If your garden is anything like mine, it's probably starting to look a little scrappy at this time of year. The annuals are starting to sag and the summer veges have just about come to the end of their run. White powdery mildew might have appeared on your zucchini plants, or aphids on your tomato plants. While it's tempting to pull up the lot and start again, I know if I keep watering, feeding and picking I'll get a few more weeks of harvests, so it's worth trying to sort out the problems.
That's where the new Garden Problem Solver on the Tui website comes in handy – just click on your problem and it will pop up with a solution (look for the leaf symbol for natural options). For example, the first line of defence against aphids is to blast them with a garden hose; failing that, try Tui Insect Control for Fruit and Veges, which has a natural canola oil base.
It's also time to get planting to make sure there's something to pick and eat through the winter months. I like to tuck a few winter veges in underneath my annuals and summer crops at the height of summer. This shelters them from the heat of the sun, and means that when I do eventually pull up the summer plants, the winter seedlings beneath will have had a head start.
At this time of year I like to plant seedlings of beetroot, broccoli, kale and all the other brassicas, as well as hardy greens like corn salad, mizuna, winter lettuces, bok choy, silverbeet and spring onions, for crops through June and July. And while I'm in the garden I plant seeds of the same crops, plus fennel, broad beans and carrots, directly into the ground – they'll give me a later flush and hopefully harvests right through late winter into early spring.
Here's a little video I took while wandering through my Wanaka garden - as you can see it's far from perfect at this time of year, but there's still plenty to harvest and enjoy...
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