THE HOME GARDEN
DUST MULCH CONSERVES MOISTURE
This is an important time of the year in providing for the autumn and winter supply of vegetables, especially cabbage, cauliflower, and lettuce. Sowings of beans can also be made. Keep spraying tomatoes and late potatoes for blight, and also attend to the tying up and pinching of laterals from staked tomatoes. Continue sowings of raddish, carrots, etc.
Collect all refuse, decayed leaves, lawn clippings and dump in a suitable place to rot for use at a later date.
When onions are matured they should be carefully lifted, laid out to dry and then stored for winter use. During March, onion seed may be sown for transplanting during the spring; always sow in drills as they are then much easier to keep clean.
All vacant areas should now be sown in a cover crop such as blue lupins for digging under during the winter or early spring months.
When mature, early pumpkins may be lifted and stored in a dry cool place. Many pumpkins and marrows are destroyed by insects and disease, if left out in the garden for unduly long periods after the vines have died down and the crop is thoroughly ripe.
Always keep the soil well stirred between growing crops that have not been otherwise mulched, as a good dust mulch conserves moisture which will carry the crop through a long period of hot dry weather conditions.
Now is the time to complete layering carnations. This should be done as early as possible.
Keep the soil loose about Gladioli, and tie them to stakes.
Roses are often attacked by mildew at this time of the year and should be sprayed for control of this disease which is often prevalent.
Continue to supply dahlias and chrysanthemums with liquid manure, and stake and tie them to prevent wind damage.
Prepare land and plant daffodil and jonquil bulbs after applying a liberal dressing of bonedust or superphosphate. Stocks and Iceland poppies can now be set out, especially in the Auckland District, and if well established they will flower during the winter months.
Cineraria seed can be sown for planting out during the spring.
During dry spells, water should be used copiously and advantage should always be taken of rainfall. Always cultivate after rain, in an effort to conserve moisture.
Continue to spray apple trees with arsenate of lead or D.D.T. for the control of codlin moth. This spray should be applied every 14 days.
Continue spraying peach and plum trees to control brown rot, and gooseberry bushes with bordeaux for leaf spot which is most troublesome at this time of the year.
Summer pruning can now be carried out, especially with trees that have made a lot of soft and straggly growth which may not ripen properly. This is best done by cutting out surplus shoots rather than by cutting back leaders. Additional light and air will greatly benefit the trees and help the formation of fruit spurs.
Where strawberry planting is intended, the ground should be prepared in good time to receive the plants. Manure should be applied early and worked thoroughly into the soil.
Loganberries: As soon as fruiting is over, the rods that bore the fruit should be cut out. It is far better to remove them now than to wait for winter as it leaves more room for the young rods, leading to better development of buds and more complete ripening of the wood, due to the extra air and sunlight available. Harvest and store all fruit as it becomes ripe, keeping some for winter use.