Pruning and sowing for summer growth

Pruning and sowing for summer growth

Late Winter is no time to slack off in your garden! Putting in some work now will have you in a great position for when summer arrives, and the less work you have to do in summer, the more barbeques you can enjoy! Plus, more preparation means greater production. It’s a good time to give certain trees a spruce up for summer, and it’s your last chance to put in bare-rooted trees. Also, in more temperate areas of Australia. sowing of early crops can begin. Even in cooler areas, seeds can be sown into trays kept indoors, so seedlings are well advanced when the weather is warm enough to plant them out.

Planting and pruning

In cool to cold areas, it’s the final opportunity to  plant out any bare-rooted trees and shrubs  that you want in your garden. Apples, pears, plums and other stone fruits can be planted now, as can deciduous exotic trees like figs. Also on the calendar are raspberries and blackberries. And don’t forget roses for some summer colour! Already established fruit trees will benefit from a good prune before spring arrives (except apricots – best in late autumn). If you live in a colder part of Australia, then early August is also a good time to prune roses. In more temperate areas, June to July is best.

Feeding your fruit trees   in late winter will  mean the nutrients will be fully absorbed in time for spring growth. Deadheading perennial flowering plants, and cutting out any dead growth now will give them a burst of energy during the warmer months.

Vegetable plots

 Early summer vegetable seeds are calling  to be sown now! . If you live in colder regions where there is a danger of frost, use seed trays and place them on sheltered verandas, in glasshouses  or inside next to a sunny window  - anywhere they will be protected and receive warmth. Beetroot, eggplant, cabbage, leek, peas,  radish, rocket and snow pea are all on your season’s sowing schedule.

In warm and temperate areas, once frosts have  finished, you can direct plant most of the above  as well as lettuce, parsnip, celery, onion, silver beet and spinach. It’s also time to prepare beds for direct planting in the coming months. Your tomatoes will especially love you for this!

To get soil ready, spot treat any weeds with a herbicide gel, killing them right to the root. Systemic weed killers like Roundup break down once they come in contact with the soil, so you don’t need to worry about them affecting your plants later on. Clearing dead foliage and debris, adding compost to the plot and mixing in  well composted manures will help feed the soil before you add your summer tomatoes! 

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