With wetter weather around it is harder to get out in the garden, a good time to do some planning with a cup of tea in hand! Frosts and snow will be about in some areas, when in doubt cover and protect all your hard work.

Key Points

  • Now is a good time to prepare the ground for sowing new lawns in September. Spray out any perennial weeds with Roundup, dig over and level ground, removing stones, roots, and other debris.
  • Camellias that have finished flowering can be pruned back and fed with Tui Acid Plant Food
  • A protective Copper based spray can be applied to deciduous trees and roses to reduce the risk of fungal diseases over spring and summer months.

The Edible Garden

  • With spring just around the corner now is the time to start preparing the soil for planting out summer vegetables and fruits
  • Dig soil over and apply generous quantities of good organic compost.
  • Now is a good time to apply garden lime – refer to packaging for application rates
  • Start sowing seeds in trays for spring planting – a lightweight, portable greenhouse is perfect for this
  • Seed potatoes can be planted this month
    • Potatoes grow best in a warm sunny position
    • They prefer a free draining soil with lots of organic matter
    • Make sure seed potatoes have a lot of good sprouts before planting
  • Plant Rhubarb now – dig in lots of compost and sheep pellets
  • Citrus trees can be planted now in milder climates
    • Citrus is the most popular fruit tree for the home garden
    • They like a warm, sunny position, and a free draining soil
    • Feed is spring and autumn with a fruit tree and citrus fertiliser and water well in drier months
  • Strawberries – Now’s the time to be planting strawberries.
    • Strawberries like good fertile soil so dig in lots of top quality compost before planting. A handful of Blood and Bone in the planting hole and a top dressing of general fertiliser will get them off to a flying start.
    • Remember to water in well after planting.
    • Strawberries look great in strawberry pots on the deck – easy picking in the summer!
  • Vege Garden – still lots to do in the vegetable garden this month.
    • Spinach, cabbage, winter lettuce, bok choy, should all be part of your winter garden.
    • Broad beans are a great winter garden crop – plant seeds now into prepared soil. Provide some support as they do get reasonably tall (use twigs and small branches from your pruning in the garden).
    • Broad beans are easy care, and you will have delicious young beans in October / November.
    • Shallots – sweeter than garlic, milder than onions. Great in stews and casseroles, or roasted whole. Shallots are easy to grow and take up little space in the garden.
  • Rhubarb – Nothing beats the taste of homegrown rhubarb with your muesli or weet-bix for breakfast!
    • Rhubarb is planted by ‘Crowns’ which is available this month.
    • Rhubarb plants are heavy feeders so dig in plenty of top quality compost at planting time and follow up with general garden fertiliser at regular intervals through the year.

Citrus Trees

  • Citrus trees can be planted now in milder climates
  • Citrus is the most popular fruit tree for the home garden
  • They like a warm, sunny position, and a free draining soil
  • Feed is spring and autumn with a fruit tree and citrus fertiliser and water well in drier months

The Flower Garden

Dahlia and Begonia tubers, and Gladioli bulbs, are all in store this month – plant now for a riot of summer colour


  • If you haven’t completed your rose pruning it is not too late but try to have it done as soon as possible this month.
  • It is a good time to plant roses as it gives them time to settle and put on root and leaf growth before spring and summer flowering.
  • Roses are now as popular as ever and are unsurpassed for summer colour and fragrance. There is a rose to suit every situation – groundcover, patio pots, covering walls and trellis, adding colour to the border year after year
  • Good soil preparation is the key this month, prior to spring planting.
  • Dig soil over well, breaking down any clods.
  • Add in lots of good organic compost.
  • A dressing of lime can also be added now, especially in vegetable gardens. This gives the lime time to react before adding other fertilisers in the spring.
  • Remember not to apply lime around plants which like ‘acid’ soil conditions – Camellias, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Ericas.”

The Lawn

Take advantage of the new spring growth and fertiliser your lawn now. Apply evenly to the whole lawn and water in.