Southland’s autumn is having an Indian summer season, where the long drawn out warmer weather is still enabling growth in the garden. Sensational sunny Southland days are enjoyable, and the lack of really cold southerly fronts has meant that the day’s average temperature is sitting well above the ‘normal’ for this time of year. The best advice I can give is for you to get out and enjoy it in the garden, and out of doors, while the beautiful weather lasts. Farmer’s inform me that there is still a lot of good grass growth for the season. Hopefully this will cheer them up with the low milk prices continuing.
Look out for the autumn colour that is evident in the Betula, birch and Liquidamber trees around the district. Strike it lucky on a day off, and with the fine weather head on down to Otautau’s Arboretum to check out the autumnal colours on display with their numerous deciduous trees providing a stunning display. Of course, there is Invercargill’s own Queens Park autumnal display of fabulous established trees. Don’t miss out!
The month of May still finds some delicious home-grown pears ripening on the tree. The dessert pear, ‘Doyenne du Comice’ is really at its best now, fresh or bottled. If they are a little under ripe, you can pick them and let them ripen in a fruit bowl for a richer, sweeter taste. Other food available to those who love to forage is walnuts. You’ll find mature walnuts starting to drop on the ground. Keep an eye out for these. It’s best to gather them and store them in mesh bags while they dry out and become ready to shell them for eating.
In the vege garden you can sow brassicas, peas, spinach, swedes and winter lettuces. Obviously you can head down to a local grower or supplier of seedlings and plant the brassicas, lettuces, silverbeet and spinach straight in to the garden beds as small seedlings. You can continue to plant new leeks and mound up older plants. At this time of year we’re also in a good space for planting out trees and shrubs, particularly those that are heading into their dormant period. You might like to get some fruit trees planted out as part of an orchard, or look at putting in some new shelter belt plantings which are ideal for sheltering stock when the weather does turn foul.
If you need any help with planting out your garden, landscaping work or redesigning done in your garden, give Bruce a call on 021 2111 787.