It's time to: January
HOLD off feeding plants during hot weather. Many go dormant and fertiliser will only force them into growth, the last thing they want.
CONFIDOR tablets should be placed under each azalea to protect them from common azalea pests.
CITRUS need regular spraying of EcoOil to prevent stink bugs, citrus leaf miner and scale.
VEGIES need liquid feeding every two weeks. We like Powerfeed, Harvest and Uplift. Or use homemade comfrey tea on fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, and cucumbers.
CUTTINGS of lavender, azaleas, rosemary, camellia, gardenia and geranium can be taken now. Take pieces 10cm long, pencil-thick. Dip into root hormone gel and insert into small pots of propagation mix.
TOMATOES are forming flowers and fruit so choose a fertiliser high in potash to speed ripening.
Group pot plants in the shade when you go away. Place saucers full of water under pots, and have someone waer daily.
INDOOR POTS can be placed on an old, wet towel in the shower or bath while you are away.
LAWNS can be aerated with a garden fork to avoid compaction and allow rain to penetrate into the root zone.
FUCHSIA cuttings can be taken.
HELICONIA, cannas and bougainvilleas can be deadheaded to encourage further growth and flowers.
When you have 30 mins
Take soft-stemmed summer cuttings of perennials such as coleus, cane-stemmed begonia, queen of the night cactus and fuchsia. Dip cuttings into root hormone gel to improve the strike rate. Use a dibbler to make a hole before inserting the cutting into potting mix to prevent damage to the cutting tip. Keep out of the sun during summer.