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It's time to: December

All areas

A good soak is the most effective watering: bucket out the bath and shower if things get desperate.

Unmulched plants dry out four times faster than mulched plants: top up thin areas with pre-soaked mulch.

Citrus can be watered with bath water as long as soap is marked ‘garden friendly’.

A pvc-pipe angled to the root system of citrus and tomatoes will deliver water where it’s needed.

Tidy up finished flowers, trim hedges, cut tatty leaves.



Plant summer vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers and pumpkins.



Plant a second crop of summer vegetables. For a family of four add a tomato, one cucumber, two beans, one eggplant, sweet corn, and one zucchini to extend the bounty into autumn.

Trim bottlebrush 5cm behind finished flowers to encourage an autumn flush.

When infestations of scale, mites and mealy bugs occur during very hot weather spray Pest oil in the early evening to smother the insects, then wash off the oil in the morning to prevent burning of the leaves.



Cut untidy leaves from subtropical plants.


When you have 10 minutes

Plant some autumn lilies. For a sunny spot we like nerines, belladonna lilies, autumn crocus and blood lily. Two tough lilies that thrive in shaded areas, under trees, and with root competition are clivea and the renga renga lily, which is a NZ native with sprays of white flowers.

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Author: Linda Ross