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It's time to: May

All areas

Keep pruning tools free of disease. Sterilise them by dipping into tea tree oil or a bleach and water mix at a ratio of 1:100 between work on each plant. Leave the pruned cut clean to self-heal.



Start work on that pergola or pathway while the weather is just right.

If you plan to plant bare-rooted roses in winter, prepare beds by digging organic matter through, eight weeks prior to planting.



Keep the water up to camellias to prevent bud drop.

Move cymbidium orchids into the sun for autumn and winter to encourage more flower buds.

Divide perennials and replant. Share or swap spare plants.



Bring potted flowering orchids inside for a few days to enjoy the show.

Transplant trees and shrubs that need to be moved. Use a seaweed solution to reduce transplant shock.

Weed and feed strawberries.



Check for frangipani rust. Spray with copper-based spray and dispose of any affected leaves.

With cyclones still a possibility, be sure to secure anything in the garden that might become a missile in high winds.


When you have 10 minutes

Take advantage of the free compost on offer by collecting autumn leaves. Add them to the compost heap, put them through the shredder and use direct on garden beds, or collect them in bags and keep them on hand for spring and summer. Added to the green tip clippings of the high growth seasons, they help to balance the carbon:nitrogen ratio of the compost heap. 

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Author: Ally Jackson