September is Gardening Month!

Hi all keen gardeners! Isn't it fantastic going out into the garden at this time of the year!

Especially after work, when its still warm, sunny, and most importantly all the plants are coming into life, and you can see new growth coming daily?

Are you happy with how your garden is looking?

Are you happy with how easy it is to look after?

If not, then this is the time of the year to do something about it!!

September is a fantastic time to get stuck into your garden, and get it prepared for the coming summer, and importantly make it look amazing in the months leading up to Xmas, when you will have lots of outdoor living and friends and family visiting. Even if you are not a gardener, at least give yourself a very easy care garden, so that you do minimal work in it to keep it up to scratch.

Some of the best maintenance tips that can help you in September are:

Lawn - feed in September, so that it encourages health and vigour and suppresses weeds.

Roses - spray the bare stems and young shoots with copper oxychloride, this will get rid of any fungous diseases lurking around - before they can do any damage.

Hostas - they will be emerging out of the soil, any week now, so get some slug bait down before the shoots come out, otherwise there is a good probability that the slugs will beat you and chew some unsightly holes in the leaves.

Hydrangeas - if you want extra good blue flower colouring then feed with aluminium sulphate, and if you want extra good red/pink blooms, then feed the plants with lime - you need to do it right now, because by the time the flower has opened its too late to alter the flower colour.

Fruit Trees - all deciduous fruiting trees spray with copper,and then follow up in two weeks time with a spray of conqueror oil.

Hedges - this is a good month to trim all your hedges, it gets the straight clean lines again, and trims off any rough winter growth, ready for the new flush of foliage, to grow and cover any old stems and foliage.

Feeding – it is extremely important to feed everything in your garden in September. It doesn’t matter how old opr young your garden is - I definitely recommend a slow release type fertiliser - like Growers Choice or Nitrophoska Blue and there are lots of other good slow release types. If you feed your garden 2 x per year - September and April, I guarantee your garden will improve immensely and be the top garden in the street. I religously feed every plant in our very old garden and thats why our garden always looks so healthy and vigorous.

Weeds - remove every weed you can find, (by chemical or manually by hand) - remember the old saying "1 x years seeding = 9 x years weeding " - this is extremely true, do not let weeds seed!!!!!! Be very diligent and keep on top of your weeds and the benefits will be enormous later in the season.

Compost and/or mulch - cover every garden. Apart from keeping away the weeds, you will keep in the moisture and it will rot down and encourage lots of worms into the surrounding soil.

Below is a simple list of 10 plants I recommend that look outstanding in spring gardens at the moment and are good performers:

  • MICHELIA FAIRY BLUSH - A real stunning shrub, with pink, cream and maroon coloured blooms - excellent fragrance
  • AZALEA KIRIN - still regrded as one of the very best evergreen azaleas, ever discovered. When this mid pink flowering azalea, is at it’s best, its hard to find the foliage for the flowers.
  • LOROPETALUM VARIETIES – there are many new varieties, coming onto the market each year. Select either a variety with an extra strong foliage colour because this is what you see for most of the year. Dont worry about what the label says, you can happily take it to 3.0 metres tall, and if you want to keep it at 30cm high, it will be just as equally happy.
  • CONVULVULUS CNEORUM - geniune silver coloured foliage and a striking white flower, a superb coastal option.
  • LEUCANTHEMUM HOSMARIENSE - silver foliage and large pure white daisy like flowers, also a superb perennial for the spring / summer dry garden.
  • ROSEMARINUS LAVANDULACEA - a great groundcover for a hot dry garden, likes full sun, extremely drought tolerant.
  • CAMELLIA CURLY LADY- if you are into floral art, then I definitely recommend this beauty, with its craggy stems and red flowers. Certainly the stems are a real eye catching feature.
  • SOPHORA SUNKING - a native kowhai from Chile, that generally flowers in its first year, only gets to 3.0 metres and is superb for the smaller section, especially if you are wanting to encourage bird life to your piece of garden.
  • MAGNOLIA STELLATA - one of the smaller growing deciduous types. You can rely on this beauty to perform. With mases of pure white starry flowers it is great for the back of the shrub border.
  • MICHELIA GRACIPES - brown buds turning into majestic creamy white flowers with the most delightful sweet fragrance. Superb for hedges, topiary and at the back of the shrub border.

Happy Gardening with Graeme

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Graeme Burton - Landscaper - Rukuhia Homestead, RD2, Ohaupo 3882
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