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News & Tips for Feb 2020


News & Tips for Feb 2020 name

There is a cruelness in the clear blue sky this summer in the north. Weather, it’s a leveller and even the most pampered garden will suffer. Here in central Auckland we don’t have water restrictions, but I believe they aren’t far away; it’s such a pity it takes a drought for us to realise the value of that precious resource that keeps us alive: water.

So, this newsletter is about what to do when you have little or no water. I have decided to use the water from our showers on my few pots as they dry out more quickly, the garden will have to wait and suffer until it rains. I have covered the tenderest plants in shadecloth/cropsafe mesh to give them some respite from the harsh sun. Another job that these conditions scream out for is gypsum application - the ground is so dry its cracking which is the perfect time to apply gypsum as it will get deep down into the earth. Normally gypsum takes many applications over a long period of time to change the soil structure but when it can get deep, it works much more effectively in a shorter space of time. No need to water in, as it can wait until the rain comes. Beyond that my focus is on mulching and preparing for autumn planting. So now is the time for getting your seeds ready - think carrots, leeks, cauliflower, broccoli, broad beans.

Our little feathered friends can suffer as much as our plant life in these dreadfully hot conditions - don’t forget to put some water out - these little bird drinkers are perfect as they don’t take a lot of water. Remember to feed them too, a bird bell is an inexpensive way to give them a treat.

For all our bird keepers we have a shipment of BVM + probiotic in stock just arrived from Australia. It’s a great way of ensuring your birds are in top health.

The current drought has really wrecked lawns everywhere, unless you have a ton of water to keep it going. Don’t blame the variety of turf grass you have cause everyone’s in the same boat no matter what they have. I wouldn’t attempt repair work just yet - wait until the autumn season from late March to fix it up. In the meantime focus on getting rid of weeds and summer grasses, maybe some cricket bait to stop even more damage.

Come autumn cut the remaining grass down to ground level, scarify up and resow the whole thing. It really isn’t a big job and will be back looking great in no time at all!

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