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Seasons: What You Want To Know

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To everything there is a season … and a good gardener knows how to make the most of every season.

Below we offer a few tips about what each season brings…

WINTER

Start of winter commences the pruning of deciduous trees and canes.

Make sure trees have lost all their leaves to ensure energy has returned to the root system.

If in a frost prone area, leave your rose pruning till July to avoid burning early buds off with late frost.

Winter is the best time to plant bare rooted fruit trees, ornamentals and roses and cane fruit.

Pre-emergent weed treatments can be used on couch lawns to kill off foreign grass seeds while ground is cold and grass is dormant.

Poor drainage should be identified and rectified if problematic. Moss growing on lawn surfaces is a classic indicator of poor drainage.

Shut down the irrigation system or even better install a Smart Irrigation Weather Station.

For some winter colour grab some pansies and violas and plant them in the sunny spot of the garden.

SPRING

It’s time to fertilise your lawns, plants trees and roses.

Lawn cut frequencies need to come back to two weekly to prevent taking too much out of the lawn, and blowing time out on cutting an excessively high lawn.

Don’t cut lawn too short or scarify too early in spring while root system is storing energy, or your lawn could be set back with growth and overall health.

Irrigation controllers will need to be adjusted as weather warms up, remember cold and dry can be the worst combination of weather for your garden. Don’t forget to check system for problems before the summer heat is on.

Coring lawns to oxygenate them from the waterlogging of winter, will pick them up, and get them growing faster.

Feeding humate to the microbes in your soil has countless benefits to your lawn and garden. These can include compost, Seasol or other more concentrated form of Bio-stimulants.

And don’t forget the all-important mulch. This will help retain moisture around your plants and trees and protect the microbes and soil biota from scorching summer heat.

It’s time to plant those spring vegetables.

Keep an eye out for citrus leaf miner and white fly on your citrus trees. Spray them with eco-oil but make sure they are well watered first.

SUMMER

Irrigation should now be performing at 100%, regular checks should be made to ensure pop-up sprinklers are not damaged, no dripper lines are leaking and all valve boxes are dry. Station run times should be adjusted for extreme heat peaks and controllers checked regularly for fault alerts.

Wetting agents should be applied to lawns and watered in, during the cooler part of the day to drought proof lawn. Avoid those very hot days.

Summer is the best time to scarify lawn, when the lawn has stored up root energy, and the warm weather provides fast recovery when warm season’s grasses are most active.

Continue to fertilise every 6 weeks through the growing season. Not too heavy; remember, little and often.

When your fruit trees have been pollinated and the fruit has set, net the trees as soon as you can. Birds aren’t too fussy and often eat fruit while it is still green, so get in early.

If fruit trees are overbearing too much fruit, thin 50% of it from the tree, while fruit is small, this will improve fruit size and quality, and reserve some of the tree’s energy for next season.

Remember the three golden rules to minimising damage from disease and pest attacks: observe, observe, observe. Regular time spent just looking through your garden can identify problems and remedy them while they’re still small problems.

Keep on on top of weed control to prevent it from getting out of control quickly.

AUTUMN

At 70% leaf fall stone fruit should be sprayed with copper oxychloride and eco oil to protect from curly leaf. Cleaning up fallen leaves is also vital in breaking the cycle of curly leaf problems.

Fertilising lawn should aim to store root energy rather than expend energy in leaf tips, keep the nitrogen lower and organic feed higher to aid root energy storage.

Time to get the winter bulbs planted to have some winter colour.

Feeding soil with humate will keep microbe population up, and help with the overall health of your soil.

Prepare ground for any winter planting.

Reduce percentage of irrigation watering to prevent water logging soil.

It’s a good time to establish instant lawn as weather is cooler but ground is still warm.

Tall roses can be lowered to prevent wind snapping them prior to winter pruning.

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