Hero plant this month: Tomatoes Lycopersicon esculentum
In September it’s all about tomatoes. It’s the best time to get them in to ensure a good crop before it gets too hot.
There’s a huge variety available in sizes and colours ranging from red to black, yellow and striped. As well as heirloom and cherries. 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. Tigerella with its stripes and sweet flavour is another to look out for.
What else to plant
Plant hibiscus. Plant these unsung heroes in a sunny spot and they will reward with spectacular flowers. They like well-drained slightly acidic soil. Water regularly and, mulch with sugar cane or lucerne to protect the roots and retain water
It’s also a good to plant evergreen trees such as eucalypts and acacias. There are many eucalypts that are ideal for the backyard. These plants have beautiful flowers, foliage, fruit and bark.
It’s a great time to get edibles into the ground too. Try chillies, eggplant, sweet corn and cucurbits such as pumpkins, squash and cucumbers. These vegies will do well in a sunny spot.
There’s still a bit of pruning to do. Remove spent flowers and tip prune natives if they need it.
Keep an eye out for pests such as aphids. For advice about what to use to combat an outbreak, pop into store.
It’s a great time to fertilise the garden as plants burst into life. Use a good citrus fertiliser on citrus. For natives be sure to use a low phosphorous mix.
Your lawn will also benefit from a feed. Anywhere that’s looking a bit patchy, sow new seed. Sowing now means it will have a chance to put on some growth before it gets too hot.
Remember, never fertiliser on a really hot day. And be sure to water in effectively after application.
In September harvesting the last of the cabbages, cauliflowers, and broccoli. Beans, ginger and bananas are coming into season. They’ll be sure to taste extra good because they are from your garden.
Gardeners get excited about spring. It’s absolutely the best time of year as there’s so much colour, and plenty to do.
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