This weekend in the garden

What should you be doing in the garden this weekend?

Mulching around trees and perennials and in the vegetable garden will save you summer water.

Make sure to give the ground a soak before and after mulching.

Fertilising while you mulch saves work later. Keep mulch away from the main trunk of trees and main stem of roses.

Low-maintenance ground covers are a good alternative to mulching; they retain vital moisture and cut down on future weeding.

Feed hedges and topiaries.

Lay slug bait around perennials, such as hostas and delphiniums, to protect the new shoots.

Divide and plant Japanese irises before they get growing.

Feed spring flowering bulbs, but leave the foliage to die down; it builds healthy bulbs for next year.

Lift tulip and other spring bulbs once foliage has dried off and store in a cool, dry place.

Mulch and feed roses and perennials.

Plant seedlings of snapdragons, cosmos, asters, lobelia, and viscaria.

Sow directly into growing site: alyssum, candytuft, cosmos, and other wildflowers.

Prudent gardeners will not plant out tomato plants until danger of frost has really passed. Or make sure you plant them in a frost-free spot.

Sow lettuce seeds every two weeks for successive crops. Sow corn, eggplant, leeks, parsnips, radishes, cucumber, mustard greens, rocket, silver beet, parsley, coriander, kale, kohlrabi.

Plant potatoes, yams, endives, globe artichokes.

Plant cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli seedlings.

Plant basil in your sunniest, most sheltered spot in rich, well-drained soil and keep it well watered.

Apply general fertiliser. If you have bare patches, remember to fork over and add topsoil before you sow any new lawn. Water well.

The Southland Times