Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pink Tip Stage

Another job for this time of the year. When your stone fruit starts to look like this, spray with some copper based fungicide. Kocide, Bordeaux, Mancozeb plus. It'll stop a whole range of stuff; leaf curl, freckle, brown rot (I think). It's just the right thing to do - leave it and you'll be looking for fixes in spring and the advice will be "you should've sprayed back at pink tip stage"
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Winter in OZ

When people ask me "what should I plant right now" my typical answer is "get your soil under control and do your pruning".

Sure you can plant some winter vegies or flowers and you'll get something out of that. Broccoli, Lettuce, Coriander, Rocket in particular. Primulas, Daisies, especially Iceland Poppies. You'll get something out of that. You can also plant plums and all those other bare rooted fruit trees and of course roses; australian natives go in really well at the moment. You'll get something out of that, but the garden moves slowly at this time of year.

But the best thing. Soil. If you've got bare soil that you want to get better, put four bags of cow manure on it and just leave it. You could have done that as long ago as early June. That, alone is the best thing you can do. In late August you can turn the soil over, put some seedlings in there and it'll rip away.

The other high yield activity is garden maintenance. Sounds boring, but you get one chance a year to do it right. Prune anything that loses its leaves and rake up all that leaf litter that's under your deciduous trees. You're wrong to think it's good mulch - what you're doing if you leave all that stuff under your tree is allowing the fungal and pest lifecycle to go untrammelled. So break the cycle. Clear up all the crap - if you're organised you'll put it on that bare soil before you put the cow manure on the top of it. That's compost. It'll kill all those diseases.

Get to it. Do the boring stuff. It makes you look like a star in spring time.