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As hot and humid Summer days fade into memory, yards are abuzz with gardeners and green-thumbs. Our gurus from Halcyon Parks offer their tips on turning your patch of dirt into an oasis. 

Pam Leith

“We have lived at Halcyon Parks for the past five years and enjoy working in our garden.
We always water regularly in the early morning, never at night as this promotes funguses to appear on your plants.

Our plants are watered for approximately five minutes with our watering system daily except in winter, when it’s every second or third day. We fertilise regularly – this is very important, as is spraying our plants with the appropriate spray if we notice any disease appearing on foliage.

We prune each season as this keeps shrubs in good shape and promotes healthy growth for the following season. We plant annuals for colour in our garden each summer, winter and autumn. Our lawn is watered thoroughly once a week, not every day, as this saves on water and keeps our lawn green and healthy.”

Bob Bradford

“I grow flowers and roses as well as vegetables in my garden and I grow orchids and elkhorns in the big trees that line the walkway next to my house.

Orchids need a liquid fertiliser every 2-3 weeks and need to be watered if it’s really dry, I tend to give the ones in the walkway a drink every couple of weeks.

I grow all my vegetables in good-sized pots because I have a small backyard and don’t want to dig it all up. You have to pick what you plant according to the season.

Autumn is very good for beans. Even though they’re a winter crop, you can start planting them when the hot weather is gone. You can grow corn year-round and I also have a lot of pumpkins growing at the moment.

I planted dwarf orange and mandarin trees so they’re easy to manage and don’t come over the top of the fence and annoy my neighbours. They only started fruiting last year so I expect more this winter. Whatever I can’t eat, I give to my neighbours.”

Carol Ford 

“I’ve always loved succulents but I only started growing them a few years ago. People gave me cuttings so I learnt what I needed to know from Pinterest and figured out the rest on my own.

They’re very low maintenance, they don’t need a lot of water and I’m amazed at how quickly they multiply. As you get older, succulents are great to have in your garden because they’re so easy to plant, you don’t even have to dig a hole!

You can put them in anything – teacups, pots or the garden – just take a stick, poke a hole in the soil and drop the cutting in. I use a pebble mulch on mine, starting with a base of small pebbles then another layer of small to medium-sized pebbles then top with rocks of different shapes and colours.

Succulents are especially great for people who go away a lot with their caravans as they’re very easy for someone else to look after.”