It might be cold outside, but it's a great time to get busy with the heavier tasks in the garden and you will soon warm up and get some exercise as well!
Jobs like spreading big loads of mulch around the garden, removing dead trees and shrubs, marking out areas for new garden beds and digging holes and preparing soil for planting will all keep you moving.
Heavier work includes building retaining walls, brick or timber compost bays or raised vegie beds, installing garden edging and laying pavers and paths.
Don't risk coming to harm, though. Plan your project in stages and remember to always bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting.
Calendula and marigolds are popular companion plants in the vegie garden. Including these flowers in your garden will attract beneficial insects, facilitate an organic approach to your pest control and they are also edible!
Now is a great time to keep on top of winter weeds in the vegie patch so they don't swamp your seedlings.
While the vegies, perennials, bulbs, trees and shrubs you planted in autumn are busy making root growth underground, so too are the weeds.
Weeds that germinate in autumn and survive through winter develop really well-established root systems and grow strongly when the weather warms up.
Best to eliminate them now! Try making a weed tea to feed your winter crops.
It's time to prune grapevines. Grapes can be pruned after the leaves have fallen as grape vines "bleed" sap copiously if they are pruned when they are growing, which can weaken the plant.
Cut last year's fruited canes back to two or three buds from the main stem and use the cuttings to propagate new plants for friends.
Feed and water winter vegies regularly to keep them growing strongly. A seaweed tea, or any low environmental impact liquid fertiliser are perfect for any seedlings you've just planted.
Apply to the soil early in the morning, and in the concentrations mentioned on the packet.
In areas where frosts are severe, it is worth insulating taps and/or pipelines to protect against freezing and bursting, especially any that have been installed since last winter. Wrap with several layers of hessian or use one of the products on the market for insulating outside taps, from your local hardware store.
The Armidale Garden Club has permission from the Uniting Church to hold its next meeting in the Youth Club Hall on Thursday 23 July, at 7pm. Everyone is welcome and social distancing requirements will be adhered to.
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