Summer is just around the corner, so now is the time to give your garden some love before the much warmer weather hits.
What to Plant
Now we’re in the heart of spring, you should have planted the majority of your spring and summer vegetable garden. But it’s not too late to plant tomatoes, so you can enjoy a great crop long into February.
In the southern states, make the most of your thriving veggie patch by adding pumpkins, squash and sweet potato. Only have a small backyard or patio? The Golden Nugget is a small pumpkin that is great for individual servings and stuffing.
There’s still time for zucchinis. In recent years, lots of different zucchinis have come onto the market. As well as the “Blackjack”, look out for a yellow variety called “Gold Rush” (great for relishes), the tasty Globe Zucchini, and the sweeter Lebanese Zucchini. This petite variety is ideal for small patches and balcony gardens.
Are you dreaming of juicy sweetcorn on the BBQ? Plant it now and it will be ready by mid-summer. Add some salad veggies, if you haven’t already, like cucumber, red onion, radish, capsicum, lettuce and spring onion.
Warmer climates are great for herbs, so be sure to sow basil, mint, sage, parsley, dill and thyme. Chives love the sunnier weather and will reward you with little pink flowers, which look and taste great in summer salads.
Now is the time to plant your rockmelon and watermelon seeds. Both need a position with full sun, so they can enjoy a long hot growing season. When it comes to nutrients and water, both fruits are hungry and vigorous plants, so be sure to mulch your veggie patch and water them well.
Pop in your berry plants too – blueberry, strawberry, boysenberry, raspberry and loganberry.
In all regions, add some colour to your garden with easy-to-grow flower seeds, such as sunflowers, lobelia, marigolds, vinca, alyssum, verbena and aster. Plant petunias, zinnias and alstroemerias (Princess Lily) in a sunny position and enjoy colourful blooms from mid-spring to late autumn.
What to Pick
Stone fruits, like peaches, apricots, nectarines and plums, are ripe for the picking. Because they can stand the heat, they can be successfully grown in tropical and cooler climates.
Don’t forget to pick some beans, carrots, potatoes and zucchinis too – they’re great all year round.
And pull out those weeds too!
What to do
Keep fertilising your garden throughout this busy growing season. Because plants are growing so rapidly, they quickly deplete the soil of many nutrients. Add a “pick-me-up” fertiliser, like a seaweed solution together with an all-over fertiliser. This will increase your plants’ resistance to heat, promote healthy growth and improve the water efficiency of the soil.
Top up the mulch on your beds with sugar cane mulch or pea straw mulch. This will insulate the soil from extreme heat and help with water retention during drier months.
Remember to protect your plants from diseases and insects. Add some Yates Rose Shield to take care of the most common rose problems, including black spot, aphids, rust and powdery mildew. Eco-oil is a great way to kill sap-sucking insects such as aphids, white fly, mites, scale and citrus leafminer. It also attracts the beneficial predator insects like lady beetles.
Pyrethrum is a great way to protect plants from all sorts of insects, including snails, slugs, caterpillars and aphids. Spray your plants when you first see the insects, then repeat on a weekly basis.