New England gardening: Get planting those veggies!

Frosts are over: It's time to get busy in the garden ensuring your vegies are ready for a great growing season.
Frosts are over: It's time to get busy in the garden ensuring your vegies are ready for a great growing season.

Now the Melbourne Cup is over, it’s time to get your frost-tender veggies planted out. These include beans, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, marrow, cucumber and tomatoes. Also sow beetroot, carrots, parsnip, silverbeet and sweet corn, and continue successive sowings of lettuce and radishes.

Protect young seedlings from snails and slugs with a saucer of beer they can easily access. Whatever brand of beer you like best, they will also enjoy – before they drown in it!

Also protect leafy greens from birds, especially the sparrows. Use strands of black thread strung back and forth above the plants.

Hailstorms

Recent storms have dropped large amounts of hail in some parts of the region and wreaked havoc with gardens and crops.

As these storms have hit early in the season, there’s still time to replant annuals and for trees, shrubs and perennials to recover for the summer.

After a storm, clean up the shredded leaves and twigs. Then remove broken tree branches, or call an arborist to do it for you, especially if they are high up. Prune all plants to get rid of bare or broken stems, pruning back to a healthy bud. Trim herbs and annuals down to the last healthy set of leaves.

Plants will recover more quickly if they are healthy, so keep the garden watered and lightly fertilise perennials and annuals. Annuals and vegies can be replanted – there’s still time to grow them. In a couple of weeks, most of the plants in the garden will have bounced back.

Other tasks

Continue to prune spring-flowering shrubs that have finished flowering. 

Lawns benefit from fertilising at this time of year when they are being mown fairly constantly. Use a fertiliser specifically for lawns.