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Gardening: Prepare a place for summer annuals

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Garden Editorial published in the October 2016 edition of The Billboard:

Keep bearded iris rhizomes clear of other plants to allow sunlight to reach the top of the rhizomes. Evergreen Japanese iris rhizomes should be covered with compost-enriched soil.

Prune fuchsias by the end of August. A general rule is to cut back by two-thirds, removing dead, weak or inward growing stems.

Remove old flower stems and dead leaves on perennials and work compost and a sprinkling of 3:1:5 into the soil. Water well.

Perennials that are overcrowded can be dug up, split and replanted in enriched soil. Use the outer new growths for replanting and discard old woody centres.

Consider water-wise plants for your summer garden. Learn more about water-wise plants you may not have considered for your garden.

When staking plants, avoid accidents to eyes by attaching a cork to the exposed end of each stake.

Prepare a place for summer annuals and vegetables next month by digging in compost and a general fertiliser. As soon as the soil warms up, plant coloured arums, canna, dahlia, eucomis, galtonia, gladioli, tigridia and tuberose. Sow seed or plant seedlings of bedding dahlia, marigold, nasturtium, portulaca, salvia, verbena and zinnia.

Text supplied by Kay Montgomery

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