Getting into your gardening and maintaining it through Summer and Autumn will mean you will reap the rewards in spring. Flower Power share their gardening tips for the first half of the year.
- You’ll find fast growing shoots reaching out from your climbing plants this month. They’re born conquerors, so either train them or keep them clipped to avoid them spreading into other areas of the garden.
- Don’t forget to liquid feed and dead-head (snip off spent flowers) to keep your plants flowering. Straggly petunias love a good chop – you’ll have a new flush of flowers in no time.
- Pick up Eco-oil to protect your plants from scale and sooty mould – citrus, gardenia, lilly pillies and pittosporum are particularly vulnerable.
- Plant bloomers for summer colour and beetroot and watermelon in the vegie patch.
- Keep an eye out for powdery mildew too – it looks like white mould. Spray with a fungicide like Ecofungicide.
- It’s a great time to start a compost bin if you don’t have one yet – Flower Power have lots of sizes and price points to choose from.
- Apply a seaweed based health tonic like Seasol once a week during the hot weather. It will help protect your plants from summer scorching as well as reviving stressed plants. Do not fertilise stressed plants – this will stress them further, and may result in casualties!
- Water deeply in the early morning or evening to minimise evaporation. That doesn’t mean you should ignore a wilting plant at midday though – it may be dead by sundown!
- Fungus and mildew thrive in this traditionally humid month, so keep an eye out for white coatings or black spots on plants – particularly roses and vine vegies – and spray with Eco-Fungicide if they appear.
- Lightly prune roses and follow with a good feed with Sudden Impact for Roses toward the end of the month for a spectacular autumn flush.
- If your hydrangeas have finished flowering, prune to outward facing buds and remove spindly old wood from the base. Feed with a complete fertiliser like Dino Fert (available at Flower Power) or cow manure for happy plants.
- Prepare your vegie beds for the next crop by digging over and adding compost and fertiliser. Plant beans, beetroot, onion, peas, radish, shallots and silverbeet this month.
- Fertilise hibiscus with Brunnings Hibiscus Food. It’s also ideal for fruit trees, particularly stone fruits.
- Trim back summer canes on climbers like jasmine or wisteria to help keep them under control.
- Prepare your garden beds for planting with compost and manure.
- It’s a great month to start a herb garden. Plant coriander, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano somewhere they will get plenty of sun – and be close to the kitchen!
Don’t forget to buy your spring flowering bulbs this month.
- Plant pansy, viola, polyanthus, marigold, cineraria and calendula now for colour through the cooler months.
- It’s time to feed camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas – fertilise with a complete fertilise like Harry’s Azalea Food, it’s suitable for all three.
- Put a new crop of vegies in – it’s time to plant peas, parsnip, cabbage, beetroot, spring onion and broccoli.
- Homegrown seedlings from Flower Power are a fast way to establish a patch. Yum!
- Deadhead your roses and prune geraniums and fuchsias, as well as hedges like box, murraya and gardenia.
- Aphids and caterpillars are about – keep an eye out. Spray them off plants with a jet of water from the hose, or try garlic spray for aphids and Dipel or Success for caterpillars.
- Choose a Camellia Sasanqua this month as they burst into flower.
- Plant trees and shrubs out this month and give them a chance to put out new roots before the temperature drops.
- If you haven’t already, choose your spring bulbs and get planting this month.
- In the vegie garden, plant beetroot, cabbage, rocket, carrots, beans, peas, winter varieties of lettuce and strawberries for a spring crop.
- Go deciduous tree shopping now, while they’re still sporting their gorgeous autumn colour.
- If you find your patch is prone to frost, avoid pruning this month. Your plants will need their leaves to protect them from cold snaps.
- Aphids as well as slimy snails and slugs are out and about this month. Squash aphids or spray with a garlic spray, and sprinkle pet and native animal safe Multiguard snail pellets (available at Flower Power) for your slimy pests.
- Spray roses and hydrangeas with a fungicide like Mancozeb if you’re having problems with mildew and fungal diseases.
- Divide your perennials like irises, Shasta daisies and perennial phlox.
- Feed your garden with a quality all-purpose fertiliser like Dino Fert and your lawn with Lawn Connoisseur.
- It’s the last feed before the winter months and helps them stock up on energy to fight the cold and expand their root system.
- Herbs like basil don’t tolerate the cold weather well. Pick up some windowsill-sized pots at Flower Power and move them inside to a sunny sill.
- Rake up your fallen autumn leaves and add them to the compost – they’ll break down quickly and are a fantastic source of nutrients for your garden.
- May is your last chance to plant spring-flowering bulbs.
- Plant broad beans, cabbage, onions, leeks, silver beet and shallots now.
- Plant azaleas, camellias, citrus, conifers and deciduous trees, shrubs, climbers and roses.
- Time for snail patrol around succulent new growth like vegies, annuals and clivia.
- Spray fruit trees such as apricots, plums, peach and nectarine with a fungicide like Eco-fungicide for brown rot. Remove any fallen fruit and diseased leaves.
- Be sure to prune your camellia sasanquas when they finish flowering.
- Trim lavender ready for spring flowering, avoiding the hardwood.
- Give your vegies and annuals a dose of liquid fertiliser such as Nitrosol.