DECEMBER IN THE GARDEN
December rewards us with beautiful displays of colour, lovely fragrances and bountiful crops to harvest. Keep up the watering, continue with feeding and your spray programme and your garden will maintain it's top condition for you to enjoy throughout the summer.
Flower of the month has to be the Fuchsia! They are one of the most spectacular of flowering plants which will give you stunning summer-long colour. Plant them in patio tubs, planters, hanging baskets or as focal points in beds and borders.
Plant new season roses! Bush and Standard Roses are blooming profusely and now is the perfect time to come in and choose from the vast range of colours and fragrances. Climbing Roses are fabulous for hiding ugly fences. Prepare the soil first by adding organic compost and plant with slow release fertiliser tablets. Water deeply and regularly. Continue your regular spray programme - to view our Rose & Ornamentals Health Care Programme click here (or call in for a copy). Dead-head to promote longer flowering.
Plant perennials - we have so many gorgeous plants in an array of colours and forms - SunPatiens (Impatiens that love the sun), Voodoo Verbena, Calipetites, SuperCal Petchoa, Lavender, Penstemon, Scabiosa, Gazania, Geraniums, Alstroemeria (great picking), Dianthus, Federation Daisies to name just a few.
Encourage bees to your garden with Lavender, Gaura, and Penstemon.
Plant swan plants - Monarch butterflies are appearing to the delight of all children. The monarch caterpillar is a voracious feeder so you may need to plant more than one!
Enjoy lots of colour this summer and plant pretty annuals. Our favourites this month are Petunia, Begonia, Lobelia (ideal for hanging baskets or borders), Cosmos, Marigolds, Salvia, Portulaca, Dianthus, Verbena, Zinnias ...
Colourful baskets or pots filled with flowers look great on the patio or veranda for summer.
Add Debco Saturaid to the potting mix to preserve moisture.
Continue to sow flower seeds for beautiful summer displays - we have a large range to choose from.
Enjoy produce straight from your garden this summer - stagger your plantings so you have a continuous supply to harvest.
Prepare and add more goodness to the vege patch by digging in sheep pellets, Ican Real Blood and Bone, Ican Organic Vege Food, compost or vege mix and start planting!
Sow seeds - beans, carrots, radishes, beetroot, silverbeet, spinach and lettuce.
Plant: potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, shallots, onions, spring onions, courgettes, celery, snowpeas, beetroot, spinach, silverbeet, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, rhubarb, kale, eggplant ...
Plant herbs - basil, parsley, rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, coriander, dill, chives, garlic chives, fennel, mint ...
Feed all growing produce regularly with iCan Organic Vege Food or iCan Ocean Grow for top results!
Remove laterals from tomatoes as they appear during growth. Spray with Grosafe Free Flo Copper to keep fungal disease at bay.
Nip off the ends of vines for good-sized cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.
Spray Yates Success Ultra to control white butterfly caterpillars - especially cabbages, broccoli and cauliflowers.
Spray potatoes and kumara with Grosafe Free Flo Copper or Yates Liquid Copper to prevent fungal disease.
To view our Vegetable Plants Health Care Programme click here (or call in for a copy).
FRUIT AND CITRUS
Plant a range of fruit trees and berries and you'll be rewarded with fresh fruit throughout the year. Give them a sheltered spot with as much sun as possible.
Plums, apples and pears, figs, passionfruit, grapes.
Citrus - mandarins, oranges, lemons and limes.
Berries - strawberry (great for hanging baskets), raspberry, boysenberry, blackberry, blueberry, gooseberry, guava, loganberry.
Spray - Maintain your regular fruit tree spray programme. It is important to spray with the correct product at the correct time so please ask one of our knowledgeable staff, click here to view our Fruiting Plants Health Care Programme or call in for a copy.
TREES & SHRUBS
Plant new trees and shrubs and add Ican Slow Food to the planting hole. With so many now flowering, it's a great time to choose:
Hydrangea, Daphne, polygala 'Petite Butterfly', pittosporum 'Green Ball', loropetalum and viburnums.
For the birds plant - Coprosma, corokia ‘Geentys Green’, five finger, flax, kaka-beak, kowhai, pohutukawa, rewarewa, viburnum, waratah ...
Maples look great in all gardens and we have a large range available, especially the weeping maple.
Plant new hedges. Fantastic hedging plants are Japanese Box, corokia, teucrium, and NZ's favourite Griselinia Broadway Mint!
Box Hedging - spray with Grosafe Free Flo Copper and Grosafe Enspray 99 Oil to prevent the spread of Box Blight (Japanese Box is far more resistant than English Box to Box Blight). Alternate with Grosafe Buxus Blight Fighter.
Prune spring flowering shrubs after flowering.
TREES FOR SMALL GARDENS
Dwarf fruit trees and citrus grow well in pots and containers and yield an abundance of fruit.
Beautifully shaped standards make spectacular landscape features - camellia, viburnum, bottlebrush, bay, laurel ...
Weeping maples are ideal when space is limited - Crimson Queen and Viridis will impress with their gorgeous form and colour.
Flowering Crab Apple - gorgeous blossoms and luscious fruit (think crab apple jelly!)
Magnolia - gorgeous colours and varieties to choose from.
Cercis Forest Pansy – with its lovely heart shaped purple leaves.
Good soil, feeding and watering is the key to great plants, flowers, fruit and vege production.
Fertilise with Ican Organic Vege Food, Ican Ocean Grow fish fertiliser or the Tui range of Citrus Food, Strawberry Food and Rose Food.
Ican Fast Food is ideal for flowering plants and potted shrubs for a quick boost.
Ican Slow Food is ideal for trees, shrubs, palms, fruit and veges.
Hygiene is important in the garden so clear away diseased leaves and prunings and sterilise secateurs, hedge trimmers etc before and after use (bleach is a good sterilant).
Pests and Diseases - check all plants regularly - it's easier to deal with them early before they take hold and do too much damage.
If fungus and bugs are present they need to be kept under control with regular spraying. We recommend:
Grosafe Free Flo Copper to control fungus diseases on all fruit, vegetables and ornamentals.
Grosafe Enspray 99 Oil for the control of sucking insects on all fruit, vegetables and ornamentals.
Success Ultra for caterpillars, thrips and leafroller.
Yates Mavrik for mites, aphids, thrips
Apply Blitzem, Quash (if you have animals) or Baysol (long acting) to control slugs and snails - particularly around new seedlings.
Mulch to suppress weeds, preserve water and add nutrients with Tui Pea Straw Mulch or Daltons Mulch and Grow.
SATURAID is invaluable in summer - a granular wetting agent that improves the effectiveness of watering, rainfall and fertilisers. So easy to use - sprinkle on or dig in. Suitable for all areas of the garden and for pots, containers and hanging baskets.
A well-kept lawn is an asset to every property and now is the time to give your lawn some TLC.
Feed - use a specific lawn fertiliser as this has all the nutrients the grass needs. A slow release long-term fertiliser like Burnet’s Ezy Starter & Renovation Organic based fertiliser or Tui Lawn Force is ideal for new and established lawns. The advantage with this is there is no danger of 'burning' your lawn and it releases the fertiliser over a longer period. Otherwise spread over a straight granular lawn fertiliser - Tui Lawn Fertiliser is ideal - ensure it is watered in well.
A great product for really easy treatment and care of your lawn is Yates Weed 'n' Feed - kills weeds and promotes lush green lawns all in one application!
Treat mossy areas with Tui Moss Control.
Older lawns could probably do with a bit of an airing and thin out by de-thatching - it is amazing how much thatch builds up over the years, suffocating the grass.
Lawns need to be watered deeply and remember not to mow your lawn too low as this only encourages weed growth and stresses the grass.
THIS MONTH'S FEATURE PLANT
Come and see the large range of hydrangeas we have at Decor and delight in their beauty.
There's pinks to deep reds, lavender to blue to dark purple and the ever popular white.
Plant them now and they'll look great right through summer.
Remember that they make an ideal gift.
Happy Gardening and remember, our knowledgeable staff are always available for planting and pest/disease control advice and to ensure you use the right products for your requirements.