Tasks for summer

Keith Mundy

After many years providing gardening information to all in The Triangle, I have decided to hang up my quill and allow another expert an opportunity to provide information that will assist you in your gardening tasks. This, therefore, is my last contribution to The Triangle.

I will still be at our nursery in Tilba Tilba every day to help you with any plant selection and advice that you require.

Moving onto this month’s story, summer brings with it the usual tasks we can all associate with and, although these tasks can seem tiresome, they are most essential in the overall upkeep of our gardens.

Luckily this year we have had ample rain, so watering is not of such great importance, but the rain has led to one major task that most of us are not too pleased with and that is mowing the grass more often than we have had to do in previous times.

Many gardeners think that by mowing the grass very short, they will slow the grass growth down. In fact, it is the opposite and the grass will grow a lot quicker. Ideally, the mower should be set on a higher setting and not only is the job done more quickly, but there is also a smaller pile of grass clippings to get rid of. Mowing the grass very short also introduces many weeds and the lawn becomes unsightly.

Another very important task is to keep a close eye on roses with ‘dead heading’ them important and make sure you give them a light application of rose food on a regular basis. This will encourage new flowering wood for a late summer/autumn flush and assist in the prevention of summer pests and diseases. Diseases like black spot and powdery mildew can be taken care of with a rose fungicide and insect pests like aphid can be controlled with a systemic insect spray.

Practices like watering roses in the early morning and placing the sprinkler in such a position that overhead watering doesn’t take place will also assist in the prevention of fungal diseases.

This year with all the rain there will be a lot of other pests and diseases around particularly as the late summer humidity kicks in. Given this, it is good to practice preventative control of pests and diseases instead of a control spray once the problem is noticed. The control spray will certainly take care of the pest but in most cases the damage has already occurred particularly with fungal diseases.

In the vegetable garden keep repeat planting lettuces (and the like) so you will have fresh leafy vegetables going right through into autumn.

Just a note on plant availability from nurseries. You might have found it a bit harder than usual to source your favourite plants. Be patient, as the growers are having trouble keeping up with demand, but we are assured that things are in hand to get stock out to the retailers.

Place an order at your local nursery and you will be notified when your plants arrive.

From both Desiree and me, we hope you all have a safe and joyous Christmas and that you give a gift of a food plant to your family and friends – a gift that keeps on giving.