quality of the crop is achieved.

The planting of Summer annuals needs to be completed and with the possibility of water restrictions mulching in as much of the garden areas as possible should be done to help retain soil moisture.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – November

Monthly Tips & Tasks – November

October 30, 2018

November for me is the busiest time of the growing season with much to do and plenty to enjoy.

The weather is as expected in the Spring, changeable but showing signs as predicted, trending towards dryer than average, slightly warmer and sunny. This makes the season earlier so the need to mulch around the garden to help retain moisture becomes important.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – October

Monthly Tips & Tasks – October

October 2, 2018

June has been a very frustrating month in the garden with little sun and plenty of rain and drizzle. Because of these conditions I have done little in the outside garden but have spent time in the greenhouses doing maintenance and sorting out plants that are past their best.

This weather pattern looks as though it may continue for some time so we will have to wait until we get some good sunny days for that outside work. There is no need to worry as there is still plenty of Winter to come to get those outside tasks completed.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – September

Monthly Tips & Tasks – September

August 28, 2018

June has been a very frustrating month in the garden with little sun and plenty of rain and drizzle. Because of these conditions I have done little in the outside garden but have spent time in the greenhouses doing maintenance and sorting out plants that are past their best.

This weather pattern looks as though it may continue for some time so we will have to wait until we get some good sunny days for that outside work. There is no need to worry as there is still plenty of Winter to come to get those outside tasks completed.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – July

Monthly Tips & Tasks – July

June 28, 2018

June has been a very frustrating month in the garden with little sun and plenty of rain and drizzle. Because of these conditions I have done little in the outside garden but have spent time in the greenhouses doing maintenance and sorting out plants that are past their best.

This weather pattern looks as though it may continue for some time so we will have to wait until we get some good sunny days for that outside work. There is no need to worry as there is still plenty of Winter to come to get those outside tasks completed.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – June

Monthly Tips & Tasks – June

May 29, 2018

In May we are well into Autumn and Winter is about to start. This means that we will slow down on what we need to do around the garden.

Most of the work involves general maintenance and cleaning up, in and around the garden by removing weeds, crop residues, lifting Summer perennials and bulbs and preparing ground for new plantings later in the Spring.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – May

Monthly Tips & Tasks – May

May 1, 2018

In May we are well into Autumn and Winter is about to start. This means that we will slow down on what we need to do around the garden.

Most of the work involves general maintenance and cleaning up, in and around the garden by removing weeds, crop residues, lifting Summer perennials and bulbs and preparing ground for new plantings later in the Spring.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – April

Monthly Tips & Tasks – April

March 29, 2018

March is the month that we see the start of the change of season from Summer to Autumn with the days getting shorter and the trees beginning to show signs of colour. The tasks in the garden also change as we continue to harvest the Summer grown crops, Summer flowers start to fade and lawns will grow with the cooler temperatures and morning dews. Our thoughts must turn now to Winter and preparing the garden for those plants that will provide vegetables and flowers during the Winter and following Spring.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – March

Monthly Tips & Tasks – March

February 28, 2018

March is the month that we see the start of the change of season from Summer to Autumn with the days getting shorter and the trees beginning to show signs of colour. The tasks in the garden also change as we continue to harvest the Summer grown crops, Summer flowers start to fade and lawns will grow with the cooler temperatures and morning dews. Our thoughts must turn now to Winter and preparing the garden for those plants that will provide vegetables and flowers during the Winter and following Spring.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – February

Monthly Tips & Tasks – February

February 1, 2018

Early Spring has arrived with the usual changeable weather typical for this time of the year. This year is no different with the challenge of wet ground from the wet Winter just finished and with the soil at field capacity we will need to be careful when working the ground so as not to damage the soil structure. READ MORE

Monthly Tips & Tasks – December

Monthly Tips & Tasks – December

November 30, 2017

Early Spring has arrived with the usual changeable weather typical for this time of the year. This year is no different with the challenge of wet ground from the wet Winter just finished and with the soil at field capacity we will need to be careful when working the ground so as not to damage the soil structure. READ MORE

Monthly Tips & Tasks – November

Monthly Tips & Tasks – November

October 31, 2017

Early Spring has arrived with the usual changeable weather typical for this time of the year. This year is no different with the challenge of wet ground from the wet Winter just finished and with the soil at field capacity we will need to be careful when working the ground so as not to damage the soil structure. READ MORE

Monthly Tips & Tasks – October

Monthly Tips & Tasks – October

September 28, 2017

Early Spring has arrived with the usual changeable weather typical for this time of the year. This year is no different with the challenge of wet ground from the wet Winter just finished and with the soil at field capacity we will need to be careful when working the ground so as not to damage the soil structure. READ MORE

Monthly Tips & Tasks – September

Monthly Tips & Tasks – September

August 30, 2017

Early Spring has arrived with the usual changeable weather typical for this time of the year. This year is no different with the challenge of wet ground from the wet Winter just finished and with the soil at field capacity we will need to be careful when working the ground so as not to damage the soil structure. READ MORE

Monthly Tips & Tasks – August

Monthly Tips & Tasks – August

July 31, 2017

August is the last month of Winter or the start of Spring? This is my annual quandary because it is a bit of both; cold and wet at the start then becoming milder as the first signs of growth and flowers appear. This is the time when we should complete Winter pruning and spray programmes on fruit trees and plant new fruit trees, and berry fruits.

Monthly Tips & Tasks – June 2017

Monthly Tips & Tasks – June 2017

May 28, 2017

From Michael Coulter The weather has cooled down and we have started to have frosts as the late Autumn, early Winter season arrives. We can now think about those tasks that will need to be done over the next few months, many which we can only do when the fine days allow us to be … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – May 2017

Monthly Tips & Tasks – May 2017

April 29, 2017

From Michael Coulter Autumn is really with us the weather as been wet and windy which has effected the plants in our gardens causing an early end to some of our crops and also some damage to trees and shrubs.Repair damaged branches to trees and shrubs by cutting back to healthy branches close to a … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – April

Monthly Tips & Tasks – April

March 31, 2017

From Michael Coulter Autumn is almost here and the first of the trees are showing colour and the mornings are cooler with dew on the lawns. This is a busy time as we need to get our gardens ready for the coming season as well as making the most of the fruit, vegetables and flowers … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – March

Monthly Tips & Tasks – March

February 28, 2017

From Michael Coulter February has been a windy, dry and warm month which has kept me busy in the garden trying to keep up with all the work as well as the extra watering needed to keep the plants healthy. All my stone fruit has been harvested and I am now looking forward to apples … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – February

Monthly Tips & Tasks – February

January 30, 2017

From Michael Coulter January has been a month of real challenges in the garden this Summer with winds, hot days followed by cool days and some rain. Despite this I have had plenty of good growth and fruit to harvest although some plants are running a little later than usual. Much of the work to … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – December

Monthly Tips & Tasks – December

November 29, 2016

From Michael Coulter December is the start of the Summer weather and plants are now well into their rapid growth with many of the Spring-planted crops ready for harvest. Many of the pest and diseases that attack our plants will also begin to appear so we will need to take action to mitigate the damage … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – November

Monthly Tips & Tasks – November

November 1, 2016

From Michael Coulter Spring weather has at last given us some rain so the top soil now has some good moisture but the sub soil is still dry, this means that we will still have to water our gardens to keep the moisture up where the plants are growing. The warmer temperatures plus humidity from … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – October

Monthly Tips & Tasks – October

October 1, 2016

From Michael Coulter Spring is well and truly here. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom and the city is clothed in a kaleidoscope of Spring flowers of all colours and types. We are still in need of rain to get the soil moisture up to a good level for the coming growing season. I … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – September 2016

Monthly Tips & Tasks – September 2016

August 30, 2016

From Michael Coulter September, the start of the very busy time in the Spring garden. As I write this it is raining, I hope that we get a good amount as we really need some to give the soil a moisture boost to start the season off. I have noticed that some of the Spring … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – August 2016

Monthly Tips & Tasks – August 2016

July 28, 2016

From Michael Coulter August sees the transition of the seasons from Winter to early Spring. The days are getting longer and the sun has more warmth. This time of the season can be very challenging in the garden; it can be very cold to quite warm which tells us that we must get on and … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – July 2016

Monthly Tips & Tasks – July 2016

June 29, 2016

Winter has started with some changeable weather and frosts but so far there has not been any extremes. Now that the shortest day is past, our thoughts turn to the Winter work around the garden. Pruning fruit trees and roses are the main plants for this time of the season but other shrubs and trees … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – June 2016

Monthly Tips & Tasks – June 2016

May 30, 2016

June is the start of Winter, the last of the leaves have fallen and lawns and most plants have stopped growing.  Much of the work around the garden is about protecting plants from the cold weather, this means moving any pots of tender plants into areas that are protected from the frosts, cold winds and … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks May 2016

Monthly Tips & Tasks May 2016

April 28, 2016

May is the busy month of the Autumn as Winter approaches there are many tasks in the garden to be completed before the cold weather arrives. Leaves need to be collected and made into compost. Paths kept clean and treated for moss and lawns repaired and treated for weeds. The planting of Spring bulbs and … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks April 2016

Monthly Tips & Tasks April 2016

March 30, 2016

April really is the start of Autumn, the leaves are changing colour and the mornings are cooler. I have been busy picking my apples, tomatoes, peppers and sweet corn all of which I have had a very good crop this year. I am also busy getting the last of my Winter vegetable crops planted and … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – March 2016

Monthly Tips & Tasks – March 2016

February 28, 2016

March late Summer and the start of the early Autumn season is a time of harvest and preparation for Winter crops. Apples and pears are at their very best and nothing can compare with the flavour of tree ripened fruit. There is still plenty of colour in the flower garden, to keep the flowers in … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – February 2016

Monthly Tips & Tasks – February 2016

January 27, 2016

Summer is a real mixed bag of weather with some hot days and then some quite cool days, still not much rain and plenty of wind. Many of the early Spring sown or planted crops are now finished so they can be pulled out and the ground prepared for the planting of Winter crops. Leeks, … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – December 2015

Monthly Tips & Tasks – December 2015

November 29, 2015

From Michael Coulter December, the beginning of Summer and all those flowers, fruit and vegetables to grow and harvest. We are well behind on our rain fall and the ground is very dry so we need to manage our watering well to ensure that our garden will produce good results. Mulching will become more important … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – November 2015

Monthly Tips & Tasks – November 2015

October 29, 2015

From Michael Coulter November is one of the really busy times in the garden as it is the end of Spring and the start of Summer. With the warmer and longer days plants and weeds grow at a very rapid rate as do many of the pests and diseases that will attack them. The weather … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – October 2015

Monthly Tips & Tasks – October 2015

September 28, 2015

Spring has finally arrived albeit about 10 days late. We are still behind on rainfall and the risk of frosts is still with us so we need to approach the season with some caution and patience. October is one of the very busy times in the garden as much of what we do now determines … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – September 2015

Monthly Tips & Tasks – September 2015

August 30, 2015

The end of Winter and the start of Spring is the beginning of the growing season and when work in the garden really determines results for the coming growing season. The old saying, “well begun is half done” can be applied to the garden, so start the season off properly by doing the right tasks … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – August 2015

Monthly Tips & Tasks – August 2015

July 27, 2015

August in the garden is a month when we can start to think about Spring and the tasks to come. Although the days are noticeably getting longer there is still plenty of cold and frosty weather to come. Many Winter tasks can be completed, like pruning and Winter spraying. Moving deciduous fruit trees and other … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – July 2015

Monthly Tips & Tasks – July 2015

June 29, 2015

July is one of the coldest months of the year and there is not much plant growth (weeds seem to be the exception) so much of the activity in the garden involves pruning, general clean up and maintenance. There are pruning demonstrations to be held on Saturday 4 and 11 July which will help to … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – June 2015

Monthly Tips & Tasks – June 2015

May 25, 2015

As Winter approaches work in the garden slows down. With shorter and colder days it is better to choose the days that are fine and sunny to do the work as much that needs to be done is not as urgent as in the Spring and Summer. So far the weather has been quite mild … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – May 2015

Monthly Tips & Tasks – May 2015

April 28, 2015

May is the start of many tasks around the garden to prepare for the coming Winter. With shorter days gardening time is reduced but do remember to keep your Winter garden safe. Treat paths and decks for moss and keep leaves off drives and paths where they may become a hazard, especially when wet. Cut … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks – April 2015

Monthly Tips & Tasks – April 2015

March 31, 2015

Michael Coulter’s Top Tasks April is a busy month in the garden with the start of Autumn and cooler nights mean that we must get ready for the coming Winter. The Summer annuals are at the end of their flowering season so they need to be removed and the ground worked over and rested before … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks March 2015

Monthly Tips & Tasks March 2015

February 27, 2015

Michael Coulter’s Top Tasks We are now getting well through Summer and have had to put up with some challenges, hot and dry weather especially, which has effected how the garden has responded. In the vegetable garden regular deep watering has given me abundant crops of high quality produce but I have needed extra fertilisers … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks February 2015

January 28, 2015

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 … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks January 2015

Monthly Tips & Tasks January 2015

January 6, 2015

Michael Coulter’s Top Tasks January is the month of many tasks in the garden. To keep plants healthy and in full production it is important to have a regular schedule of work that involves weeding, watering, harvesting and replanting for a continual supply or fruit, vegetables and flowers. It is better to try and have … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks December 2014

Monthly Tips & Tasks December 2014

November 27, 2014

Michael Coulter’s Top Tasks Now is a very busy time in the garden. Plant growth is rapid and we need to keep on top of the many tasks that need to be done. The weather has been very changeable with a lot of wind. This means that we will have to keep up the watering … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks November 2014

Monthly Tips & Tasks November 2014

October 30, 2014

As I write this it is Labour weekend, the time that we gardeners start to plant the warmer loving plants in our vegetable and flower gardens. The weather will still be changeable so we need to watch out for any late frosts on our more tender plants. We have had little rain and the ground … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks October 2014

Monthly Tips & Tasks October 2014

September 25, 2014

The month of October is one of the busiest times in the garden. The days are now longer than the nights and along with the higher temperatures plant growth from now on will be very rapid. Flower Garden Keep the water up on daffodils so that they grow well to produce next season’s flowers, also … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks September 2014

Monthly Tips & Tasks September 2014

September 7, 2014

The days are getting longer and at the end of the month daylight saving starts, meaning plants begin their growth, flowers burst out and our garden work really gets under way. One of the best tips at this time of year is to do today what needs to be done as tomorrow may be too … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks August 2014

Monthly Tips & Tasks August 2014

July 31, 2014

August is one of the coldest months of the year but it is also the Winter month closest to Spring so our thoughts must now turn to the tasks needed to be completed as Spring approaches. Much of the work is preparation for the sowing of seeds, planting and cleaning up of weeds. As the days lengthen day time temperature can be quite warm which can bring on new growth but be aware that nights will still be cold and there will be plenty of frosts to come.

Monthly Tips & Tasks July 2014

Monthly Tips & Tasks July 2014

June 26, 2014

We are having a very wet Winter so far so this will restrict much of what we can do in the garden during this month. It will be better to wait for improved weather so that we will not do any harm in and around the garden. Most of the work needed to be done … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks June 2014

Monthly Tips & Tasks June 2014

May 29, 2014

Flower Garden Now is the time to get the last of the Spring bulbs planted especially tulips and lilies. As the ground allows plantings of polyanthus, pansy, violas and other Spring flowers can continue. New stock of roses are arriving in the nurseries so get in early to get the best choice of plants. Prepare … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks May 2014

Monthly Tips & Tasks May 2014

May 1, 2014

Flower Garden Carry on with bulb planting. Remember many bulbs do just as well in pots. Plant Spring flowering plants such as polyanthus, primulas, pansies, poppies and forget-me-nots. Lift dahlias and begonias after frosts, cut back the tops and store in a cool dark place. Cut back by about 1/3 chrysanthemums as the flowers finish. … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks April 2014

Monthly Tips & Tasks April 2014

March 25, 2014

Flower Garden As summer flowers pass their best remove them and prepare the ground for planting for Winter/Spring flowers like pansy, wall flowers, polyanthus and violas. Now is bulb planting time. Choose good firm unblemished bulbs and plant as soon as possible so they get a good start. Sow sweet peas now in good deep … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks March 2014

March 2, 2014

Fruit & Vegetable Garden Time to plant winter veggies like cabbages, cauliflowers and broccoli. Any ground that is going to be vacant you can think about putting a green crop in – lupins, barley and mustard all help to improve the soil structure. Keep picking tomatoes and removing lower leaves to encourage fruit to ripen. … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks December 2013

December 18, 2013

Great weather.  Been looking on the computer.Rainfall been below normal and well below normal across most of the South Island.  Temperatures were above average throughout most of New Zealand.  Had a few winds. Of the main centres, Auckland was the warmest, Dunedin the coolest,  Wellington the wettest and Tauranga was the sunniest.  Christchurch was the … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks November 2013

November 19, 2013

It has been rather windy.  I lost a few panels on my growing tunnels although the last couple of days have been really nice. We can still expect the odd windy spell.  It has been an interesting spring.  N.I.W.A. said a number of weather records around the country were broken in October  –  some a … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks October 2013

October 3, 2013

My first day in shorts.  It has been a marvelous spring.  Things are earlier than usual. Don’t go putting in warm loving plants just yet.  Put tomatoes in a warm corner, but not outside.  It’s still too early.  The nor’ easter is a most limiting wind. The NIWA weather outlook: September 2013 was characterised by much … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks September 2013

September 10, 2013

September – All About Gardening With Michael Coulter You know its springtime….the body starts to seize up. Meant to get a Southerly last night but I think it took a detour. Typical Canterbury weather.  Warmest August on record for New Zealand. Record high August mean temperatures recorded throughout N.Z.  This made the warmest August on … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks August 2013

August 13, 2013

AUGUST  –  ALL ABOUT GARDENING With Michael Coulter N.I.W.A said, ‘Mild winter – outbreaks of southerlies’…They were exactly right. It was the 4th – warmest July on record for N.Z…  Very warm in the South, dry in the North.  A very warm July was experienced in the South Island.  Mean temperatures for July were well … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks July 2013

July 9, 2013

JULY  –  ALL ABOUT GARDENING With Michael Coulter Overall, temperatures for winter 2013 are likely to be above average, with warmer temperatures in Canterbury.   However, don’t be fooled, as frosts, cold snaps and even snow conditions should be expected in many areas from time to time.  That’s just typical of winter.  We have had a … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks June 2013

June 19, 2013

JUNE ALL ABOUT GARDENING With Michael Coulter Winters here. NIWA has said that what we got the last few weeks is basically what we’ll get all through June.   May was cold.  Hate winter.  Hate cold. Overall, temperatures for winter 2013 (June – August) are very likely to be above average across the entire country. However, … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks May 2013

May 28, 2013

MAY 2013 ALL ABOUT GARDENING 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 … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks February 2013

March 12, 2013

What works quickly as a ground cover?

Little nandinas. Otherwise known as Heavenly Bamboo plants. They are completely unrelated to bamboo. Plant them close enough so they look as though they are talking to each other. With using bark as a ground cover….use nuggets and not chips.

Monthly Tips & Tasks January 2013

February 26, 2013

It’s been a darn good summer and tested  us as gardeners.  Extremely sunny across New Zealand.  The combination of northwest winds and the ‘blocking high’ resulted in record January sunshine across the eastern South Island. Temperatures were above average. Of the six main centres in January 2013, Auckland was the warmest, Dunedin the coolest, Wellington … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks December 2012

December 20, 2012

Many of our members are establishing new gardens on old sites post-earthquake. This might pose some problems so look out for: Interference from surroundings such as established big trees over the fence that might take all the nutrients and moisture from the soil. You will need to compensate for this at least until your new … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks November 2012

November 27, 2012

With Michael Coulter How’s your Spring? It has been a traditional hot/cold start to spring.  It was predicted. It was relatively stormy October, with more frequent southwest winds and lower pressures than usual affecting New Zealand.  These south-westerly winds produced a rather cool October for the south and the west of the South Island. Of … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks September 2012

September 11, 2012

August – All About Gardening With  Michael  Coulter Michael opened with last night’s brilliant display of  lightning and roaring thunder, followed by ‘golf-ball sized’ hailstones.  ‘’I lost about 100 panes in my glasshouse’’ he said.  Hailstones in some suburbs measured about 3cm in diameter.  Metservice weather forecaster, Allister Gorman, said hailstones larger than 20 millimetres … Read More

Monthly Tips & Tasks August 2012

August 21, 2012

August – All About Gardening With  Michael  Coulter It was good to see a book on New Zealand’s Native Trees was crowned New Zealand Post Book of the Year at a recent gala dinner in Auckland.  Seven years work, more than 100,000 four-wheel drive kilometres and countless hours walking in dense forest paid off for … Read More