July 26, 2016
Russell Brown – gardening guru

It may be winter but that doesn’t mean it has to be dreary in the garden – bring in pops of colour by planting winter flowers now. It’s the perfect time for violas, pansies, azaleas and camellias to go in.

At Wyee we have many varieties and colours available, including camellias in pink, white and red that will give around five to six months of stunning colour.

Top tips

  • If you have any outdoor tropicals, they will need to be moved to a more sheltered spot to help them withstand the cooler weather.
  • Reduce the amount of watering for indoor plants – when it’s not as hot, they simply don’t need it.
  • It’s a good time to feed any flowering plants in the garden. Use a fertilizer that is higher in potash and lower in nitrogen.
  • Keep your mulches topped up – it will help to reduce the creep of weeds which are still prolific at this time of year.
  • If you want to care for your lawn and ensure it comes back to life in the spring, spray it with liquid seaweed every four weeks.
  • It’s the perfect time to prepare the soil for roses and bare root fruit trees such as apricots, cherries, figs, peaches, pears, plums, nectarines and pomegranates by adding compost, checking the drainage and adding gypsum if the soil is clay-based.
  • If you have existing roses, prune them in July and spray with lime sulfur to clear up any scales that may have developed.
  • Improve the drainage of your soil by creating raised beds or adding drainage lines, which is a cheap and simple procedure.
  • It’s also time for planting winter veg, particularly cruciferous varieties like cauliflower, cabbage, cress, broccoli, bok choy or Brussels sprouts. You could also try winter tomatoes, beetroot, carrot, spinach and silverbeet. Herbs love this time of year too, especially coriander. If you have a frost-free spot, plant potatoes now but if not, wait until August.
  • In terms of pruning, it’s a good idea to cut back deciduous fruit trees. Generally the rule is to prune to shape, and remove the criss-crossing branches and the centre for cross ventilation. With natives, always prune after flowering is complete.

Expect more at Vermont

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