Storms are threatening as I write this. I do hope that when you read it, you have been able to measure reasonable amounts in your rain gauges.
Plan your watering regime so you don’t miss any special treasures, particularly things planted recently.
Running some water through your dripper system if you haven't used it in a while will oust any little creatures that have taken up residence or any debris that could clog up the drippers.
Tap-timers allow you to set the water and walk away, eliminating the chance of forgetting to turn the tap off later. No one wants an over-watered garden and a dry, empty tank! If you don't have a tap-timer, try setting an alarm to remind you.
Carefully consider when and indeed, if, you use sprinklers, which can waste lots of water especially in windy weather.
Early morning watering allows plants to take up water before the heat of the day.
Soaker hoses and dripper systems lose less water through evaporation and allow water to be applied directly to the root zone. The root zone for shrubs and trees is at the drip line, where rain drips from the leaves, around the edge of the canopy, just like an umbrella.
For established plants, slow, deep, less frequent watering is far more beneficial than a quick sprinkle every day or so as it encourages growth of deep root systems.
Early morning watering allows plants to take up water before the heat of the day and minimises transpiration, wilting and stress. And don’t forget the mulch.
Bearded irises can be lifted and divided when they have finished flowering.
Keep the strongest rhizomes and cut off any rotting ends, making sure each rhizome has some roots attached. Cut about a half to a third off the leaves and replant with the top of the rhizome exposed to the sun. Discard any soft rhizomes.
Remove the foliage of spring-flowering bulbs (eg daffodils, jonquils, tulips) after it has yellowed to allow nutrition to be stored in the bulbs for next year’s flowers.
In the vegie garden, force lettuce with nitrogenous fertiliser and plenty of water. Protect from birds with strands of black cotton if necessary.
The Armidale Garden Club is holding its traditional end-of-year Christmas barbecue in the grounds of the Uniting Church on Thursday, November 22 with a 6.30pm start. RSVP to Ray Cantrell (phone 6772 2993 or email Raymond.Cantrell@bigpond.com) by November 20 for catering purposes. All welcome!
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