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In the summer garden, delicious spring vege crops are ready to harvest, flowers are blooming and it's generally sunny and warm. Take time to enjoy your garden but also take time to protect it so you get the most from your plants. Read our guide to enjoying a successful summer garden.
Summer to do list
- Add Debco SaturAid granular soil wetter to all areas of your garden to make the most of water over the warmer months. This will help your plants make the most of water, and can reduce water use by up to 50%.
- Mulch around your plants. A good layer of Tui Mulch & Feed or Tui Pea Straw Mulch on your garden will conserve moisture, protect plants from heat, and suppress weeds.
- Water in the morning before the day gets too hot. A good deep soak every few days is better than shallow watering every day. This will encourage deep roots and helps plants to better survive short term drought.
- Keep your garden weed free, don't let your plants compete for water and nutrients.
- Give plants a dose of Seasol plant tonic at least every month to make them thrive.
In the vegetable garden
- Dig in Tui Compost before planting to replenish nutrients used by previous crops. Compost is an excellent water saver as it improves the soil by increasing moisture holding capacity, particularly in sandy soils.
- Summer is an ideal time to plant capsicums, courgettes, cucumbers, eggplant, kumara, pumpkins and fresh summer herbs like basil, chives, parsley and thyme.
- Check your crops for signs of pest and disease like aphids, caterpillars, powdery mildew, and of course slugs and snails. Control slugs and snails with Tui Quash.
- Spray crops with Tui Insect Control for Fruit & Veges to prevent pests like aphids and whitefly taking hold, and regular applications of Tui Disease Control for Fruit & Veges will prevent powdery mildew on your courgettes and cucumbers.
- Keep mounding up your potato plants with Tui Vegetable Mix as shoots grow, until they are approximately 300mm tall. This will encourage a bigger harvest and protect the crop from the sun and wind.
- Pick the laterals off your tomato plants to encourage bigger and better fruit, and make sure plants heavy with fruit are well staked.
- Harvest your veges regularly, this helps promote more growth throughout the season.
- Keep adding nutrients to replace those used by applying fertiliser every four or so weeks during key growing times. Select a fertiliser specially blended for your plant or crop like the Tui Food range, or use an all purpose variety, such as Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser.
In the fruit garden
- Strawberries - the more you pick the more they will grow - what a bonus! Remove old leaves and any other part of the plant that looks unhealthy. Apply Tui Strawberry Food to your strawberries and other berries regularly.
- Stake newly planted trees.
- Summer pruning can be undertaken as required. Prune peach, plum and nectarine trees on a clear, dry day.
- Thin out growth on grape vines, check for pests and diseases and deal with any problems before they take hold.
- Harvest apples, apricots, boysenberries, cherries, figs, lemons, mandarins, oranges, peaches, pears and plums. Harvest fruit regularly to get the most from your crop.
- After harvest reward your fruit trees with an application of Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser to promote new growth and stimulate flower buds for next season's fruit.
In the flower garden
- Pick vibrant blooms including roses, hydrangeas, fuchsias, dianthus, delphiniums, lilies, gladiolus, sweet peas, geraniums, cosmos, and sunflowers.
- Make the most of your blooms with basic maintenance - dead heading, weeding, watering, and feeding.
- Use Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser to feed your flowering plants and extend the season as long as you can.
- Plant up new hanging baskets, pots and containers - use Tui Flower Mix for best results.
- Plant aster, chrysanthemum, cosmos, dahlia, geranium, gerbera, impatiens, marigold, petunia.