The beginning of the year is always a time for cleaning up bringing in changes, from the office to the home and finally the garden. In getting the routine back after the holidays one doesn’t always have a lot of time to get stuck in but if you have a few minutes here some quick tasks that make all the difference to your garden. The beginning of the year is always a time for cleaning up bringing in changes, from the office to the home and finally the garden. In getting the routine back after the holidays one doesn’t always have a lot of time to get stuck in but if you have a few minutes here some quick tasks that make all the difference to your garden.
Time to feed
Fertilising over the next few weeks is important to keep the garden green, in flower and able to bounce back after the heat. The recent rains would have leached out most of the nutrients and the greens will soon start to lose their luster and you definitely want to keep the colour and promote more flowers as we head toward the tail end of summer.Chrysanthemums.
BioGanic is our best selling organic fertiliser. It’s also the most water wise way to fertilise. Feed at a rate of one handful per square meter or per shrub. This fertiliser will boost growth on application and feed over a longer period as a slow release fertiliser.
BioOcean is also an organic fertiliser. Containing seaweed which helps plants absorb the nutrients and which also help with the moisture retention in the soil. Water wise, Bio Ocean can be safely used throughout the garden to improve general growth, flowering and plant strength. Apply across the beds or use as a boost per shrub, even suitable for containers. Reapply every four to six weeks.
Multifeed is our best selling container and bedding plant fertiliser. Water soluble, it gets to the roots quickly and also foliar feeds the plants. We use this in all our containers here at Eckards to keep the nursery as colourful as possible. Feed your containers with Multifeed every alternate week and for bedding plants in the garden one can feed them every week to alternate week depending on how much water your garden beds get.
Get a few spots of colour refreshed
Bedding plants add colour to the garden. The hot January will have finished off some and boosted others. Water wise Zinnias, Salvias as well as Marigolds and Portulaca will give a great show and extend your gardens colour through to late autumn. Take a few minutes to fill in a empty patches or plant up a hanging basket or container for the patio. Plant a few Cone Flowers for something different. They are heat and drought resistant and flower from late summer right through to autumns end. Their botanical name Echinacea is derived from the Greek word for hedgehog because of the spiny domed centre of the flower. They grow to around 40cm high in a sun to afternoon sun spot.
Blitz the weeds
By the end of February the effectiveness of herbicides (weed killers) will go down considerably as they work best when weeds are growing fast. With that in mind now is the time for a quick spray to bring them under control. The weeds in the paving which just seem to come from nowhere must go to help tidy the garden and if you have a weed problem on the lawn this is the time of year that they seed so get a head start on next summer by spraying now.
On lawns Hormoban is the only effective option especially for the hardy clover weed that just seems to dominate in our local area. The effectiveness is best if there is at least 5 hours of sun and no rain or watering after application. Depending on what weed you are spraying a second or third application may be required especially if you are trying to rid the lawn of clover.
For paving the most organic way of ridding weeds in paving is by hand or with a kettle of boiling water scorching the leaves. Sometimes one needs a different option but it is personal choice.
Roundup is available as a ready to use or as a concentrate which is more economical and ideal if you are doing large areas. Diluted 45ml into 1lt of water Roundup will work within 3 to 4 days if it has a sunny 5 hours after application. Use Roundup responsibly and only dilute as indicated on the packaging.
Snip and Tuck
This is the time of the year that you should find some time to get out into the garden for a quick walk around with your secateurs. With all the growth form the summer, shrubs and climbers can get a bit unruly and if you shape them now they will keep the look for the next few months. The added benefit of cutting back this time of the year is that it lets more light in as well as better air circulation in the garden so smaller plants around them perk up and add some growth before winter.
A few minutes of bug control will bring months of pleasure. Our team are always on hand to give you the best advice. The most common problems that need to be checked this time of the year are Snails and Ants.
Did you know the common snail found in your garden originates from Italy and made their way around the world in the late 1800’s as plants started being shipped across the globe by Victorian plant collectors? That’s only part of the story but we think that’s quite impressive for something that moves at such a slow pace.
Snails can have a devastating effect on your Veggies and ground covers if left unchecked. A few is a good thing in the garden as they help keep the layer of plants on the soil thinner to allow light and moisture to the earth but when they are left unchecked they can multiply in a few seasons to give you a headache when planting new seedlings. If you don’t fancy the idea of standing on some snails apply some Snailban early evening to catch them at their most active time of day or ask our team to show you how the organic Snail Jail works.
Ants also seem to come from nowhere this time of the year. We need ants in the garden as they clean up all the dead insects etc but as with everything a few is better than an unchecked invasion. More often they will nest against the house, finding their way indoors or under paving. Easy to use Nip-it, an ant bait that will control the nest at the source and soon you’ll be able to leave a teaspoon in the kitchen sink again.