Hot Zone

What to do in the garden

May

Winter and spring flowering annuals thrive when planted now as will most winter vegetables but it’s now too late for cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

Don’t forget your perennial food plants including artichokes, rhubarb and asparagus, remembering these crops require extensive soil treatment to meet their needs.

Add marigolds, calendulas and nasturtiums for colour in the vegie patch to aid in deterring some pests. Plant colourful violas and pansies for colour in the garden and your food. 

It’s a great time to plant citrus with new seasons trees in stock. They will settle quickly before winter arrives. Now is also a great time to introduce new native plant species into your garden, they love this time of the year.

Watch for aphids - they thrive when temperatures change. Scatter egg shells in the cabbage patch to deter cabbage butterfly or employ the biological bacterial spray Dipel - it's safe for everything except grubs and caterpillars.

Once deciduous fruit trees defoliate a clean-up spray with a fungicide is beneficial now, and later at bud swell time.

As evaporation rates drop, scale down your watering regimes, manage clover as it emerges and prune Chinese Mulberries as they defoliate. General pruning should be left to dead-heading roses and removing dead wood from citrus and native plant species. Winter pruning of deciduous fruit trees, roses and grape vines should be left until mid-June to mid-July.

 

Geoff Miers

Alice Springs, NT

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

Asparagus, artichoke, basil, beans, broad beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, celtuce, chervil, chilli, chives, choko, coriander, corn, dill, kale, leek, lettuce, mint, onion, parsley, parsnip, peas, potato, radish, sage, silver beet, spinach, spring onion, swede, thyme, tomato, turnip, watermelon. 

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

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What to do in the garden

Check tree ties

If your trees are tied to a staked or other support, then check them now to make sure the support is not cutting into the trunks. Material used to tie up trees may have deteriorated over summer, so replace it now to withstand winter winds. 

Divide herbaceous perennials

It is the perfect time to multiply your plant collection by dividing clumps of herbaceous perennials. Clumps of sedums can be 'cut' with a sharp spade and the new, smaller clumps planted around the garden or given away to friends.

Tidy up fallen fruit

Clean up fruit that has fallen off the trees. Pop them in the bin instead of leaving them to rot under the trees and harbour diseases and pests.

What to do in June

Plant strawberry runners

Bare root strawberries can be planted now. Build up the soil to form a small ridge; this ensures that the plants will not get wet feet. Keep a look out for pesky snails and set traps if they become a problem.

Cut back green manure crops

Early sown crops of green manures can be cut back before they begin to flower. Slash down the foliage with a brush-cutter and dig it into the soil to break down.

Prune back raspberry canes

Plan to prune raspberry canes soon. Autumn fruiting varieties are simply cut back to the ground, whilst summer fruiting varieties need to be tip pruned to develop fruiting canes next season. 

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 grow garlic

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