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Get in the garden this summer

12 January 2017

Summer is the season for entertaining, and as the days get longer and warmer, more people want to enjoy time outdoors with friends and family.

When building a new property, the sky really is the limit for your garden and landscaping. There’s many cost-effective and stylish ways to improve the functionality of outdoor spaces no matter the size of your yard.

One of the most popular outdoor trends, gaining particular traction in new homes, is the ability to grow and harvest home-grown produce.  

When incorporating an edible garden into your landscaping plan, it’s important to consider the seasons and ensure you have a variety of herbs, vegetables and fruit trees to provide a bounty of food all year round.
 

"Our customers can work with our expert landscapers and gardeners to upgrade their outdoor areas and include clever design features such as raised planter boxes for vegetables and fruit, hanging or vertical herb gardens, water features, pergolas or alternative garden bed paving," Generation Homes Chief Executive Kevin Atkinson said.

Even as trends move toward building smaller homes in some parts of the country, many of our customers value having multifunctional outdoor living spaces that make the best use of space and can support a well-designed landscaped garden.

Generation Homes is a national top 10 residential building company that offers customers a fixed-price and on-time delivery guarantee. This means customers receive a fully completed product, with no hidden extras, that includes a basic landscaping package and garden, a letterbox, fencing and clothes line.

“Customers are welcome to customise a house plan and infuse their own sense of style into all areas of a home,” said Kevin.  

According to the Summer Gardening Guide by Tui Garden, there’s plenty you can do to ensure your garden stays in top shape over the warmer months. Checkout some of Tui’s most useful tips below.  

GARDEN-CARE CHECKLIST

  • Add a good layer of mulch around your plants to conserve moisture, protect plants from the heat and suppress weeds.
  • Water your garden in the morning before temperatures rise. According to Tui, a good deep soak every few days is better than shallow watering every day. This will encourage deep roots and helps plants to survive short-term drought.
  • Summer is a great time to weed your garden as weeds will compete with plants for water and nutrients.
  • Giving plants a nutrient boost with a plant tonic each month will help them thrive in the warmer months.  


IN THE VEGETABLE PATCH

  • Use compost prior to planting new crops as this will replenish nutrients in the soil. Compost will also reduce the amount of water a garden requires by increasing the soil’s ability to hold moisture.
  • According to Tui, summer is the ideal time to plant capsicums, courgettes, cucumbers, eggplant, kumara, pumpkins and fresh summer herbs like basil, chives, parsley and thyme.
  • Check your crops for signs of pest and disease like aphids, caterpillars, powdery mildew, and of course slugs and snails. You can control these nasties with insect and disease control products for fruits and vegetables.  
  • Keep mounding up your potato plants with vegetable mix as shoots grow until they’re approximately 30cm tall as this will encourage a bigger harvest and protect the crop from the sun and wind.
  • Pick the laterals (side shoots) off of your tomato plants to encourage bigger and better fruit and ensure plants heavy with fruit are well staked.
  • Harvest vegetables regularly as this helps promote growth throughout the season.


IN THE FRUIT GARDEN

  • Strawberries are wonder berries as the more you pick the more they grow. It’s also important to remove old leaves and any other parts of the plant that look unhealthy.
  • Stake newly planted trees.
  • Prune peach, plum and nectarine trees on a clear, dry day but only as required.
  • Thin out growth on grape vines and check for pests and diseases. This way you can tackle any problems before they take hold of your crop.  
  • Harvest apples, apricots, boysenberries, cherries, figs, lemons, mandarins, oranges, peaches, pears and plums regularly to encourage more fruit production.
  • After harvest, reward your fruit trees with an application of fertiliser to support new growth and stimulate flower buds for next season.


For more practical gardening tips and planting advice for vegetables, fruits and flowers, check out Tui Garden’s Summer Gardening Guide.