Wow, great rain for our area! Appreciated by many as June had been quite a dry month, but do spare thoughts for those who are affected by yet more flooding across the country, especially the gardeners, some of whom will have only just finished cleaning up after the last watery onslaught.
Spreading fertiliser during a break in rainy weather will allow the rain to water it in for you.
If you have ordered bare-rooted deciduous shrubs trees, it won't be very long before you get a call from your nursery advising that they have arrived in store. You will give your plants a better chance if you have prepared the hole for planting beforehand.
Some gardeners like to do this up to several months before planting the shrub/tree, but even preparing a few weeks before planting will help your plant establish. Dig a hole about 30cm wider and 5cm deeper than you estimate the roots will be, to ensure that they will not be cramped.
Fork over the bottom of the hole to break up the subsoil and mix plenty of organic matter into the soil you have taken out of the hole, before putting it back in again, to rot down before it is time to plant.
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You can also think about moving deciduous trees or shrubs while they are in their winter dormancy phase and before the buds break out on the branches.
Pre-prepare the new hole with some compost or well-rotted manure, digging the new hole as large as you can. Water well before digging the plant you wish to move, try to get as many of the roots as you can - out to the drip line if possible - and prune any damaged roots so they have a clean cut.
When you have your tree or shrub in its new location, water it in well, prune back any new soft growth and apply a seaweed solution to encourage root growth. If your garden is very windy, the stake newly-planted tree using three to four stakes and tie with hessian or an old stocking.
Keep the tree/shrub well-watered, especially when its new growth starts in spring and throughout the following summer.
The Armidale Garden Club's next meeting is at 7pm on Thursday, July 28 at the Uniting Church Youth Club Hall. If you would like any more info, please call 0412 589 414; otherwise just come along!
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