Whether you are completely new to gardening or a green thumb from way back, you'll find a lot of useful info here in our Gardening Advice section.
Start with our monthly gardening guide where you'll find seasonal tips for all the things you need to do this month, next month and beyond.
If you're looking for help on a specific topic, try the Gardening Information section and if you don't find what you're after please contact us. We're more than happy to help.
Garden Guide for July
The Edible Garden
Time to plant berry plants including the brambles such as raspberries and boysenberries. A couple of varieties to note are Raspberry aspiring; this had large dark red conical firm fruit with excellent flavour. It is a strong and productive plant, which spreads fast and is one of the easiest of all to grow. Canes are vigorous with a high number of strong upright canes. Dormant canes are dark brown with few spines. It fruits in both summer and autumn. Summer fruit are on last years canes where winter chill is adequate. Autumn fruit is produced on the top 10-20 buds of new canes.
Boysenberry thornless jewel; Large, firm conical rich dark red/black berries. Old fashioned boysenberry flavour, juicy and sweet. It is a boysenberry cross that fruits in December, and the plant is thornless.June, July
Citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon, lime, tangelo, mandarin etc) will be nearing maturity. Be aware that changing skin colour is caused by cool temperatures and does not always suggest ripeness.
Fruit development takes significant plant energy. If leaves show signs of yellowing then feed with a liquid fertiliser such as 'Yates Thrive Liquid Concentrate Citrus'.June, July
Deciduous Fruit Tree Feeding
In late July feed deciduous fruit trees, this is in preparation for leaf burst in the coming 4-8 weeks. Broadcast ‘Tui Citrus Fertiliser’ evenly over the feeding root zone underneath the tree. This generally extends about 50cm beyond the tips of the outermost branches and leaves. Take care to keep the fertiliser away from the trunk of the tree and water in well.July
Deciduous Fruit Tree Planting
The winter months are optimal for planting deciduous fruit trees. If you want to harvest your own fresh fruit then now is the time to plan out your home orchard. Fruit tree varieties due into store include; apple, plum, apricot, cherry, pear, peach, nectarine, peachcot, plumcot, quince, walnut, hazelnut, chestnut, plus others. Some fruit variety numbers are limited - it is recommended to place an order instore if you are after something in particular. If limited for space, try family tree planting, check out this link http://www.waimeanurseries.co.nz/how-to-guide/family-tree-plantings-four-trees-in-one-hole/
Also a good time to plant; pomegranate, fig, gooseberry, grape, currents, mandarin, lemon, other citrus, and more. This is the time of year with the best selection.June, July, August
Garlic and Shallots
Garlic and Shallot cloves can still be planted.July
Towards the end of July new asparagus corms will become are available in stores and should be planted into rich fertile soil.
Plant for Spring Harvest
Plant seedlings into the vegetable garden that will give a spring harvest. Plantings now can include; cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, rocket, celery, parsley, pak choi, spring onions, silverbeet, peas, spinach, brown & red onions and lettuce varieties in protected spots.
Sow outside direct where they are to grow; carrot, leeks, broad bean & beetroot seeds.July, August
Prepare for Summer Planting
Summer growing vegetable seeds to sow inside, undercover, in a warm heated area in the coming weeks include; basil, tomato, capsicum, chilli, coriander, chives, cucumber, broccoli, eggplant, gherkin, melon, pumpkin, squash, watermelon, zucchini, spinach, peas & more. Use ‘Tui Seed Raising Mix’ for good results.
If sown in trays the seedlings can be pricked out into individual pots approximately 14 days following germination. We recommend biodegradable jiffy pots as these can later be planted directly into the garden with zero root disturbance. Grow until the plants are of good size and overnight temperatures are above 10 degrees before planting into the garden.July, August, September
Sprout Seed Potatoes
Time to purchase and start sprouting seed potatoes. It is important to purchase ‘certified seed potatoes.’ This means that the seed has been assessed by an authority called ‘Potatoes NZ’. This certification is to ensure the seed is free from viruses which can significantly reduce the yield.
To speed sprouting, place them in a warm well lit situation inside.
When it is time to plant work in plenty of compost and the recommended amount of potato fertiliser.
Potatoes when planted at this time of year should be planted fairly shallow, no more than a spade blade depth; make a shallow furrow and plant them about 30cm apart, with rows about 75cm apart. Just cover with soil and as the sprouts grow through the ground mound up the soil over them. Spread more potato fertiliser along the mound surface each time. Mounding will help protect young growth from frosts. Ensure that exposed tops are covered also on evenings that may be frosty. Once the mound is of sufficient height then you may need to use frost cloth to protect your plants from late winter frosts.
Prepare for frosts; make sure you have supplies of frost cloth ready if you have frost sensitive plants that may be at risk. You can also spray on a product called vapour-guard which will give frost protection to treated plants.May, June, July, August
New Seasons Trees In Store
A great time to be planting! An abundance of new seasons stock especially camellias, rhododendrons, fruit trees, ornamental trees, roses and lots of shrubs and hedging plants are all available in the garden centre now.
Start an orchard! Save money on fruit by growing your own. You don’t have to have a big section to have fruit trees there are dwarf varieties of many fruits that are ideal for small spots or growing in pots and containers.
Available now include; apricots, apples, peaches, peachcots, plums, nectarines, pears, quince, walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, almonds, cherries, figs, lemons, limes, mandarins, oranges, grapefruit plus more.
June and July are good months to plant deciduous specimen trees (those that lose their leaves in winter). The new seasons selection will come available in the garden centre during the later part of June and through July. Planting while trees are in their dormant stage minimises the risk of any transplanting shock as all new growth (that starts from August) willbe happening in your garden.June, July
Pip Fruit Pruning
Time to prune apple and pear trees. Pruning of fruit trees and vines is primarily undertaken to maximise fruit set, yield, and fruit quality.
The objectives of good pruning are to;
- Maintain the size and quantity of the fruit
- Remove dead and diseased wood.
- Train the young tree so that it will develop a vigorous strong framework of branches that is able to carry heavy crops over a long period of time without damage to the branches of the tree.
- Train the tree to a form (vase shape, central leader shape etc.), which aids the management of disease control and harvesting.
- Provide good quality and an even distribution of healthy fruiting wood throughout the tree.
Prune your trees on a day that you would dry your washing on and paint all cuts with pruning paste to minimise the risk of disease infection.
Follow this immediately with a spray of Gro Safe En Spray 99 and Gro Safe Free Flo Copper which for ease of application can be safely mixed together and get good results.June, July, August
Keep an eye on the weather, be prepared to protect young plants with temporary covers (like a cloche) from unseasonable cold or hail storm, strong and cold wind or torrential rain which can strike at any time.
The use of a cloche to cover out newly planted seedlings will greatly increase the growth rate at this time of year.May, June, July, August, September, October, November
If you are not keen on spraying but really need to for obtaining good crops on fruiting plants then choose to do winter sprays. This will clean up overwintering pests and diseases and reduce the need for spraying later in the season when fruit is on the trees. Winter sprays on roses will improve spring growth and subsequent flowering.
Very useful in Whanganui to help induce dormancy on deciduous fruits and plants particularly roses. By doing so the plant has a proper rest period & will reward with better blooming in the coming season. Lime sulphur will also remove lichen from plants as well as controlling insects including scale insects & mites. It provides a protective film of sulphur over buds to prevent the entry of fungus into plants and trees. (Note lime sulphur is not suitable for apricots)
Grosafe Enspray 99
An spraying oil for control of scale, mites and mealy bug on fruit trees, grapes, roses and other ornamentals. Applying during the dormant period reduces the pest incidence during the coming season.
Grosafe Freeflo Copper
Freeflo copper protects against fungal diseases including blackspot, downy mildew & curly leaf (peaches & nectarines). Grosafe Freeflo copper is as improvement on other powder & liquid types of copper giving a far more complete coverage and stronger fungal protection
For ease of application mix Grosafe Enspray 99 & Grosafe Freeflo Copper together.May, June, July, August
The Flower Garden
Time to grow cyclamen; One of the longest flowering plants that are excellent for pots and gardens are cyclamen. They thrive in pots and well drained shady areas of the garden. They come in a range of offerings including larger growing plants with large flowers and foliage to those with miniature foliage and miniature flowers. A typical miniature cyclamen that you would buy in the garden centre can have up to 200-300 flowers in a season!
Cyclamen can be grown indoors or outdoors in a shady spot. These winter flowering beauties make a room bright & cheerful and are an excellent gifts. There are two types readily available the larger flowered and a miniature type which are usually lightly scented.May, June, July
Feed your Winter flowers
Feed polyanthus, pansies, primula and cyclamen with dried blood sold as ‘Tui Flower Booster’ (quite different to blood and bone). Use a teaspoon amount around each plant to enhance flowering and plant health.June, July, August
Your perennials (a plant that will regrow in Spring) will require cutting down to soil level at the end of their growing season. You can choose to cut the plant back when it is finished or you may choose to leave the foliage if the plant has interesting seed heads that can be enjoyed by the birds. Then you would cut the plant back in late Winter. This would include plants such as delphiniums, hosta, brunnera, some day lilies, thalictrum, cranes bill geranium.June, July, August
Winter roses aka hellebores are at their best during the winter months with flowering becoming more profuse in the cooler weather. Check out the many varieties in store now and the amazing blooms with colours ranging from whites, creams, light pink through to dark burgundy black. Spectacular flower forms range from singles to doubles. They are well worth having in the winter garden – check them out!June, July
Time to plant lily bulbs including; Christmas lilies’, Oriental and Asiatic varieties now available in store. These spectacular plants must be planted now to produce stunning blooms at your house during the summer months. Check out some of the amazing colours available in store now.July
Looking for colour?
Good colour at the moment are many camellia sasanqua varieties. They are in full flower with others in bud due to burst. Other good shrubs or plants for providing winter flowers include:
Consider these plants for beautiful foliage colour prompted with the cooler weather.
Time to plant peony bulbs. They generally prefer a colder climate than what we have here in Whanganui. However the blooms are so captivating many try and succeed to grow these gems in Whanganui. Picking a colder spot in the garden is advantageous and some say to empty the icebox from the freezer around them during winter to simulate a cooler climate.July, August
Sow Summer Flower Seeds
Make sowings in trays inside undercover of summer flowering annuals for planting out in the Spring. Flower seeds to sow undercover include; alyssum, begonia, candy tuft, carnation, celosia, cosmos, cornflower, dianthus, delphinium, forget-me-not, larkspur, linaria, linum, lobelia, lupin, marigold, nemesia, pansy, petunia, phlox, poppies, portulaca, salvia, snapdragon, statice, stock, sweet peas, sweet william, violas and zinnias.July, August
Winter flowers to choose
There is a huge range of flowering plants to choose from, to fill up the gaps in your your winter garden. These include
- sweet William
- lobelia (in frost sheltered spots)
to name a few. Plant these flowers to give cheerful colour during the coming months. Come in and check out the range available in the garden centre now.April, May, June, July