Thursday, July 29, 2010

Time to Tidy Up the Garden

Prepare your garden for spring

Spring hasn't quite sprung but I am noticing little signs, here in Christchurch at least, of buds preparing to bursts and weeds beginning increase in number and size on paths and in flower beds.

This is the time to get into the garden and prepare it for the new season. Many plants such as roses, camellias, fruit trees etc. are vulnerable to fungal diseases as their sap begins to rise again.

General Tidy Up
  • Clean up dead leaves and twigs which could harbour disease.
  • Remove moss, mould and slime from paths, drives, fences walls and the bark of trees with NO Moss Mould Mildew.
  • Paint, stain and seal fences, trellis and walls while climbing plants are dormant.

Pruning
  • Roses
  • I wrote earlier in the month about pruning your roses (check out that blog here) so if you haven't done that yet it is worth getting it done now. You fruit trees should also be given the 'once over' following these simple rules:
  • Apple, Pear and Cherry Trees
  • Consider pruning to give the tree a good shape where the tree gets good light throughout and fruit is evenly distributed and easily collected.
  • Remove excess or weak twiggy growth.
  • Apples, pears and cherries grow on spurs (short stubby growths coming from main branches) and these will continue to produce fruit for several years.
  • Spray the trees with preventative fungicide such as NO Fungus Super Sulphur or Copper Oxychloride.
  • Plum Trees
  • Carry out a similar tidy up of plum trees but take care not to over prune as this will promote vigorous growth at the expense of fruit production.
  • Peach and Nectarine Trees
  • Flowers and fruit are produced on the new growth of the previous summer.
  • Prune hard to encourage new growth to prevent fruit being produced too far out along branches.
  • But don’t remove too many flower buds or the current season’s crop will be reduced. Flower buds are round and plump while growth buds are flat.
Weed Killing and Prevention
  • Paths and Drives
  • Spray with NO Weeds Long Term to kill emerging weed and prevent germination of seeds.
  • Flowerbeds
  • Condition and prepare flowerbeds containing established plants, shrubs and trees by digging over, adding organic material and fertiliser and then use Ronstar SG to long term prevention of  germination of weed seeds and bulbs.
  • Soil Safe Weed Control
  • Weeds emerging from areas where planting is to be done now or later in the season can be sprayed with soil safe herbicide such as Buster.
  • Lawns
  • As lawns begin to grow the broadleaved weeds can be controlled by the use of selective weedkillers such as NO Lawn Weeds Turfclean and NO Hydrocotyl.
  • Moss in lawns should be treated with NO Moss concentrate or granules and then the dead moss scarified (raked out).
Fertilise

  • As new growth starts in spring the plants will need good, easily accessed nutrients. Kiwicare Organic Fertiliser is ideal for drenching the roots of plants of all sorts so that they get the most healthy growth and resistance to disease.
Spring is also a good time to make sure your garden equipment is working and cleaned. So check the lawnmower, get it services, sharpen blades and check oil levels. Clean, sharpen and oil secateurs, clippers and other cutting implements. Even cleaning forks and spades will help remove any disease spores that may have overwintered.

Look forward to Spring and Summer in your garden. Be prepared by putting a little effort in now.

Why do potatoes make good lookouts?
Because they keep their eyes peeled.

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