THINGS TO DO IN SUMMER
Scale back your planting – it’s too hot!
- Buy a CLM trap for citrus leaf miner. They work! Excellent if you can't spray with oil when it's over 28-30C.
- Collect parsley and celery seeds from your plants to sow spring/early autumn.
- If you haven’t already done so in Spring, apply trace elements to all your trees. While you are there, spray Yates Drought shield to your vulnerable heat stressed trees (particularly young avocados and thin leafed plants).
- 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.
- Lightly prune hedges, roses + spring flowering shrubs by 1/3.
- Its time to haul out the 40% shadecloth or lace curtains to protect vegies in full sun. This is less crucial to do if you have working wicking beds.
- Under mulch, lightly dig in worm friendly wetting agents: Grosorb, EcoWet or River Safe.
- Keep on top of fruit fly. Check out www.petercoppin.com for hints.
- Check reticulation is working and not obstructed with dirt or ants.
- Mulch: 60-75mm depth is best. Ensure soil is moist before mulching and mulch with a mixture of chunky & fine bits. Use recycled prunings, shredded pine bark or coco-peat.
- Plant mangoes (shade them for their 1st 2 summers) bananas, pawpaw now.
- Feed gardenias, macadamias and raspberries 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. Diluted urine (20: 80 water) also works well!
- Keep liquid feeding vegies every 2-3 weeks. Eco Growth’s Ecofish + EcoVital are excellent, or boost home-made worm/compost tea with seaweed tonic.
- Raise height on mower blades for buffalo lawns to avoid scalping in the heat.
- Give passionfruit and roses slow release fertiliser and a liquid feed. Both are hungry plants and should be fed bi-monthly during their growing seasons.
- 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. Lie on your daybed. Read a book.
- Check for red spider mite & mealy bug on shade plants & roses. Spray with a hose then apply EcoNeem or don’t spray but dust with Diatomaceous Earth.
- 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 Pest Oil or Eco oil. Avoid spraying when over 28C
- Buy or make a neck cooler (the wet ones with water crystals in them) for when you are in the garden.
- Buy a market umbrella or shade sail if your alfresco area is too hot. Seriously consider planting a deciduous shade tree in autumn.
- Gently summer prune stone fruit and apples/pears instead of doing so in winter.
- 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 but don’t over do it.