I hope you are enjoying the spring blossom on the trees this month.
Our change in the clocks means more time in the evening to potter in your garden - a restful way to finish the day.
Jobs this month look forward to the coming growing season and replenishing reserves for those winter flowering plants that have been giving us cheer throughout the winter months.
Fertilise any winter flowering plants now they have finished blooming. If you have camellias, remember they do prefer an acid fertiliser.
Give your roses a boost before flowering. We have a special secret fertiliser recipe for our client's plants, so if you have roses, let us come and feed them and guarantee you some stunning displays come summer.
Wanting to plant something new this spring. Do any of these appeal? Create a sunflower hut for the children or have cut flowers on the table for Christmas - plant Calla Lilly, Dahlia & Gladioli bulbs now.
Liquid feed all plants which gets absorbed by plants quickly and gives them a quick boost.
I know we regularly remind you to feed citrus trees, but they are such big feeders.
If you need help in your garden this spring, just get in touch with us at email@example.com to book one of our sparkly gardeners.
Claire & the team
It is officially the start of spring!
With the evenings getting longer, we have a few more daylight hours to potter in the garden in the evening.
Spring is about preparation and getting the soil ready for all the growth that will occur in the warmer months.
One of the best products to use as a slow release fertiliser in your garden as well as improve your soil's structure is sheep pellets (if you have dogs best to use a granular fertiliser). The sheep manure is compacted with the sheep's wool and the lanolin helps promote earth worm activity. Use a handful under each plant and then apply a mulch over the top. Check out our Special Spring Offer below to receive great prices on sheep pellets.
In warmer Auckland, it is safe to plant out some early tomato seedlings and other veggie seedlings for your veggie box too. Remember to use Quash slug pellets to protect them.
If you are looking at a new lawn or have patches in your lawn that need repairing, now is the time. Using a good Weed N Feed product is a good start to boost your existing grass and get rid of those weeds. We can recommend some great local companies that can help you with ready lawn, Wool Grow & regular lawn treatments.
Prune your passionfruit vine and feijoas to encourage great fruiting come autumn.
Using a citrus fertiliser, it is time to feed those citrus trees (again!!) along with any fruit trees & berries you might have, so they have the energy to reward you with luscious fruit come summer.
Before we go, take a look at our limited Special Spring Offer:
Book one of our Sensational Spring gardeners this spring & for every hour they work, get an 8kg bag of sheep pellets for ONLY $7.99, (usually $12.99) until 30th November. To grab your Special Spring offer, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
It really feels like winter is here when you have to scrape ice off your windscreen in Auckland!
We get excited in July as it is rose pruning time. Roses aren't really meant to grow in Auckland. It never really gets cold enough for the rose to 'hibernate', rest and recover before having to produce those beautiful blooms. That is why they need to be regularly fed to keep them growing & producing and why we try to prune in the coldest months, when there is less chance they will actively grow.
If you have roses and would like them to be professionally pruned this year, get in touch with us - email@example.com. We'd love to help them get off to a great start this year.
Other jobs this month are tidying all those plants that are now past their best, ready to grow again when the warmth comes back.
Enjoy your garden.
Claire & the team
Firstly, make sure your secateurs are sharp. Secondly, clean them with a bleach wipe or alcohol solution. Then, take off any damaged or dead growth back to new healthy growth. Any branches that are touching or crossing can be removed too. Then, depending on the age, size and shape of the bush, cut back to a few centimetres above an outward facing bud, with a diagonal cut.
Spray to protect against mites, scale and fungus - you can also use an organic bug oil or a premix Rose spray such as Yates Rose Gun.
If they are looking ugly & tatty with old brown leaves and dead flowers, get your scissors or secateurs and cut them off at ground level.
If you have the large invasive variety, I would try to dig them out in these wet conditions, or at least confine them in one spot. If you have the non invasive varieties, now is the time to cut off the old flower stalks & leaves, leaving them tidy for spring.
Cut back to just above new growth at nodes towards the base of the plant. You may want to remove some stems completely depending on how crazy the plant has gone!
If you don't have time to do these jobs or others in your garden in July, our sparkly gardener's would love to help. Contact us here to book an appointment.
Welcome to June - I hope you are enjoying the colourful display from the Camellias this time of year. They can be slow growing, but the pretty petals and glossy leaves are hard to beat as a hedge or as a stand alone shrub at this time of year.
Prune in June is a bit of mantra for our team for those trees that have finished fruiting - such as feijoas. Make sure your tools are sharp and clean to help prevent disease spreading between your plants. We use Dettol wipes for our tools between client's gardens.
We've highlighted a few June jobs that will keep you busy on sunny days in your garden.
Enjoy the month of June
June is the perfect time to plant new fruit trees such as apples, pears & plums. The new seasons stocks will be coming into local garden centres shortly. I think Waimea's selection is by far the best selection. Ask about the right root stock for your soil type. Certain root stocks are better at coping with Auckland's North Shore clay soil.
Don't forget the strawberries - the earlier you plant them, the earlier you will get the fruit.... and they will fruit for longer.
Up in warmer Auckland, it is safe to prune hydrangeas, though sparkly Toni, who originates from Christchurch never likes to do it! Remove any spindly, dead and thin growth, by cutting them out at the base. For the stronger shoots, prune back to 2 - 3 buds from the base. If you care about the colour changes, add lime to help the pink shade and aluminium sulphate for the blue.
This time of year is a good time to remind yourself to clean & sharpen your tools - white spirit works well. I drop my tools off at my local Hammer Hardware where a local tool sharpening guy collects them each week - well worth doing.
Making sure it is dry and your loppers are sharp, now is the time to prune deciduous trees who have lost their leaves. Any branches that are dead or diseased should be removed first, then prune for shape, removing any that are crossing or rubbing against each other and size. You might want to lift the crown, so remove the lower branches or reduce in size, pruning back along the main lateral branches.
If you don't have time to do these jobs or others in your garden in June, our sparkly gardener's would love to help. Contact us here to book an appointment.
Welcome to May - I hope that you have a source of juicy large feijoas, surely one of the best things about autumn time.
We were lucky last week to be tidying a garden with a huge feijoa fall, which weren't loved by the tenants. Toni & I happily tidied them away and took them home to grateful children.
We've highlighted a few May jobs that will keep you busy on sunny days in your garden.
Enjoy the month of May.
Autumn is nature's best planting time, so now is the time for new trees & shrubs to be placed in the earth with love.
Look ahead to spring - if you plant your strawberries now you will be rewarded with an early crop which will fruit for longer.
Now is time to take a look at your indoor plants. A top up of new container mix, a liquid feed and reduce the watering as temperatures have dropped.
Now is the time to plant winter & spring colour and you'll see the stocks of camellia & friends in the garden centre in the coming months. Remember to get some camellia feed too, to keep them happy.
If you don't have time to do these jobs or others in your garden in May, our sparkly gardener's would love to help. Contact us here to book an appointment.
Happy Easter! It is beginning to feel a little cooler in the evenings and the clock change are all signs that we are heading out of summer. Autumn is nature's best planting time, so if you have trees & shrubs to get in, now is the time to do it so they can establish over the cooler, wetter months. Here are a few more jobs in the garden to keep you busy in April.
Love them, love them, love them but always forget to plant the seeds til too late. Not this Easter. Find a sunny spot, open to rain and pop some sweetpea seeds in. This is a great flower for children to plant as the seed is easy to handle and the end product is so sweet smelling and pretty. You'll be thanking me come spring.
Remove all your tired old summer flowers, rejuvenate the soil by digging in new garden mix and some general fertiliser or sheep pellets and then replant with some winter colour - primulas, violas, pansies, snap dragon & hollyhocks are all perfect.
It's your last chance to plant your spring bulbs.
Here's a great guide to help you from Palmers Garden Centre
Keep dead heading your roses and start to dream about next season. Do any of your roses need replacing? Or are you wanting to plant a new rose? If so, now is the time to prepare the site, by removing the old soil turning it over and aerating and replacing it with good quality potting mix.
Now is the time to prune back those summer flowering shrubs that are tired and past it. Shrubs like Hebes (prune to stop them getting too woody) & Hydrangeas, (unless you love the dead heads over winter) will look tidier after a prune.
If you don't have time to do these jobs and others in your garden in April, our sparkly gardener's would love to help. Contact us here to book an appointment.
Sounds easy, and it is but here are some of our golden rules:
Wow - where did January go!
It has been a crazy month for weather with heat and lots of rain too. Weeds and plants are growing crazily in my garden in equal measures. Here are my top tips for jobs in the garden for February
1. Water your citrus - As your fruit develops over summer, it is important to keep your plants well watered. Half a bucket twice a week is what to aim for.
2. Feijoas are fleshy fruits, so to ensure you have lots of lovely juicy feijoas come autumn, it is critical to keep watering at the moment. If you haven't mulched around the base of each plant - do it!
3. Raise the heights of your lawn mower - this allows the grass to stay a little longer, and prevents the soil underneath heating too much. Soak lawns once a week, to keep them lush, and having a regular weed and feed spray regime should help keep weeds under control. Pimp My Lawn offer a good service.
4. Thin apple clusters to about three per bunch − any more than this and the fruit will be small and more than likely to bruise.
5. Weeding, watering, mulching & feeding - keep on top of the basics!
It's time to trim Buxus & fertilise any topiaries in pots. Plants in pots do better with chemical or synthetic fertilisers so use products such as Osmoform, Triabon or Nitrophoska. With February being a dry month, water your pots every 2/3 days. Watering will also activate the fertilisers you use too.
If you need a hand keeping on top of your garden this month or feel frustrated that you don't have the time to make it tidy and presentable, contact us here.
Mulching around the base of fruit trees and garden shrubs will conserve moisture and protect roots from the hot summer sun, especially if you have Camellia, Azaleas or Vireyas.
Fill your pots with summer annual colour ready for Christmas - impatiens, marigolds and petunias are a good option.
If you are growing tomatoes, feed them once a week with a good liquid feed such as Seasol. Remove any lateral side growths and tie up with strong stakes.
Keep planting out those veggie seedlings and sow seeds directly into the soil. Remember to stagger planting every 2 weeks to avoid gluts.
For patio pots, choose containers to use as focal points, rather than lots of smaller pots, which dry out faster. When it comes to watering, do this in the morning or evening, rather than the middle of the day.
With the first flush of rose blooms nearly finished, it is time to do the first lot of deadheading – removing the spent flowers will encourage new stems to appear sooner. A sprinkle of rose fertiliser is a good idea, as well as a layer of mulch. Water roses deeply a couple of times a week, aiming not to water the foliage, just the soil. This helps prevent black spot and mildew issues.
Mow lawns at a higher cutting level for the summer. If you cut your lawn too short, it will dry out more quickly.
Need help to get those jobs done in the garden? Got the need but not the time to do it?
Call us on 021 549 161 - we'd love to help.
Claire & the team
Eugenia ventenatii, better known as lily pily is an often used hedging plant, chosen for its vigorous growth and ability to grow tall quickly to screen out unpleasant views.
It has a lovely reddish tinge on the new growth and really bushy with a fine leaf to give a really dense hedge. A perfect solution - but over the past few years in the North Shore area it has fallen foul of psyllids and thrips - small sap sucking insects which leave lumps on leaves and distort the plant's growth.
After mating, the female insects insert yellow oval shaped egg into the edge of the new leaves. Small nymphs hatch from the eggs and move to the newly expanding leaves, where they feed and develop in the cup shaped pits which are formed by the plant’s response to the insects feeding. Excessive pit formation creates severely distorted or blistered leaves, leaving shoots to appear stunted. Nymphs produce excrement in the form of tiny white pellets, some of which collects on foliage and becomes blackened from sooty mould growth.
So what can be done to stop this damage to your hedge?
Firstly, the health of the plant plays a major role. Plants that are stressed and in poor condition due to lack of water or nutrients are far more susceptible to attack. Make sure that you are watering the plants regularly in summer and during dry times. We've had good feedback from our client Jackie who also uses Kiwicare's Insect Hit Granules applied to the soil every 2 - 3 months. We would also recommend feeding with sheep pellets or a liquid feed of Seasol.
Secondly, spraying with a systemic insectide spray such as Confidor, will kill the nymphs. Systemic sprays are chemicals that travel through the plant and remain in the plant tissue for a period of time. Do read the instructions carefully and remember to apply the second spray, 7 - 10 days after the first. Also, wait for a dry day. Studies have shown that focusing on spraying the underside of the leaves is more effective.
Good luck with your hedge care and if you need our help with treating a bad case of thrip & psyllid infestation, just give us a call on 021 549 161.