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Prepare Now For Planting Operations

DOSE pruning should be hurried A on and though extra planting_ can still be done there is no time to' be lost. Many of the more tender shrubs and trees, such as scarlet gums, acacias, jacarandas etc., can be planted now as well as clumps of the ornamental bamboos. Evergreen trees can be planted at this time of the year quite successfully. Carnations are beginning to show signs of growth. Now is the time to clean the plants of all dead or diseased foliage. Bedding plants in wide variety can be set out and delphiniums can be lifted, divided and replanted. Gladioli conns can be disposed in groups about the garden, and cuttings of chrysanthemums should be taken as they appear. Keep sweet pea growths tied to their supports. In the vegetable section make small sowings of Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, beetroot and radishes. Sow tomato seed in readiness for transplanting into boxes. A further sowing of peas may be made and more potatoes planted. Prepare new asparagus beds in readiness for planting next month. A pinch of celery seed can be sown for early plants. Autumn-sown onions can be put into their final rows.

An asparagus bed should be made six or eight weeks before planting and planting time is October. If the

land is naturally ASPARAGUS IS drained, there is EASILY GROWN no worry on this

score, but if not drainage is essential. Put in the drains so that the water is carried away from the bottom of the trench. The most convenient width for a bed is about four feet and the length just as circumstances require. Four feet wide allows two rows 18 inches apart and one foot from the edge. A bed 4ft 6in wide will take three rows at 15 inches and the outside rows 4i inches from the edge. Just what advantage is gained by close planting is difficult to decide; probably none at all, for the asparagus in a few years makes a very large crown and a great mass of roots. Although there may be an extra cutting the first few seasons, there is no doubt that eventually there is a distinct gain in the wide plantings. In making the bed, take out the soil to a depth of three feet, and if the lower portion is clay it should be wheeled away and replaced by fresh loam. Plenty of manure should be mixed with the soil as the work proceeds. Stable, cow or sheep manure is very good as also is seaweed. Failing these there is nothing to surpass coarse bonedust. Fill the bed with the soil and manure, firming it as the work proceeds, until it is nine inches to one foot above the ground level. If possible leave it to settle for ab~ -t six weeks before planting.

Dwarf lobelias are very useful for edgings and are easily propagated in the spring. Where the plants are hardy all that is needed DWARF is to lift them and cut LOBELIA them up. The short

growths will be found to be sending out short white roots in all directions. If these growths are cut off with a pair of scissors and planted in sandy soil in a warm position and kept moist they will soon start into growth. Lobelia gives a much better result if treated in this manner every spring; if left alone it gets untidy and eventually dies out. The use of lobelia as an edging plant has lost favour of recent years, yet there is nothing to compare with it for this purpose. It is easily raised from seed sown in the spring. When picking out the seedlings, do not attempt to divide into single plants but use small clumps of seedings. * * * » The early flowering sweet peas that were sown earlier in the year will, in many cases, be giving a fair number of flowers. WINTER The weather howSWEET PEAS ever, has not been of the best, with the result that many of the flowers fail to come to perfection. Apart from some protective covering, little can be done, and where the buds are spoiled they should be cut off once it is seen that only a damaged flower will result. Those that were sown not quite so early and are now only approaching the flowering stage will have a better chance to develop their flowers. The growths should be trained to the supports and though many people use wire-netting it will be found that for flowering at this time of the year tea tree or bamboo stakes. are warmer and the blooms are not damaged so easily as against wires. Do not attempt to force the plants by feeding. Once the weather improves a little stimulant may help but at the present, well "cultivated soil will provide ample food. If there is a tendency for the ground to become sfadden, an open trench will help to carry away the surplus. It is about this time that mildew shows l up, the plants going yellow at the base. Spraying with lime-sulphur is the best check, though it is difficult to save plants once they turn yellow.

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Bibliographic details

Prepare Now For Planting Operations, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 193, 16 August 1945

Word Count

Prepare Now For Planting Operations Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 193, 16 August 1945

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