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 September
The Edible Garden
The planting conditions in August are great for so many plants including: strawberry plants, passionfruit, raspberries, citrus.August, September
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
Spray for Brown Rot and Curly Leaf
Time to spray for protection against brown rot that destroys peaches, nectarines and sometimes apricots and plums, just as they ripen. Many come looking for a remedy each year when their fruit is rotting – the only fix for this is preventative spraying soon.
Put on 3 sprays about 10 days apart – the first one when the flower buds are closed and pink, the second in full bloom, and the third at 90% petal fall and once at Shuck fall. Yates Fungus Fighter is currently the product that provides best control for brown rot. Do not add an insecticide in the first two sprays (because bees are active), however on the third spray at petal fall add Yates Mavrik (a bee safe insecticide) which will eliminate any likely insect pests.
With this protection you should be able to get right through the season with no more spraying and no brown rot. This spraying regime will also help with Curly Leaf.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.
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
Slugs and Snails
Be on guard and protect plants against slugs and snails which can cause severe damage to young seedlings & other plants.
Protect seedlings from slugs and snails with ‘quash’ (pet friendly), ‘baysol’ (rainproof) or ‘blitzem’ (fast acting), slug and snail bait.August, September, October, November, December
The golden rule to watering is to water less often, but to water more deeply. This will encourage roots to go further down and seek water from the subsoil. Light watering on the surface every day has the opposite effect. For most gardens, a couple of times a week for a long period is better than watering every evening for a short time.January, February, March, September, October, November
In all sections of the garden it’s a busy time for hoeing and pulling out weeds. After rain showers they will grow very rapidly. Regular attention prevents weeds from smothering vegetables, flowers and small shrubsMarch, April, September, October, November
The Flower Garden
Care with the first of your Summer Flower Seedlings
New seasons plants of some of the first summer flowering annuals will start to arrive into the garden centre soon including; Lobelia, Livingstone Daisy and the first Petunia seedlings. One must be wary of any cold nights, if the temperature drops below 8˚C it would be wise to cover with frost cloth any newly planted seedlings. For those not so keen to gamble in the garden waiting until later in September is a safer bet.August, September
Fertilise Winter and Spring flowers
Time to fertilise winter and spring flowering and fruiting plants such as citrus, rhododendrons, camellias, daphne, azaleas and others to aid flower developments for spring. Come in store to find the right fertiliser you need.March, April, August, September
Plant up hanging baskets, pots and containers for a summer display.
Renew the potting mix in existing hanging baskets, pots and containers before replanting. Using a good potting mix such as ‘Natural Bark Potting Mix’ or ‘Tui Pot Power’ will give far superior results.August, September, October, November
To protect new growth spray roses with ‘Gro Safe Free Flo Copper’ spray, mix with ‘Grow Safe En Spray 99’ (spraying oil) using the summer rate to protect against pests & diseases. Both are biogro certified organic and both are rated highly as friendly to bees.August, September
Time to plant Dahlia, Lily, and Gladioli
Dahlia tubers, Lily bulbs, and Gladioli should be planted out now in sunny sheltered positions. As for most bulbs, corms and tubers the soil should be well cultivated mixed with compost. Use ‘Tui Bulb Food’ which contains a balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium with extra calcium to stimulate maximum flowering and healthy plant growth.August, September