Hero plant this month: Lycopersicon esculentum
In September it’s all about tomatoes. There’s a huge variety available in sizes and colours ranging from red to black, yellow and striped. When they’re home grown, they taste delicious. Tomatoes grow well in pots, hanging baskets or in the ground.
Plant seed in pre-moistened soil and in about a week the seedlings should emerge. Fertilise every few weeks when the plants are growing.
Growing tomatoes is a great project for kids. Buy some seed and plant in little pots. Kids can watch them germinate and grow into fruiting plants.
Tomatoes are also available as seedlings in punnets or single pots. Plant in a sunny well-drained position. It’s preferable to select a patch that hasn’t grown tomatoes the previous season. Mix in organic compost before planting. Remember to keep plants well-watered and feed regularly. Stake larger growing varieties.
Favourite varieties to plant range from truss tomatoes to the larger Beefsteak and another beauty is Roma. It has a high yield, fewer pest problems and is a wonderful cooking variety.
What else to plant
Basil is an excellent companion plant for tomatoes. Plant celery and rocket too.
Put in a passionfruit. Select somewhere suitable to grow your vine. Along a fence, trellis, or over a pergola are ideal spots. They need a sunny, frost-free area. Allow plenty of room for roots to grow, as well as the vine. It could take at least 18months for your new vine to start fruiting. Get some advice in store about what to feed your passionfruit in spring and regularly through summer.
Petunias say summer, so put some in your garden for a beautiful display of colour. Plant in a pot or in the garden.
Lavenders are good to plant now too as are daisies and salvias.
Spring is a great time to be in the garden.
First up, get out your pruners and give native shrubs such as grevilleas a trim to encourage bushy growth.
It’s also time to fertilise lawn with lawn builder. As the weather warms, coming out of winter it will help strengthen roots and promote growth.
Azaleas and camellias will benefit from some fertiliser after flowering too.
Keep an eye on watering needs. Plants use more water when they start to flower.
Prepare for summer and top up the much on garden beds. This will help protect soil and plant roots. Use organic mulches like pea straw and Lucerne which break down and help improve the soil. Apply about 5-7cm to the bed, thick enough for good coverage, but which will also allow water to penetrate.
Pick silverbeet. Pull leeks too. Pick parsley continuously to promote growth. Pull onions once the tops start to die down. Pick beans when they’re young. They are tender, and picking encourages more to come. Keep picking lettuce too.
So…the bees are out, it’s warming up, flowers are out…what better time to be in the garden? If you need help on what to do in your garden, pop into your local Bunnings for some advice.
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Check out the wide range of plants online or visit your local Bunnings Warehouse to find out how you can bring your garden to life.