View Comments
Checklist for your garden
Now is the time to plant out squash. Picture: Michael O'Brien/The West Australian

With the weather heating up, your garden will grow much faster now. Trevor Cochrane provides some tips to keep your garden growing strongly and looking great.

Get Sowing Seeds
We are having a ball at home growing plants from seeds. Now is a great time to get some of the more exotic species going and we have seen great results with avocado, mango and lychee seeds, which were rescued from kitchen waste. The trees will take a bit longer to fruit and may vary from the parents marginally, but they should be perfect for home fruit production.

A few slightly different plants we are growing from seed at the moment include okra or lady’s fingers, an African fruiting plant that is a member of the hibiscus family. The pods, which are produced very quickly once the plant has established, are delicious in a wide range of dishes, particularly in West African and Indian cuisine. Pick them young to avoid stringiness.

We are also growing kang kong, a tasty Asian water plant also known as water spinach. It grows really well in a water pot where the pot is damp and not necessarily full of water, but is also great in aquaponics systems.

Night Fight
Do a night patrol with a torch around your vegie garden looking for pests. There will be a lot of grubs, moths, snails and slugs around at present. An hour or so picking them off plants while they are active will significantly reduce their populations and subsequent damage.

Trev's Tip
Applying wetting agents now before soils dry out reduces plant stress and setback.
Apply to areas such as under house eaves and places shaded from sprinkler spray

Seedling Success
If you followed my advice and grew a heap of pumpkins, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, watermelon, rockmelon and honeydew melons from seed, they will have turned into strong little seedlings by now. This is the time to plant out. Plant into improved, richly organic soil. Using a trowel, dig out a couple of shovels of the existing soil and then replace it with well-composted humus and plant into the humus direct. This will help fine roots that may have been damaged to recover, establishing the seedlings far more quickly.