The Garden Diaries: North Island in August

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The Garden Diaries: North Island in August

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The temperature might be a bit nippy in the North Island in August, but that’s no excuse to stay inside – it’s still a really good time to get out into the garden.

Strawberries

Plant of the month: Strawberries

August is a great time to plant strawberries. Get them in now and they’ll be ready to harvest at Christmas.

Good varieties to plant include:

  • Camerosa: an early producer of large, deep red fruit.
  • Temptation: a compact grower that’s perfect for hanging baskets and pots
  • Roman: a juicy variety that has rose pink flowers

Strawberries grow well from the tropics to cooler climates and even love a cold snap. They need a sunny position and well-drained soil. Plant them about 30 centimetres apart and mulch to stop weeds, maintain moisture and help keep the fruit clean. Strawberries also do well in hanging baskets and in pots.

Planting some strawberries is a great project to get kids interested in gardening. The best part, of course, is picking and eating them straight from the bush.

flower

What else to plant

There are some shrubs to plant too in August. Camellias, azaleas, lavenders and some New Zealand favourites, hebes with their pretty flowers and hardy growth habit. Many commonly grown hebes are native to New Zealand. 

With their attractive evergreen foliage and delicate flowers, camellias are a great plant. They have a long flowering season, are hardy, and can be grown in pots, as specimen plants or hedged. 

Azaleas are another popular choice. They like a semi-shaded position, prefer morning sun and like good drainage. Remember, over-watering is a potential azalea killer and keep an eye out for insects and diseases.

Also, it’s a good time to put in some beans and carrot seeds. A good tip for planting carrots is to keep them moist. Laying a plank of timber over the planting row helps keep the moisture in. Just remove it when the carrots have germinated. It’s also a good time to put in lettuce, silverbeet and there’s still time to plant deciduous fruit trees while they are still dormant. 

 
tomato

Our perfect plant promise

Remember the Perfect Plant Promise. All our plants (except seedlings) are guaranteed for 12 months. If you're not 100 per cent happy, return your plant (with receipt or tax invoice) and we'll refund it.

soil

Maintenance

First up, pruning. Start with salvias and other perennials. Cut back, tidy them up and remove any spent flowers. This will encourage spring growth. 

In warm areas fertilise fruit trees, and especially citrus. If you’re unsure about what fertiliser to use, pop into your local store to get some advice. 

It’s a good time to prepare vegetable beds. Do this by blending a mixture of compost and sheep manure, This will make an ideal growing environment for your garden. 

Finally, don’t forget to pull those weeds, they are easier to remove when the soil is moist.

lettuce

Harvest

In August it’s a great time to be harvesting too. Keep picking your silverbeet and spinach. Picking the leaves helps promote growth. Pick broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and celery. 

planting

Start planting today

Check out the wide range of plants available at your local Bunnings Warehouse and bring your garden to life.

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