September in the Garden

September in the Garden

It’s time to get out there and give your garden some serious preparation to ensure a bumper growing season.

Here is a general guide to get started.

  • Remove the last of the winter crops from the vegetable patch to make room for the new season's plants.
  • Weed everywhere. As soon as the soil warms up, everything - including weeds - will start to grow. Apply a layer of mulch over areas that are going to lie bare for a while, as this will help prevent weeds from becoming established.
  • Prepare garden beds. You really need to put effort in if you want to get something back! Add lots of organic matter into the soil - dig in plenty of compost, sheep pellets and blood & bone.
  • Feed everything and continue to do so every two weeks.
  • Sow, plant and keep planting! If growing from seed make sure to use seed raising mix to give them the best start.
  • Use slug and snail bait to protect new seedlings.

How to get rid of the weeds 

Taking action in specific areas of your garden.

Maintenance:

CITRUS

Harvest remaining ripe fruit. Leaving mature fruit on a tree can affect the growth of the tree and future fruit crops.

Citrus are hungry, feed them each week in spring - especially those in pots - as the nutrients drain out quickly. Mulch well, out to past the drip line. A layer of newspaper under the mulch helps to prevent weed growth.

It’s a good time to plant citrus now. If you are low on space, there are some great dwarf varieties available - fruit is normal sized and they also do really well in pots. Choose a spot in full sun with protection from winds.

LAWN

Many a Kiwi’s pride and joy, the lawn needs care to become the lush, green carpet that begs a picnic or game of cricket. Good preparation in spring, with regular care throughout the growing season, will get you a long way towards a covetable patch.

Weed and feed with a trusted product - keep feeding regularly throughout spring. Mowing frequently during times of strong growth means more nutrients are required, so it’s worth keeping up a good feeding schedule.

Those darn prickles! Control clover and Onehunga Weed (prickles) now to avoid the ‘ouch!’ factor. Nothing spoils a barefoot walk through the grass faster than a foot full of prickles!

Get the prickles out of the lawn

PASSIONFRUIT

Passionfruit vines need pruning for the new season. Trim off one third of old growth - fruit will grow on the new growth. Give it a good feed.

ROSES

Spring is the time that roses come out of dormancy and start growing leaves and flowers. Apply mulch and feed each week with a specific rose food.

FRUIT TREES

Weed around the base of your trees - weeds steal nutrients and water as well as harbouring pests and disease.

Mulch around the base of the tree, keeping space around the trunk for airflow to minimise disease and avoid collar rot. Mulch keeps the soil moist and cool.

Feed each week to promote good leaf growth and healthy fruit. Apply fertiliser around the outer edge of the root zone.

Many fruit trees can be planted now. All fruits require a position in full sun with shelter from prevailing winds.

 

Planting:

POTATOES

One of the simplest, most versatile foods, loved by many-a-fussy eater, filling the belly and full of nutrients … the modest spud is an awesome grow-at-home crop.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to plant potatoes NOW. Different varieties have longer or shorter cropping times, so you might want a couple of varieties to last you through the season.

Potatoes are easy-to-grow and so satisfying! It’s really exciting at harvest time to see what is hiding beneath the soil.

Plant in large containers or garden beds, ensuring each seeding spud has at least one sprout (the sprout can face any direction). As the plants grow, keep mounding soil up around the new growth and the plant will send out more tubers that will eventually grace your barbecue plate!

Potatoes are surprisingly easy to grow!

STRAWBERRIES

If you haven’t started yet, now is the time to get those plants in! When figuring out how many you need, a good rule of thumb is to have five plants per household member. That can add up to a lot of plants but they are perennial so you won’t necessarily need to buy or sow that many each year. Strawberries also have the wonderful habit of sending out runners. At the end of fruiting, remove runners and then plant them out for next season's crop.

Make mounds about 10cm high for strawberries to be planted on. Mounding improves drainage and increases air circulation around plants.

Birds are very quick to spot a ripening berry and are usually out of bed before us, so put up netting to protect your strawberries once they start fruiting.

Generally, most berries are fine to plant now. Strawberries, blueberries and gooseberries are all happy to grow in pots and containers.

Get lettuce in your garden for better salads

SALAD

Picking the salad for dinner is therapeutic and cost saving. It’s also really handy to be able to pick just what you need, and leave the rest growing (this really reduces waste and saves fridge space).

Start growing cucumbers, lettuce, radish and rocket now and you’ll be eating home-grown salad in no time. Kids will often eat more vegetables if they have had a part in growing them, so get them involved and there will be wins all round.

VEGES AND HERBS TO PLANT NOW

To name but a few … beetroot, broccoli, cabbages, cauliflowers, carrots, celery, kale, leek, lettuce, parsnip, radish, silverbeet, spinach, coriander, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme.

Tomato seedlings can be started off on a sunny windowsill.

Some herbs you can grow yourself 

Keep a look out for our monthly growing tips and have a healthy spring!

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