Tips and News

In the Garden this Month – February with Hazel King

Recent rain was welcomed so it’s time to apply mulch to retain moisture.  Keep the mulch well clear of tree trunks to prevent damage to bark.

Remove dead flowers from perennials such as dahlias, salvias, pentas and penstemons.  This practice will promote flowering.  Cut agapanthus stems to ground.

Order early to obtain the best quality winter and spring flowering bulbs as now is promotion time.  However, carefully consider planting times.  Cold climate bulbs; tulips, daffodils, crocus and hyacinths require chilling.  Place in paper bags in your crisper, and do not plant until May or June.  Previously April or May was the correct time in our district, however consider changes in autumn and winter temperatures over the last few years.  Prepare soil with well-rotted organic matter.

Feed citrus, particularly if your tree has cropped well.  Chicken manure is the preferred organic product, either loose or pelleted.  Mulch to the dripline, avoiding the trunk area.  Spray with pest oil if your citrus it susceptible to citrus leaf miner.  The leaf miner is easy to identify: wavy cream lines on the leaves.

Check plants susceptible to fungal problems; powdery mildew affects roses, begonias, pumpkins, cucumbers, zucchinis, etc.  Water these plants in the morning.  Moisture on the leaf at night promotes the fungal spores.  I KNOW – the rain does not read this newsletter.

I am sure you noted the wonderful displays from Crepe Myrtles over the last two months.  Some specimens remain in bloom.HK


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