As we move in to the warmer weather the summer months bring it is heartening to see all the hard labour put in the garden over spring come to fruition, in the form of stunning floral displays and delicious homegrown crops. Take time to enjoy your garden, and follow these tips to get the most from your plants over the summer season.
- A key gripe for gardeners over summer can be trying to keep the garden well watered in the hotter temperatures. Check the moisture of your soil. If the soil is moist 10cm below the surface it should be fine, if it is dry at this level it needs to be watered. In hot weather you may want to check the moisture every 2-4 days.
- Water in the morning or evening to avoid water evaporation. A good deep soak every few days is better than shallow watering every day.
- This will encourage deep roots and helps plants to better survive short term drought.
- Take care to water the soil rather than the foliage, as this can spread disease.
- Apply Debco SaturAid granular soil wetter to garden beds and pots to assist water reaching the root zone of plants. This will help your plants make the most of water, and can reduce water use by up to 50%.
- Protect your plants with layers of Tui Mulch & Feed or Tui Pea Straw Mulch. Mulching protects your plants from extremes in temperatures, keeps roots moist, suppresses weed growth, and adds valuable nitrogen to your soil as it breaks down. Tui Mulch & Feed is a two-in-one combination that provides the benefits of mulching whilst the healthy additions of blood and bone, mulching straw and sheep pellets replace vital nutrients used by your plants.
- Continuous planting means you will continue to enjoy homegrown harvests long into the autumn months. Summer is an ideal time to plant capsicum, courgettes, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, pumpkin; and fresh summer herbs like basil, chives, parsley and thyme.
Directions for planting seedlings:
- Soak your seedlings in a bucket of Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic and allow to drain. This will help prevent transplant shock.
- Dig holes, approximately twice the depth and width of the root balls of your plants.
- Place seedlings in the holes.
- Gently press the soil around the base of the plants.
- Dig in Tui Compost before planting to replenish nutrients used by previous crops. Compost is an excellent water saver, it improves the soil by increasing moisture holding capacity, particularly in sandy soils.
- Sow seeds in seed raising trays filled with seed raising mix each week for successive planting. Cover seeds with seed raising mix and water lightly.
- Harvest your veges regularly, this helps promote more growth throughout the season.
- Keep your garden weed free – don’t let your plants compete for water and nutrients.
- Feed your plants and they will feed you. Keep topping up with nutrients to replace those used – every four or so weeks during key growing times. Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser can be used throughout the garden, or use the Tui Food range.
- Give plants a dose of Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic every month or so to make them thrive.
- Be vigilant and stop unwanted insects and diseases from ruining your plants.