You may have noticed the temperature dropping, which means it's time to get those soup vege planted as well as tidy up your garden and start thinking about your spring orchard! Check out our May gardening guide below
General Tidy up
- Rake up leaves
- Prune grapevines and fruit trees
- Mulch vegetable and fruit gardens
- Move or cover frost-tender plants
- Harvest feijoa and last of passionfruit
- Pick up rose leaves and discard
- Turn over soil and replenish gardens
- Deadhead flowers to encourage growth during spring.
- Get your bird feeders out
Before you start your vege planting, it’s important to replenish your soil by adding a fresh load of compost and add some natural fertilisers such as sheep pellets a dressing of lime to sweeten the soil, encourage plant growth and help prevent clubroot, Be sure to dig the soil over first before planting.
If you have already planted your vegetables in prep for winter harvesting, don’t forget to stagger your planting to ensure that you have a continuous supply over winter.
If you’re not going to grow any winter vegies, try growing a cover crop. Mustard is a good cover crop to grow, but not if you’re planting it where you’ve previously grown brassicas as it’s also a member of the brassica family and if there’s any clubroot in the soil it will promote it.
Another good cover crop is blue lupin, which isn’t a member of the brassica family. When the cover crop has matured, dig it into the soil. This will get the soil ready for next season’s planting.
May is also the time to start thinking about creating or adding to your orchard in spring. Weed the areas where you’re going to plant so they’re all ready for when the fruit trees become available from nurseries in June/July.
Flower and herb garden
We’re all about cornflowers this month! They’re a great addition to any winter garden and not only do they produce striking flowers from early spring to winter, but they’re also super easy to grow and make great bedding and border flowers and a great option for hanging baskets.
When planting your cornflowers plant them in an area that will get full sun and plant your seedlings at least 25cm apart. Cornflowers are quite forgiving and tolerate dry conditions and self-seed so they’re a great space filler in larger gardens.
If you’re looking to create a winter cottage garden, plant flowers like stock, antirrhinums, poppies, and statice. Pansies and carnations are super popular this time of the year too and if you’re looking for some climbers try planting some sweet peas.
In your herb garden plant some rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme. If you’re thinking about companion planting your herbs, remember that rule number one is to make sure that you plant herbs that like similar conditions. Plant herbs such as coriander, chives and dill grow together as they all like a lot of moisture. Herbs like rosemary, sage, lavender and thyme grow well together as they prefer drier conditions. You can companion plant your herbs throughout your vege garden to deter pests and diseases. Check out our guide here.
Rake up your leaves for composting. But watch out for the leaves from some trees, like black walnuts, which have toxins in their fallen leaves called hydro juglone that can cause other plants to turn yellow, wilt and die. English walnut, hickory and pecan trees also produce small amounts of hydro juglone. The best way to collect and compost your other leaves is to first shred them by running over them with a lawnmower. Then tip a layer of leaves into a black plastic rubbish bag, sprinkle over a handful of garden lime and continue the layers until the bag is full. Tie the top of the bag and poke holes all over it. Place it somewhere sunny and leave it to break down. In summer you will have a lovely mulch to apply around your plants.
Natives are a great addition to any garden! You may have noticed that we have a few seedling options available for our natives. May is the optimal planting time for these seedlings that way it gives their roots time to establish before the dry and warm weather reappears. We currently have pittosporum, akeake, carex grasses and Festuca actea seedlings available, these are a great option for larger planting areas and if you need plants in bulk.
You can find all these products on our online shop www.awapuni.co.NZ or pop into our local shop on pioneer highway (10 am -2 pm).