January is a time for new beginnings, but don’t forget about the garden. Without attention often the treasured brassicas, well-cared-for lettuces and many other vegetables will dry up or bolt to seed in the summer heat.
- Continue to pinch out laterals on the tomatoes and spray to control fungal infections.
- Make sure the tomatoes get a consistent supply of water while the fruit is developing. Too much water and the skins will split; too little and the fruit won’t set.
- Feed with a good tomato liquid fertiliser. Remember to have tomatoes firmly staked.
- Mulch long-serving summer vegetables with Tui Pea Straw Mulch.
- Move plants in pots out of the midday sun, if you can. To revive dehydrated plants put the whole pot in a bucket of water and soak overnight.
- Water the garden frequently. Involve the kids and make it a game, pay someone to do it or establish a reliable watering system. If you live in an area persecuted by drought, water frugally with a watering can, making sure the plants that need water get it.
- Adding Debco Saturaid to your vegetable garden will reduce water use by up to 50 per cent. Saturaid draws water into the soil and directly to the root zone, reducing run-off and waste.
- If you live in an area that experiences water shortages, consider outdoor tanks that may be able to be filled up in the wet season for use on the summer garden.
- As potatoes grow, mound up the earth around them to encourage more tubers. If growing in containers, keep layering the with soil, leaving about 5 cm of greenery on the top showing in the sunshine.
- Continue to mound earth up around fennel bulbs.
- Beetroot, dwarf French beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chervil, cress, leeks, marrow, onions, parsnip, spinach, silver beet, swedes and turnips.
- Continue to sow radishes and lettuces.
- Salad leaves are fast to germinate and can be ready in a month.
- Cabbage, cauliflower, kumara tubers, silver beet and spinach into the ground.
- Liquid feed established plants regularly.
- Feed pumpkins and squash every two weeks.
- Cucumbers, courgettes and buttercup with Tui Eco-Fungicide to control powdery mildew.
- Cucumbers and courgettes, potatoes and tomatoes. Don’t leave cucumbers and courgettes on the plant for too long or they will explode in size!
- Pick cherry tomatoes daily and any other tomatoes that are starting to turn red.
- The stems on onions will bend over before they need to be harvested. Once this happens, dig up and leave to dry for one to two weeks before storing in a dry place.
- Garlic, herbs, globe artichokes, summer squashes, horseradish and beans should also be ready for harvesting.