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 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. 

What to do in the garden for July

Visit a garden

We don't often think about visiting gardens in winter, but a winter visit can be most worthwhile. Take time to see how evergreen plants can be used as structural backbones and how hard landscaping is designed to bring together areas of the garden. 

Transplant shrubs

The winter months are the best time to move smaller deciduous plants around the garden. Dig up a good portion of the root ball, then place the plant on a tarp to move to its new location. Plant it to the same depth it was growing before and water in well. 

Grow some sprouts

Get your nutritional fix with healthy, home grown sprouts. Alfalfa, mung beans, radish and broccoli all make delicious sprouts in just 5 to 7 days. 

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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