General Tidy up:
- Apply lawn fertiliser
- Keep an eye on moss and apply iron sulphate
- Tidy up pots and hanging baskets
- If you haven’t already prune your roses
- Remove dead leaves from grasses
- Trim your hedges
We’re a month away from spring which means it’s time to tidy up, prep your garden beds and if you’re planting potatoes, start to chit them now.
When it comes to planting, it’s now time to get your strawberries, potatoes, beetroot and onions.
We love homegrown onions! You can grow them pretty much anywhere in the garden – they also grow well in pots. But make sure the soil is friable (goes crumbly when you touch it). If it’s not, simply give it a good dig over and add a bit of compost and fertiliser.
Red and Pukekohe Longkeeper onions need to be planted 10cm apart. And if you’re growing them in rows, make the rows 20cm apart. Companion plant spinach in between the rows. Or you could try growing spring onions in between. They will be ready to harvest much earlier at around six to eight weeks, so will be out of the rows before the larger onions need the space. Simply, plant your spring onions around 4cm apart from the next.
You can harvest your spring onions at any time. But the longer you leave them the bigger they will get until they go to seed. Your larger onions will take around 20 to 24 weeks to get ready and you can tell when they are because they start to pop right out of the ground. If they start to flower, we are commend harvesting them as onions that have started to bolt or go to seed don’t store very well. Don’t worry if they’re green, you can still eat them
If you’re planning on planting potatoes this year, you’ll need to ’chit’ them beforehand, to give them the best possible start. Chitting your potatoes means allowing them to sprout. We recommend letting the sprouts grow to around 10-15cm prior to planting - which roughly takes four weeks. For more information on how to plant your potatoes check out our video (link).
Strawberries are a kiwi summer favourite - get them in now so that they’ll be ready for Christmas. For the best results dig some Tui strawberry food into your soil prior to planting, then mound the soil up in your garden bed, as this encourages air circulation as well as good drainage. Plant your seedlings along the moulds to encourage your strawberries to hangover, and to prevent the fruit from rotting. Water regularly and apply a good dose of Tui strawberry food every couple of weeks. If you’re planting enough strawberries to feed the family, we recommend planting four to five plants per person. Our mega bundles are a great option for large planting.
Cover with netting to keep the birds away, and watch out for slugs! You can apply Tui Quash (for slugs) around your vege plants or try a beer bait (link).
Peony poppies, one of the most beautiful flowers in our opinion. Peony poppies are easy to grow and don’t take much work and even if they did, they would be worth it. Their double bloom and “pompom” effect adds little something extra to your garden.
Peony poppies love the sun so, As I said above, look for a sunny, warm and well-drained spot in your garden to plant your new seedlings. Garden beds next to the house are the perfect planting spot because of the cover and protection the house provides.
Once you've found the right spot simply dig a little hole and plant. It pays to water them once they are planted, as this will help them get started. But after that, they shouldn't require much watering. If you do think they need a drink, be careful not to overhead water as they don't take kindly to it and can get squashed by wind or rain.
In around just six to eight weeks you can expect a fantastic injection of layered colour in your garden. Remember, to de-head the flowers when they die, and they will keep flowering longer.
As the bees have been taking a bit of “break” this winter, start thinking about your perfect bee garden. Honey bees and bumblebees are two of the most prominent bees in New Zealand. If you’re wanting to create the perfect bee garden, plant a mixture of flowers and vege to encourage these little pollinators.
Plant hollyhocks, cosmos, foxgloves, echium, dahlias and calendula. You can also plant herbs throughout your gardens such as mint, sage, thyme, bee balm, coriander and rosemary.
Don’t forget there is still time to prune your roses, lavender, passionfruit vines and your feijoas trees just in time for spring. If you’re wanting some spring roses, now is the perfect time to plant them. Plant your roses in rich, free-draining soil and apply plenty of compost.