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December

Summer is here - which means it’s time to plan your summer garden.
 
There are endless options of what to plant at this time of year. Eggplants, tomatoes, cucumberschillies, watermelon and rockmelon are all summer-loving fruit and vege. Keep up your continual planting (some every few weeks) of lettuces, spring onions, radishes, coriander and basil; to maintain a constant supply over summer.
 
Stake your climbers (tomatoes, beans, cucumbers) as you plant them – so don’t damage their roots later on. If you’re short on room did you know zucchinis can also be staked to grow vertically too?
Ensure your veges success by attracting bees to your garden. I encourage you to "think like a bee" to create a pollinator rich garden. Bees enjoy flowers in a variety of shapes and sizes, especially blue ones. Planting flowers like foxgloves, calendulas, zinnias and cornflowers will all attract bees.
 
They're also a big fan of edible plants that flower. They love herbs likes lavender, sagebasil and rosemary. Plant these alongside your tomatoes, beans and fennel.
 
Planting established Natives will also attract the bees. Akeake, hibiscusmanuka and kanuka are all suitable to plant at the moment; they’ll add some texture and depth to your garden.
 
It’s also time to harvest your garlic. Traditionally garlic harvesting should occur on the longest day of the year (21st December) but keep an eye out on the leaves – if it’s turning a yellowish colour it’s time to pull them out; you don’t want your hard work to go to waste.
 
Also keep an eye out on your zucchinitomatoes and capsicums as they are prone to blossom end rot. Blossom end rot is a fungal disease which is caused by a calcium deficiency; which is a result of irregular watering. The best way to prevent it from spreading is to cut the infected leaves off and burn it – do not throw it in your compost heap as it will spread.  And take care of those weeds - with the humid weather they’ll be growing like crazy. Harvest your herbs early to prevent them from going to seed.
 
It’s also getting to the end of lawn sowing season unless you’re prepared to water new lawns daily.
You’ll also need to apply fertiliser to your crops, for tomatoes I recommend using Tui tomato food; and for an all-round fertiliser try their Tui organic seaweed tonic.

Enquire about: December