The heat goes on. February proves to be just as hot and dry as January which is ok if you’re a cactus, but most plants need water, so keep it up. If you’re not like most people and bathing in the sun then continue reading for a list of things to get on with this month.
Lots of flowers will finish flowering now. Remove spent flowers and give a high potassium feed like Tomorite and you’ll likely get another flush of flowers.
Stone fruit can be pruned after they have finished fruiting. They need relatively little pruning, looking to create a vase shape. Follow this link for pruning fruit trees. Pruning in summer minimises the risk of transferring silver leaf disease as it’s not as active this time of year. Remember to clean and sharpen secateurs in between each tree – a surgeon wouldn’t use a dirty scalpel.
Summer fruiting raspberry canes can be pruned once they have finished fruiting. Cut fruited canes down to just above soil level. Old canes will be brown whereas new ones are green. Prune out any new weak spindly looking shoots at the same time. Pruning de-congests the plant encouraging new shoots which will carry next years fruit. Yum! Autumn fruiting raspberries will be getting ready to fruit soon. If you haven’t got one, go now and get one to get a full season from your raspberries. Check raspberries for a barrage of holes, you may have raspberry sawfly. A little spray of natural pyrethrum should fix this but make sure you get the back of the leaf, that’s where they chill.
Keep feeding fruiting vegetables with a liquid potassium feed to make the most of the rest of the growing season and the warm weather.
If you hadn’t noticed, trimming hedges stimulates a flush of growth. If you trim hedges now the consequential growth shouldn’t get burnt in early autumn frosts. Young new growth is always soft and tender, hardening as it matures. Cutting now means that the hedge will slow its growth into autumn and the growth that was spurred into action will harden, avoiding ugly burnt leaves.
Wasps can be a nuisance at the moment. If they have made an inconsiderate nest use Kiwicare’s wasp eliminator puff pack. Use wasp traps for entertaining areas or in trees.
Once your Lavender are finished flowering chop them back by a third to keep them nice and bushy. This will prevent them becoming woody.
Come learn about veggie gardening with Dr Compost at the garden centre on the 24th 6 – 8pm, he’ll tell you the best ways to maximise your veggie garden going into autumn and winter in the glorious Central Otago environment.