IN THE EDIBLE GARDEN
The last of the summer harvest! Tomatoes should be at their peak right now; other veggies such as beans, corn, carrots, cucumbers, melons, pumpkin, potatoes, eggplants & more will also be ready for harvesting. Regularly picking fruit and veg each day will encourage late fruiting & growth.
Stone fruits (nectarines, peaches, plums) are ready to enjoy.
Continue to plant lettuce and a variety of herbs. And it’s not too late to plant capsicum or eggplant, and plant or sow courgettes and corn in warmer areas! As we move further into February, start sowing your winter veg: spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, beetroot, kale, silverbeet, carrots, leeks, radish, rhubarb, parsnip etc.
IN THE FLOWER GARDEN
Continue to deadhead your flowering annuals; this promotes more flowers for a longer period.
For roses, continue to remove any diseased leaves and apply a rose fertiliser towards the end of the month.
The end of February means summer is drawing to a close… But it also means we can cast our minds towards bulb planting! Early summer bulbs (tulips, daffodils, anemone, ranunculus etc.) will be arriving into garden stores. If you live in a warmer area it’s a good idea to pop your bulbs in the fridge for 4-8 weeks (depending on the variety) to chill before you plant them out.
Some pre-chilling tips to keep in mind…
> Keep your bulbs in the crisper drawer inside a paper bag (NOT plastic - the bulbs will sweat, causing rot).
> Do not place them near the back of the fridge as it may be too cold.
> Keep them well away from fruit, particularly apples and pears. These fruits emit a gas called ethylene as they ripen which can damage your bulbs.
You can get your bulbs until late autumn; plant continuously throughout this time for continuous blooms in spring. Use a bulb planter for super efficient planting!
For more in-depth bulb planting info, check out this blog: Planting spring-flowering bulbs in NZ
OTHER TASKS THIS MONTH...
> Keep pinching out those tomato laterals! This helps the plant direct it’s energy towards fruiting
> Regularly mist the leaves of your indoor plants using a mister and some lukewarm water. Check the underside of leaves regularly; pests such as mealybugs are prolific at the moment! Spray with Enspray 99 as soon as you see the signs of an infestation.
> Make sure you're keeping on top of pests outside, too - check out our full range of Insect Pest Control to find a something that works for your garden.
> If you have excess fruit or veg harvests, get preserving!
> Remove strawberry plants that are over two years old
> Mulch! A good layer of mulch around the base of your plants conserves moisture in soil, and also suppresses weeds
> Water in the morning or evening, making sure to water the roots (rather than the leaves). Check out our Iriso range for easy drip irrigation.
> Composting is key at the moment - make the most of the abundant organic material and warm temperatures! There's nothing better for improving your soil than fresh compost or worm castings. See our compost bin and worm farm ranges.