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December Garden Guide

The festive season has come screeching around the corner once again – and it’s time to gear up for the holiday season!

Plant Vegetables

Kalettes, Raddichio, Beans Scarlet, Okra, Eggplant, Beetroot, Lettuce, Zuchinni, Carrot, Pea, Spring Onion, Spinach, Parsnip, Radish, Tomato, Turnip, Rhubarb, Chinese Cabbage, Capsicum, Mizuna, Corn Salad, Rock Melon, Kohl Rabi, Lemon Grass, Leek, Kohl Rabi, Kale, Cape Gooseberry, Fennel, Cucumber, Broccoflower, Zucchini, Artichoke, Watermeleon, Turnip, Sweet Corn, Swede, Squash, Silverbeet,, Mustard Salad, Micro Green Mix, Mesclun Mix, Rocket, Gherkin, Cauliflower, Pepper, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Pepper, Brussel Sprouts, Basil, Lemon Grass, Watercress, Thyme, Tarragon, Sweet Basil, Sage, Rosemary, Rocket, Parsley, Mint Lavender, Dill, Chives, Coriander, Chamomile Lawn

Plant Flowers

Wildflower, Poppy, Cosmos, Swan Plant, Phacelia, Gypsophila, Dahlia, Zinnia, Wildflower Mix, Sunflower, Pansy, Nasturium, Marigold, Lupin, Lobelia, Hollyhock, Foxglove, Delphinium, Cottage Garden, Aquilegia, Alyssum

Feed and grow

  • Add a layer of mulch around the base of the garden shrubs to conserve moisture and protect roots from the heat of the sun.
  • Roses and perennials can still be planted, just ensure new plants are well watered and kept watered on a regular basis.
  • Cucumbers require fertile soil - keep an eye on your pH levels and adjust with more/less fertiliser accordingly with the McGregors Moisture, Light and PH Meter
  • Make sure you stagger planting salad greens so you get a continuous supply
  • Keep your fruit and flowers well fertilised with FruitMax - the high ratio of potassium maximises the production and development of flowers, fruit and root crops while the trace elements enhance general plant health.
  • Avoid watering on windy days, as the wind accelerates evaporation. It’s also best to water before 9am in the morning or after 5pm in the evening, rather than during the heat of the day.
  • Control most chewing and sucking insects, including White Butterfly, DiamondBack Caterpillars and Aphids on vegetables and flowers with McGregor's Derris Dust
  • Make sure to feed your tomatoes and keep them well watered - feed them with McGregor's Fruit and Flower Fertiliser and water regularly to reduce the chance to blight
  • Spray driveways and paving with McGregor’s Path and Patio Weed Killer

Create a water-wise garden

  • Before you water, stick your finger a few centimetres into the soil to check the moisture content. Sometimes soil looks dry on top, but it’s moist a few centimetres below or you can use the McGregors Moisture, Light and pH Meter to keep an eye on all levels below.
  • Water less frequently, but more deeply. This will encourage your plants to develop deeper root systems, which are more drought-resistant (the temperature can be up to 5°C cooler just 10cm below the soil).
  • Use a fine nozzle to water new seedlings using an adjustable hose nozzle.
  • Water established beds by flooding: place the tip of the hose pipe right into the garden bed, so that minimal water is lost to evaporation.
  • Water indoor plants regularly, but not too much - a small watering can help control over watering
  • Avoid watering on windy days, as the wind accelerates evaporation. It’s also best to water before 9am in the morning or after 5pm in the evening, rather than during the heat of the day.

Spotlight on: Poinsettias

What’s a Christmas table without the festive cheer of a poinsettia? Follow these tips when caring for yours:

Choose wisely

When choosing your poinsettia, make sure you pick out a young, healthy plant. The foliage should be full, attractive and balanced-looking, with a dark green colour.

Avoid plants with bracts, or leaves that are green around the edges; this means it was shipped before maturity. Your plant should be at least two times taller than its container.

Dip your finger into the soil. If it’s wet and the plant appears wilted, it could have root rot.

Location, location, location

  • Put your poinsettia somewhere that receives indirect light –perhaps behind a screen or curtain near the window. Bright sunlight should be avoided, but the plant should receive six hours of indirect light daily.

Temperature

  • Try to keep your festive friend at a daytime temperature of 16 to 21 degrees Celsius and about 13 degrees at night (transfer it to a cool room if necessary). Don’t forget it in your garage, near a heating vent, near a cool window, or on top of the television. Extreme temperatures can damage the plant and lead to loss of leaves.

If you take proper care of your poinsettia, it will last well beyond Christmas and into the New Year (and might even bloom another season!)

Other fresh ideas

Holiday checklist:

If you’re going away this December, keep this nifty garden checklist in mind before you leave:

  • Weed your flowerbeds and cover the bed with mulch to keep the soil moist.
  • Deadhead flowering shrubs so you’ve got more chance of a beautiful flush of florals on your return.
  • Group potted plants together in shady areas to prevent them from drying out too quickly.
  • Wash, dry and store all your garden tools under shelter to ensure rust doesn't develop.
  • Postpone sowing seeds or planting new seedlings until you’re back and rearing to start the New Year.

Hot tip:

If your potted houseplants dry out too quickly after watering, try this simple trick: When repotting, tuck a damp sponge into the bottom of the pot before filling with soil. It will act as a water reservoir and mean you’ll need to water less often!