Australian summers are known for being hot but there is still plenty that can be done in backyard gardens.
A lot of Aussies may think that it’s too hot to get out into the garden or there’s nothing that can be planted during January’s heat. However, there are plenty of plants that can thrive in summer conditions and you can avoid the heat by tending your garden early in the morning or early evening.
To encourage green thumbs to keep their gardens well loved this summer, here's my guide to planting in January.
Buddlejas (also called Butterfly bush) are flowering shrubs that provide many months of gorgeous honey-scented, butterfly-attracting flowers in shades of pink, purple, white or soft blue. Plant this shrub in full sun, trimming back after flowering to promote bushier growth and fresh new flowers. Dwarf buddlejas grow to around one metre tall and are perfect for small spaces and pots. Feed with plant food that’s rich in flowering promoting potassium.
It’s not too late to plant tomato seedlings in January. These plants will keep your kitchen stocked with delicious tomatoes well into autumn. You can find tall growing varieties like the traditional Grosse lisse ,or pint-sized cherry tomatoes like Tiny tim that are perfect for growing in pots. Keep tomato plants well-watered during dry weather to help prevent the condition, blossom end rot and feed each week with a tomato plant food. Remember to protect tomato plants from common insects, pests and diseases with a tomato dust.
Summer is the perfect time to plant some green beans. There are a mixture of varieties, and whether you grow climbing or dwarf beans, they are easy to grow from seed. Sow the seeds 25mm deep in moist soil in a veggie patch or pot and expect to see seedlings pop up in seven to 10 days. Green beans are great to have in the garden and make a tasty addition to summer stir-fries and salads.
Indoor plants are scientifically proven to improve air quality, so you’re doing something good for your health. Separate overcrowded clumps of plants like Peace lilies and Mother-in-law’s tongue, re-planting them in new pots. Remember to give moisture-loving plants like ferns and Calathea a thorough watering to ensure the potting mix is nice and moist during summer and make sure to give feed plants a feed with liquid plant food.
Growing a delicious Italian flat leaf parsley perfect for tabbouleh and pesto and is so easy to do at home, in either a veggie patch or in pots. Grow from seed or start with seedlings, feed each week with a nitrogen-rich plant food and pick leaves regularly to promote a longer harvest.