THINGS TO DO IN SUMMER

DECEMBER
 

  • SHADE YOUR CROPS! Use 40-50% shadecloth (preferably white) to protect your vegies from the searing Perth sun.
  • Fruit fly programs should be continued - use splash baits and traps fortnightly and erect nets to decrease fly populations and protect your edibles. Check out www.petercoppin.com for hints.
  • Keep planting and liquid feeding vegies every 2-3 weeks. Continue this as long as you grow vegies. 
  • Buy a CLM trap to capture citrus leaf miner before they attack your citrus. Alternatively, spray new citrus leaves (those about 4-5cm) every 10 -14 days with Eco Oil. Only spray when <30C.
  • Mulch pots (use coco peat) & keep the mulch level up (5cm is ideal) throughout your entire garden. Use a chunky mulch like composted recycled tree prunings or pine bark.
  • Check your indoor plants. Avoid the temptation to overwater them and have them sitting in saucers or near airconditioners. Keep plants moist but not wet.
  • If you haven’t already done so in Spring, apply trace elements to all your trees. While you are there, spray Droughtshield or Stress Protecta to more vulnerable heat stressed trees.
  • Give your cycads manganese sulphate if looking brown and frizzled. This is called ‘frizzle top”. Hint: water first then mix manganese with liquid fertiliser like EcoFish or EcoVital.
  • On a mild day, lightly prune hedges, roses + spring flowering shrubs by 1/4. 
  • Under mulch, lightly dig in worm friendly wetting agents: Grosorb, EcoWet or River Safe.
  • Check reticulation is working and not obstructed with dirt or ants.
  • Plant mangoes (shade them for their 1st 2 summers) bananas, pawpaw now.
  • Feed gardenias a weak cup of cold black tea every 2-3 weeks till March as a pesticide, acidifier and fertiliser. Alternate this with natural liquid fertiliser.
  • Keep liquid feeding vegies every 2-3 weeks. Eco Growth’s Ecofish and EcoVital are both excellent, even better use home made worm/compost tea.
  • Raise height on mower blades for buffalo lawns to avoid scalping in the heat.
  • Give passionfruit and roses slow release fertiliser. If you can be bothered, give them both a liquid feed every 2-4 weeks as well; they are gross feeders.

     JANUARY

  • Spray Drought Shield or Stress Protecta on your vulnerable plants and trees. This is like a sunscreen. It generally lasts 6-8 weeks.
  • Use  Grosorb wetting agent – fork it in, water well, then follow up with Eco Wet liquidthen top up mulch. Treat plants in non wetting soil to some Cassie's Clay or Soil Solver & compost mixed around roots.
  • Consider planting a passion fruit vine. Ensure it’s planted at least 2m away from existing fruit trees or shrubs and avoid disturbing roots once established.
  • Reminder - shade new plantings with shade cloth, nylon curtains or umbrellas in the very hot weather to protect from heat stress until established.
  • Again, check reticulation is working.
  • Go for a swim.
  • If you have powdery mildew on your cucumbers/roses or zucchinis, treat with Eco Fungicide or 1: 10 milk to water. Use a drop of detergent to help stick and spray under leaf as well as over. Do this weekly. If the powdery mildew is extreme, pull the plant out. No spray will fix this issue if the plant is badly affected. Coastal dwellers are often more affected by this fungal disease due to the salt wind.
  • Check for red spider mite & mealy bug on shade plants & roses. Use EcoNeem or DE. (Diotomaceaous Earth - horticultural grade NOT the one for pools!).
  • Feed mangoes, bananas and potted citrus with liquid fertiliser. Do monthly until March.
  • Tie down climbing roses horizontally to encourage more lateral growth and flowers. Use velcro, pantyhose or Ezy Ties to avoid ring barking. Check under ties for pests.
  • Remove agapanthus flowers and any other potentially invasive perennials immediately before they fade to prevent seeding.
  • Check citrus for scale, use Eco oil. Again, avoid spraying when over 30C.
  • Buy or make a neck cooler (the wet ones with water crystals in them) for when you're in the garden.

     FEBRUARY

  • Consider creating a beautiful water garden - either a simple potted one with a few native fish or goldfish or build one in the ground. Water brings a magical element into the garden and is excellent for attracting predators like dragonflies and frogs which will eat your pests.
  • Check mulch again. Before mulching, ensure water is penetrating right through to roots before applying. Leave a mulch free space of about 5cm around stems/trunks.
  • Buy a market umbrella or shade sail if your alfresco area is too hot.
  • Gently summer prune stone fruit and apples/pears now instead of doing so in winter. Don't go hard as this will stress the tree.
  • Prune back wisteria by cutting back all long sappy trailing shoots to 4 or 5 buds from the main stem to encourage flowers next spring. Never prune it in winter unless you don’t want it to flower in spring.
  • Treat your heat stressed plants to a tonic of seaweed liquid every now and then. Eco C Weed is excellent.
 

Have you got a tired old garden which needs a lift? Or are you overwhelmed by a blank canvas?

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