Courtney is a freelance fashion, art and design writer and content creator for www.mrgift.com.au - an online boutique specialising in quality gifts for men. Read more of Courtney’s work at www.alittlepinkbook.blogspot.com.au
Published January 31st 2019
Your garden is the spot to be this weekend
Bring on the cooler (under 30 degrees Celsius) days that are conducive to getting out in the garden! A reprieve from the scorching weather is perfect for knocking off a few little gardening jobs. Here's what I'll be doing in my garden this weekend:
1. Fertilise Heat-frazzled gardens will appreciate a little extra TLC from a dose of liquid fertiliser or at the very least a seaweed tonic or compost/worm casting tea. Summer veggies, such as tomatoes, eggplants and capsicum will last the season if you give them a boost in nutrients every couple of weeks.
Apply fertiliser on cooler days, or after rain or watering. Plants can absorb nutrients more efficiently if they are not thirsty and heat-stressed.
2. Clean out your garden/potting shed
Go Marie Kondo-style in your potting shed if it's been a while since you decluttered your garden supplies. Rationalise the number of pots you have and donate the excess ones to a Church or school who have upcoming fetes and may be able to use them for their plant stall.
Consolidate multiple bags of open potting mix. Storing potting mix in a large plastic crate with a lid is easier to store and access. You can then also add other ingredients such as sand and perlite to make a lovely light mix for seeds or cuttings. Just take care when reaching into dark spaces in your potting shed - you don't want to disturb any creepy crawlies that might be hiding there!
3. Don't let your weeds go to seed Take care of your future-gardening-self by pulling any weeds before they go to seed. Seed can lay dormant for years, so the easier life will be if you remove weeds before they go to seed.
4. Plant a green manure crop A green manure crop is a crop that is planted with the intention of digging it back into the soil to improve soil quality and nutrients. Green manure crops are a fabulous way to rejuvenate your veggie patch, especially after hungry crops such as brassicas. Green manure seed mixes can be purchased from nurseries and often contain: Legumes (such as peas and beans) that will add nitrogen to your soil Mustard - a fantastic soil cleanser that prevents nematode and fungal pathogens, Oats to deter weeds and break up the soil with its fibrous roots.
To plant, simply loosen the soil with a fork and sow the seed generously over the bed. Rake in or cover with compost so the birds don't eat it.
5. Trim lavender and rosemary bushes
Chances are your lavender has flowered its heart out over this hot summer. Prevent it from becoming woody with a late-summer haircut. Using shears or a hedge trimmer, remove the spent flowers and the tips of the foliage to promote bushy growth and more flowers. Ditto with your rosemary.
Most importantly, make the time to enjoy your summer garden by getting out and relaxing in it on pleasant days with a drink and some good company.