Hot Zone

What to do in the garden

December

With the arrival of the festive season, vegetable gardens should be in full production providing herbs, lots of leafy greens and salad items like tomatoes and capsicums for cool salad dishes. Harvest daily or as crops ripen - they are at their tastiest when first mature and regular picking will promote continuous cropping for many vegetables.

As sweet corn cobs form collect pollen from the top of the plant and sprinkle over the corn cob ear tassels to ensure good corn development on the cobs. You can also hand pollinate zucchini and pumpkin, taking pollen from male flowers to female flowers. If growing rockmelon or watermelon, just transfer pollen from any flower to any other flower. Try encouraging beneficial insects to the garden to get them to assist with pollination by installing an insect hotel and planting or sowing an array of flowers and herbs.

Prepare garden beds now for planting in late January. This will be your second round of summer crops. They will grow rapidly while its hot, and as the temperature drops below 35 degrees fruit will set and ripen well before the onset of winter.

Thin peaches, apricots and nectarines if heavy cropping is evident. Thinning will improve size and quality of fruit. Set up traps and yellow sticky boards to detect the first arrival of fruit fly and on their arrival use traps, lures and baits to attract and kill this destructive pest.

Weed management should be given priority if summer rains have arrived, while also giving priority to watering and mulching on all garden beds.

Check irrigation systems to ensure they are fully operational, reprogram to accommodate increased water needs as summer arrives and change over batteries in irrigation timers on the first of December as batteries often fail over the hottest months when you can least afford any failures.

Re-mulch garden beds to limit water loss through evaporation and to stifle summer weeds. Vegie gardens will appreciate a light feed with an organic pelletised fertiliser and then covered with a layer of pea straw or lucerne to act initially as a mulch while also conditioning the soil adding both organic content and valuable nutrients. The mulch will also stimulate worm, bacterial and good fungal activity.

Check daily for any outbreak of pests and disease, particularly in rainy periods or when humidity levels are high. Move worm farms into the shade if fully exposed to sunlight and ensure moisture levels are adequate. Place the worm farm legs into tins of water to reduce problems with slaters and ants.

 

Seeds to Sow Now

Seeds to sow now if you live in areas like Geraldton, Warburton, Mt Isa and Longreach or places where there are 39 weeks a year or more with temperatures over 15°C

FOR A FULL LIST OF SEEDS TO SOW NOW IN THE HOT ZONE CLICK HERE


Sow now

Basil, corn, okra, rosella, squash, zucchini.

 

If you would like to add this seasons seeds to your shopping cart automatically, CLICK HERE

More >>

Things to do in January

Summer pruning of fruit trees

Start to think about pruning fruit trees after you have harvested the fruit. Pruning at this time of year will restrict the growth of the tree, making it the ideal time to prune espaliered fruits. 

Give fruit trees a good, deep water

If it's been a dry summer, give your fruit trees a good, deep water once a week. This is better than a daily, light water than will only reach roots close to the surface. It will also prevent fruit from splitting. 

Fill up the bird baths

It is not just plants that need a drink over summer! Keep bird baths topped up to help the wildlife cool down. Birds will love having a splash around and it is delightful to watch. 

Vegie Garden Basics

Learn how to create a vegie garden from scratch with our Horticulutral Advisor Julie Willis.

This article includes: 

- location

- soil

- nutrients

- what to grow

- crop rotation and more. 

READ HERE>>

Vegetable Growing Tips

Starting a vegetable garden

- Choose an area that gets full sun and is not too far away from your house. The mid-winter dash to the vegie patch will be easier! 

- A good, healthy soil is the foundation to success so focus on improving the soil before you do any plantings. 

- Know what to sow, when to sow and how. Every vegetable seed has its own growing requirements. We offer a beautiful heirloom Seed Sowing Guide here and a 2018 Gardeners Diary with space for seed packets, garden plans and notes here.

How to sow seeds

How to Compost

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