By ACM – This article first appeared on Port Macquarie
Take advantage of the extended daylight hours to get on top of all those gardening jobs that tend to creep away on you.
Continuously harvesting vegies as they ripen will help you keep on top of things. Keep a particular eye on zucchini, they are best picked at about 15cm long, if left to grow larger they become tough and tasteless.
Stone fruit and tomatoes are ripening about now and should be closely monitored for fruit fly. Any infected fruit should be placed in sealed bags in the bin.
Bronze orange bugs, found on citrus trees, increase in number during November, these large stink bugs can cause significant damage to the developing fruit. Remove by hand, or by using a pyrethrin spray.
Aphids are also increasing in numbers particularly on soft young shoots of roses and vegetables. Simply spray them with soapy water to help reduce numbers.
Weeding is always in vogue this time of year. Remove weeds before they flower and set seed, hand weed wherever possible for an environmentally-friendly option.
In lawns where broadleaf weeds have established, the use of selective broadleaf herbicide may be required.
Check the label for compatibility with your lawn variety and mow regularly now with a high cutter height to keep the lawn in good shape over summer.
Australian native plants that have come to the end of their spring flower display can now be pruned to encourage new growth.
Plants such as hybrid grevilleas, bottle brush, native fuchsia, mint bush and crowea will all respond well to pruning. Apply a slow release native fertiliser immediately after pruning. Other spring flowering shrubs can also be pruned immediately after flowering.
Top up mulches to retain soil moisture provided by recent rains. This helps reduce weeds that may germinate in garden beds.
Re-potting pot plants into fresh premium potting mix with added water storing crystals and wetting agent will help them ride out the drying effects of the warm weather ahead.
Plant seedlings of petunia or callibrachoa ‘million bells’ in pots or hanging baskets now for a stunning holiday display.
The serenade of the cicadas and the chorus line of frogs in the garden are an indication that summer is just about here, so roll up the sleeves and get cracking; it’s a jungle out there.