The Edible Garden
December is the month when things really get going in the vegetable garden. You will begin to enjoy the rewards of your abundant harvest. Planting can continue in most areas just ensure a good supply of water and fertiliser as growth will be rapid.
December is the start of the true hot summer heat meaning now is the perfect time to plant out different varieties of capsicums, zucchini, corn, kale, leek, celery, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, okra, spring onion, pumpkin & advanced tomatoes.
If planting brassica seedlings over the summer months choose an open position which, benefits from afternoon shade as this will help stop them bolting to seed as the warmer months approach. Protect new seedlings from cabbage white butterfly by using Eco oil or food grade diatomaceous earth, both are low toxic and organic control methods.
Now's the time to sow beans, carrots, spring onion, parsnip, radish, silver-beet, swede & turnip seed.
What to do this month
- Roses will benefit from an application of Sudden impact for roses; this amazing fertiliser will ensure a wonderful flower display and less disease
- Mulch sweetcorn and tomatoes and feed with Potash as fruit develops
- Control leaf eating grubs on vegetable crops with Yates success or Tomato Dust.
- Add Saturaid to pots and hanging baskets
- Spray roses to control black spot and pick up fallen leaves around the base.
- Spray aphids with Eco oil
- Feed fuchsias and geranium with a potassium enriched fertiliser.
- Spray apples, pears and hawthorns with Yates Success to control pear and cherry slug. If you don't want to spray, dust with wood ash.
- Harvest peas and other summer veggies regularly so they produce more crops.
- Cut back and feed annual flowers.
- Control passion fruit leaf hopper with Yates Mavrik insecticide.
- Now is a good time to plant up pots and hanging baskets
- Keep deadheading roses and water deeply to ensure a second flush of blooms.
- Trim back any flowering shrubs that have finished; this will encourage new growth over summer for next year’s flowers.
- Remove lower leaves on tomato's to reduce soil borne disease.
- Watch for rust on raspberries, and spray with a copper based spray. Avoid overhead watering
- Top up your gardens with mulch to have them looking great and to help with water retention.
Did you know:
Shot hot hole disease is prevalent at the moment. This disease is often mistaken as a pest eating issue as the holes have the appearance of being chewed however this is actually a fungal disease. Shot hole disease first appears in the spring as purplish or reddish spots on buds, leaves, and shoots. Spots on young leaves commonly have a narrow, light green or yellow margin. The spots expand and their centers turn brown and can drop out, leaving holes.
Avoid overhead watering during the growing season and treat with lime sulfur whilst the trees are dormant, prior to bud swell