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Hot Zone

What to do in the garden

September

Spring heralds the beginning of a frenetic planting period where all areas of the garden can be added to with new plantings. 

Deciduous fruit trees, ornamentals and fruiting grape vines along with citrus will all thrive when planted now, but leave the subtropicals until next month.

Prune frost damaged plants after any further likelihood of frost, pruning back to green wood as the increased warmth, as well as pruning, will quickly stimulate new growth.

As a general rule, prune as required and follow immediately by giving a good feed with a complete fertiliser - this will promote spring growth followed by summer flowering.

Poor rain fall this year is creating drought-like conditions, so give the garden a deep watering to stimulate and promote strong healthy spring growth.

Practice companion planting to improve flavour and growth along with limiting pest problems. If planting tomatoes add marigolds to deter nematodes, basil to improve flavour and parsley to provide a home for ladybirds to emerge daily and devour any aphids.

Keep a close eye on the emergence of cabbage moth, aphides and a varieties of loopers and grubs as they can wreak havoc in the vegetable and herb garden if left unchecked.

Yellow sticky traps throughout the garden act as sentinels providing a 24 hour watch. Monitor them daily and on observing any new insect pests and act as appropriate. Use a stocky trap with a guard to protect non-targeted animal interference.

Spring/summer herbs generally thrive in container gardens when planted now. Mint can be kept under control and lemongrass planted now will flourish.

Spring is the best time to introduce a wide range of edible plants from summer vegetables, citrus, deciduous fruit trees, container grown grape vines, passionfruit and a variety of berry producing vines and plants.

Chillies thrive when sown now, with late September and October providing the best results for propagating a range of “Bush Tucker” plants.

If you've been harvesting asparagus since early July, allow the spears to fully develop now along with giving the plants a supplementary side-dressing of a high nitrogen fertiliser. Rest the plants for a couple of months and then remove all foliage and commence harvesting spears again for six weeks leading up to Christmas.

Citrus fruit should be regularly harvested as they mature to limit potential fruit fly problems, remembering overripe fruit is most likely to attract fruit fly if this pest is a problem in your region.

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, basil, beans, capsicum, carrot, celtuce, chilli, chives, choko, coriander, corn, cucumber, dill, eggplant, leek, lettuce, mint, okra, pumpkin, radish, rockmelon, rosella, silverbeet, spinach (NZ), spring onion, squash, watermelon, zucchini.

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

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Things to do this month

Plant herbs in pots

Herbs like thyme, oregano and chives are perfect for pots. Now is the time to plant them to take advantage for the spring growing season. Don't forget to use a good quality mix and feed them every month or so. 

Tie up broad beans

Broad Beans will be growing fast now and unsupported plants will topple over. Tie up plants to a string line supported by garden stakes to keep them upright. 

Feed your bulbs!

As spring flowering bulbs die back, give them a last minute feed to plump up bulbs for next season. A few handfuls of pelletised manure will do the trick. 

Things to do in November

Feed your plants

The garden will be full of spring colour now and summer perennials will be preparing to flower soon. To get the best display for months on end, feed your plants regularly with a good quality compost or organic fertiliser. 

Apply mulch to garden beds

With summer just around the corner, now is the time to mulch garden beds to conserve soil moisture over the drier months to come. A layer of about 8-10cm is generally ideal for most beds. 

Keep an eye out for bugs

Pests love to feed on the lush spring growth so at this time of year be ready to act. Aphids are attracted to new growth and can spread diseases from one plant to another. Threat them with a chilli and garlic remedy, soapy water or a leave them to the Lady Bugs!

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 sow Chilli Seeds

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FIELD OF SUNFLOWERS COLLECTION
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It seems impossible to only grow one variety of Sunflower with the iconic joy they bring to the summer garden. Why not grow a small field with the wonder and diversity of Sunflowers from the multi-stemmed and rich ‘Prado Red’, the iconic single-stemmed ‘Van Gogh’, ethereal ‘Moonwalker’ and the colossal ‘Giant Russian’. All sunflower wishes and d...
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2 year membership  + Free Seed Sowing Poster and 2 seed packets
2 year membership + Free Seed Sowing Poster and 2 seed packets
Membership: MNE2SP2
A beautifully illustrated heirloom ‘sow what when’ poster for all areas of Australia so that you'll never have to think about what to sow this month again! You will also receive some free Kale 'Red Russian' and Broccoli 'Green Sprouting' seeds to get your garden started.
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