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

More >>

Things to do in February

Deadheading flowers

Trim off old flower heads on summer flowering perennials to encourage the growth of new flower buds. Not only will your plants look tidier, but they will reward you with a longer display of colour. 

Save seeds of beans

Start thinking about saving seeds of beans that are growing now in the vegie patch. Stop picking the beans off one or two plants (depending on how much seed you want) and allow the pods to mature and dry on the bush. Once dry, pop out the seeds and store in a dark, dry place to plant again next season. 

Order spring bulbs

Plan ahead and order spring bulbs now for planting in March. There is always a good range to choose from at this time of year. Try Jonquils and Bluebells for an easy set-and-forget buld display.

Things to do in March

Plant spring flowering bulbs

Spring flowering bulbs should be planted this month. Prepare the ground to a crumbly texture and plant the bulbs tip up (except for Ranunculus which are planted 'claws' down!) As a rule, bulbs are planted to a depth that is twice their length. Water in well.

Plant garlic bulbs

It's also time to plant garlic bulbs. Split the head of garlic into individual cloves and plant tip up into a well prepared, and well drained, soil. Garlic likes to be planted about 3-5cm deep and 7cm apart. Planting garlic now will allow it to develop root and foliage over the autumn and winter, then nice plump bulbs in late spring/summer.

Tidy up the vegie patch

Remove summer crops that you are no longer harvesting from and rejuvenate the soil with compost and well rotted manure for autumn plantings. Pick up any fruit that has fallen onto the ground under fruit trees to prevent a build up of pests and diseases. 

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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