Spring Garden Preparation

"Start organising your outdoor area now in preparation for the busy months of spring and summer. Plant now."

 

It’s time to spring into action and get those green thumbs going

 

The autumn and winter months are a great time to take advantage of cool days in the garden. Start organising your outdoor area now in preparation for the busy months of spring and summer.
 

Plant now

March: Plant hedges and screens to allow roots to establish in cooler months for spring growth
April: Seeds for spring display of colourful annuals eg. lobelia, calendulas, dianthus, poppies, stocks, sweet peas, snapdragons.
May: Citrus trees.
June: Bare root trees.
July: Bare root, bagged roses.
August: Spring annuals and vegie patch varieties.

 

Divide perennials

Perennial plants are happy little travellers and can be split up and planted around the garden each year. The best time to tackle the job of dividing should be in late autumn and winter when they aren’t putting all their energy into producing new growth.
Mondo grass, agapanthus, daylilies and daisies can become too dense and don’t flower or perform as well as they used to. Dig up clumps from the soil and separate into individual plants by cutting with secateurs, or use tough love on plants such as agapanthus by splicing them up with a shovel. Re-plant them into other areas of the garden or into pots.

 

Soil

  • Clay soils should be loosened to reduce compaction with the addition of gypsum and organic matter to improve the soil structure and drainage.
  • Sandy soils should have plenty of organic matter and water crystals added to them as they lose water and nutrients easily.
  • Loamy soils are a good balance of clay and sand but the addition of organic matter only helps to make a good soil better.

Transplanting

Winter is the optimum time for transplanting trees and shrubs. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Choose the new location based on what conditions the tree or shrub likes eg. sun or shade and how much space it will need.
  • Dig the new hole before you dig up the tree or shrub so it is ready to go straight in.
  • Wet the new planting hole thoroughly and allow water to drain to reduce root shock.
  • Estimate the width and depth of the rootball (roots and soil) by doing a bit of exploratory digging around the plant. The width of the new hole should be twice that of the rootball.
  • Do not break up the soil at the bottom of the new hole. You might think that this would help but it could cause the plant to sink and cause rot.
  • Add water crystals and seaweed fertiliser to the hole to both stimulate and aid root development.
  • Dig out the tree or shrub keeping as much of the rootball intact as possible.
  • Use a tarp to drag large trees or shrubs to their new hole and gently slide it into the hole, keeping it straight.
  • Shovel the excavated soil back into the hole and firm down, watering as you go, to eliminate air pockets.
  • Mulch and water thoroughly – watering is essential for successful transplanting.

Winter feed

The basic rule of thumb about feeding plants in winter is to reduce fertilising frequency by half. Plants grow more slowly in the winter months and need less nutrients to keep them fed. Some plants, like spring flowering annuals, bulbs and winter vegetables, are still actively growing during winter so for them it’s important to maintain regular applications of fertiliser.

During the cold months it’s important to swap from a high nitrogen fertiliser to a low one, as too much nitrogen in winter can be a disadvantage for some plants as it can make the leaves softer and more susceptible to disease. Check the NPK ratio on the fertiliser container.
By getting out and facing some chilly days in the garden now, you’ll have a spring in your step when it comes to that busy, busy season.

 

Pruning

Make sure you have the right tools for your pruning jobs.
Secateurs should be used for pruning small branches. Branch cutters are good for cutting branches up to 5cm thick. Pruning saws are essential for cutting through thick branches and ones you can attach a pole to turn your pruning saw into a pole saw for branches that are out of reach.

The three basic rules of pruning are to remove dead or diseased wood, to try and promote more flowering and fruit, and to create a well-shaped plant. As a general rule don’t cut more than a third off a plant.

 

Plant name

Season

How to prune

Hydrangea

Autumn

Cut back current seasons growth to two fleshy buds

Italian lavender

Autumn

Cut back by one third but not into old wood

Grape vines

Winter

Prune to upright stem that branches into horizontal stems

Plum trees

Winter

Shorten long stems and open up centre of tree

Apple trees

Winter

Remove weak growth and shorten long growth

Standard roses

Winter

Remove dead and crossing branches to open up the centre of the plant

 

(By Jecca Blake)

 

 

The Bold and the Beautiful

8 winning plant combinations from Go Gardening NZ

A beautiful plant can look even more beautiful alongside the right companion

Successfully combining flowers and foliage is an art form that takes time and experimentation, even for the most practiced gardener. But happily, we can also depend on some classic combos that always come up trumps.

Hosta Empress Wu
Tulips with Heuchera ‘Sugar Plum’

Tone on tone foliage and flowers

Autumn is bulb planting time. Complement spring flowering bulbs with permanent groundcover perennials, such as Heuchera, Tiarella or Heucherella. These foliage plants come in a huge range of colours so you can have fun colour coordinating them with your bulb flowers! When the bulbs die down at the end of spring, these evergreen perennials keep on growing. Other classic bulb companions are pansies, violas, Primula malacoides (fairy primrose) and forget-me-nots.

 

Petunia Glamouflage Grape
Hot pokers (Kniphofia) and Echinacea

Spikes, discs and domes

Combine flowers with contrasting shapes. Perennials with flowers borne on spikes (such as Penstemon, Kniphofia or Delphinium) look great with horizontal flower forms (such as Achillea, Echinacea and sedum) and plants with a dome-shape growth habit (such as Leucanthemum, Corepsosis or Scabiosa). A pairing of flowers with the same colour but contrasting shapes is especially effective.

 

SunPatiens Carmine Red
Big bromeliad, Alcantara imperialis with native grass, Anemanthele lessoniana

Chunky and static versus fine and fluid

Strongly architectural plants like bromeliads and succulents look all the more striking when their muscular and motionless form is juxtaposed with fine flowing grasses that move in the breeze.

 

Dianthus Rosebud
Sedum flowers and grass, Hakonechloa aureola

Flowers with grasses

Ornamental grasses also make a lovely complement to flowering perennials such as Sedum, Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Helenium, Kniphofia, Dahlia ordaylilies.

 

Alstroemeria Inca Joli
Ligularia ‘Britt-Marie Crawford’ and deciduous fern, Athyrium ‘Silver Falls’

Big and flouncy with fine and lacy

Foliage perennials with big rounded and shiny leaves always work well with ferns or fern-like plants. Those with big leaves include Bergenia, Heuchera, Philodendron, Begonias, Chatham Island forget-me-nots, and Ligularias. There are ground ferns for every situation, pus those perennials with fern-like foliage such as Astilbe, Corydalis, and Polymonium.

 

Dianthus Angel of Joy
Moss plant (Scleranthus) with succulents

Rough with smooth

A bright green carpet of moss plant Scleranthus makes a striking contrast with strongly symmetrical succulents. Scleranthus also looks great next to a shaggy thicket of mondo grass or with vertical accents of Libertia or dwarf flax.

 

Zanzibar Gem
Purple and lime green Heuchera varieties

Chartreuse with purple

For a colour contrast that’s stylishly stunning, pair lime green with purple or burgundy. For example, plant chartreuse euphorbias with lavender, Heuchera ‘Lime Marmalade’ with Heuchera ‘Sugar Plum’, or golden marjoram with Salvia ‘Aztec Blue’.

 

Lavender Thumbellina Leigh
Marlborough rock daisy (Pachystegia) with grasses and red verbena.

Red with silver

Plants with silver or bronze leaves are extremely effective as accents to green. They also look spectacular with red flowers. Silver foliage plants are generally very drought tolerant and great in coastal gardens. Punches of dark foliage add to the excitement in a ‘hot’ coloured flower border or a subtropical setting with bright flowers.

 

Autumn flowering perennials
Aster
Achillea (Yarrow)
Coreopsis
Dahlias 
Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)
Echinacea (Coneflower)
Hemerocalis (day lily)
Helianthus
Leucanthemum (shasta daisy)
Rudbeckia
Salvia
Sedum spectabile

Fabulous Foliage   
Bergenia
Bromeliads
Canna
Ferns
Flax
Heuchera
Hosta
Ligularia
Ornamental Grasses

Design tips:

  • Choose plants appropriate for the amount of sun or shade, the soil type and your climate.
  • Check that your plant combinations are of compatible size and vigour. A large or rampant thug can too quickly smother a more delicate plant in its path. 
  • The most effective results come from keeping the plant list short and repeating clumps of the same plant throughout.
  • When you find a plant pairing that works, consider mass planting it in bold groups.
  • Wide garden beds generally look better than skinny ones, and are easier to look after.

 

 

What is lurking in your garden? - by Ruby Ward

August 2014

Passionvine hopper eggs and adult
Passionvine hopper eggs and adult

It may seem during winter that we need not be concerned about pests and diseases – there is nothing happening to catch our attention. But winter can be a great ally in the battle against summer pests and you can improve your chances of winning the battle with a little judicious ‘pottering’ about when garden activity is quiet.

We may not enjoy the cold weather that comes with winter but for the devoted gardener a cold winter is a good winter. A few good frosts every winter help to exterminate over-wintering pests, reducing their potential to bother us in spring. Gardeners in regions that do not receive frosts may need to work a bit harder to reduce the supply of over-wintering pests and diseases.

 

Hydrangea scale
Hydrangea scale

Pottering about in the garden I spied these stalks on the Puriri tree, the dried up remains of the leaf stem. The ragged edges to it are the eggs of the passionvine hopper, a pest that plagues my garden in summer on all sorts of plants. The best method of control is to snap these off the tree and throw them in the fireplace – not in the compost where they can survive the winter and hatch out in spring.

I’ve been pruning hydrangeas and spotted these lumps of white waxy fluff in clumps on the stems. This is the overwintering egg mass of a scale insect (hydrangea scale) which in summer feeds on the plant. In bad infestations, it can also appear on the undersides of the leaves. Where possible prune away the infected stems and burn the clippings; follow up with a liberal spray of ‘spraying oil’ (ask at your local garden centre) which will smother and asphyxiate the eggs and young.

Roses will thank you with healthy foliage and strong blooms if you give them a winter spray, especially after pruning. Spraying oil and copper oxychloride (which can be mixed together) are your best friends here and will help to eliminate the overwintering pests (such as the rose scale pictured here) and spores of fungal diseases. Spray the roses liberally so the spray mixture can penetrate the bark and coat the stems. Also spray the ground around rose bushes where old leaves may harbour pests and diseases.

Rose scale
Rose scale

My lemon tree growing in a pot is surviving and fruiting against the odds. It was attacked over summer by lemon tree borer and now the new fruit are diseased with these ugly bumps, called Verrucosis. Strictly speaking I should remove these fruit and any infected leaves but I treasure the few fruit I get and the disease does not affect the juice inside. Copper spray (as above but without the oil) should be applied before, after and during flowering to prevent further infection.

So after my pottering I’ve managed to eliminate quite a few potential sources of bugs so I expect to have fewer pests around in spring and summer – let’s hope so!

Verrucosis on lemons
Verrucosis on lemons

 

 

"

Start organising your outdoor area now in preparation for the busy months of spring and summer. Plant now.

"

It’s time to spring into action and get those green thumbs going

The autumn and winter months are a great time to take advantage of cool days in the garden. Start organising your outdoor area now in preparation for the busy months of spring and summer.
Plant now

March: Plant hedges and screens to allow roots to establish in cooler months for spring growth
April: Seeds for spring display of colourful annuals eg. lobelia, calendulas, dianthus, poppies, stocks, sweet peas, snapdragons.
May: Citrus trees.
June: Bare root trees.
July: Bare root, bagged roses.
August: Spring annuals and vegie patch varieties.

Divide perennials

Perennial plants are happy little travellers and can be split up and planted around the garden each year. The best time to tackle the job of dividing should be in late autumn and winter when they aren’t putting all their energy into producing new growth.
Mondo grass, agapanthus, daylilies and daisies can become too dense and don’t flower or perform as well as they used to. Dig up clumps from the soil and separate into individual plants by cutting with secateurs, or use tough love on plants such as agapanthus by splicing them up with a shovel. Re-plant them into other areas of the garden or into pots.

Soil

  • Clay soils should be loosened to reduce compaction with the addition of gypsum and organic matter to improve the soil structure and drainage.
  • Sandy soils should have plenty of organic matter and water crystals added to them as they lose water and nutrients easily.
  • Loamy soils are a good balance of clay and sand but the addition of organic matter only helps to make a good soil better.

Transplanting

Winter is the optimum time for transplanting trees and shrubs. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Choose the new location based on what conditions the tree or shrub likes eg. sun or shade and how much space it will need.
  • Dig the new hole before you dig up the tree or shrub so it is ready to go straight in.
  • Wet the new planting hole thoroughly and allow water to drain to reduce root shock.
  • Estimate the width and depth of the rootball (roots and soil) by doing a bit of exploratory digging around the plant. The width of the new hole should be twice that of the rootball.
  • Do not break up the soil at the bottom of the new hole. You might think that this would help but it could cause the plant to sink and cause rot.
  • Add water crystals and seaweed fertiliser to the hole to both stimulate and aid root development.
  • Dig out the tree or shrub keeping as much of the rootball intact as possible.
  • Use a tarp to drag large trees or shrubs to their new hole and gently slide it into the hole, keeping it straight.
  • Shovel the excavated soil back into the hole and firm down, watering as you go, to eliminate air pockets.
  • Mulch and water thoroughly – watering is essential for successful transplanting.

Winter feed

The basic rule of thumb about feeding plants in winter is to reduce fertilising frequency by half. Plants grow more slowly in the winter months and need less nutrients to keep them fed. Some plants, like spring flowering annuals, bulbs and winter vegetables, are still actively growing during winter so for them it’s important to maintain regular applications of fertiliser.

During the cold months it’s important to swap from a high nitrogen fertiliser to a low one, as too much nitrogen in winter can be a disadvantage for some plants as it can make the leaves softer and more susceptible to disease. Check the NPK ratio on the fertiliser container.
By getting out and facing some chilly days in the garden now, you’ll have a spring in your step when it comes to that busy, busy season.

Pruning

Make sure you have the right tools for your pruning jobs.
Secateurs should be used for pruning small branches. Branch cutters are good for cutting branches up to 5cm thick. Pruning saws are essential for cutting through thick branches and ones you can attach a pole to turn your pruning saw into a pole saw for branches that are out of reach.

The three basic rules of pruning are to remove dead or diseased wood, to try and promote more flowering and fruit, and to create a well-shaped plant. As a general rule don’t cut more than a third off a plant.

Plant name Season How to prune
Hydrangea Autumn Cut back current seasons growth to two fleshy buds
Italian lavender Autumn Cut back by one third but not into old wood
Grape vines Winter Prune to upright stem that branches into horizontal stems
Plum trees Winter Shorten long stems and open up centre of tree
Apple trees Winter Remove weak growth and shorten long growth
Standard roses Winter Remove dead and crossing branches to open up the centre of the plant

(By Jecca Blake)

- See more at: http://flowerpower.com.au/information/gardening/spring-garden-preparation/#sthash.dNnUfrCM.dpuf
"

Start organising your outdoor area now in preparation for the busy months of spring and summer. Plant now.

"

It’s time to spring into action and get those green thumbs going

The autumn and winter months are a great time to take advantage of cool days in the garden. Start organising your outdoor area now in preparation for the busy months of spring and summer.
Plant now

March: Plant hedges and screens to allow roots to establish in cooler months for spring growth
April: Seeds for spring display of colourful annuals eg. lobelia, calendulas, dianthus, poppies, stocks, sweet peas, snapdragons.
May: Citrus trees.
June: Bare root trees.
July: Bare root, bagged roses.
August: Spring annuals and vegie patch varieties.

Divide perennials

Perennial plants are happy little travellers and can be split up and planted around the garden each year. The best time to tackle the job of dividing should be in late autumn and winter when they aren’t putting all their energy into producing new growth.
Mondo grass, agapanthus, daylilies and daisies can become too dense and don’t flower or perform as well as they used to. Dig up clumps from the soil and separate into individual plants by cutting with secateurs, or use tough love on plants such as agapanthus by splicing them up with a shovel. Re-plant them into other areas of the garden or into pots.

Soil

  • Clay soils should be loosened to reduce compaction with the addition of gypsum and organic matter to improve the soil structure and drainage.
  • Sandy soils should have plenty of organic matter and water crystals added to them as they lose water and nutrients easily.
  • Loamy soils are a good balance of clay and sand but the addition of organic matter only helps to make a good soil better.

Transplanting

Winter is the optimum time for transplanting trees and shrubs. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Choose the new location based on what conditions the tree or shrub likes eg. sun or shade and how much space it will need.
  • Dig the new hole before you dig up the tree or shrub so it is ready to go straight in.
  • Wet the new planting hole thoroughly and allow water to drain to reduce root shock.
  • Estimate the width and depth of the rootball (roots and soil) by doing a bit of exploratory digging around the plant. The width of the new hole should be twice that of the rootball.
  • Do not break up the soil at the bottom of the new hole. You might think that this would help but it could cause the plant to sink and cause rot.
  • Add water crystals and seaweed fertiliser to the hole to both stimulate and aid root development.
  • Dig out the tree or shrub keeping as much of the rootball intact as possible.
  • Use a tarp to drag large trees or shrubs to their new hole and gently slide it into the hole, keeping it straight.
  • Shovel the excavated soil back into the hole and firm down, watering as you go, to eliminate air pockets.
  • Mulch and water thoroughly – watering is essential for successful transplanting.

Winter feed

The basic rule of thumb about feeding plants in winter is to reduce fertilising frequency by half. Plants grow more slowly in the winter months and need less nutrients to keep them fed. Some plants, like spring flowering annuals, bulbs and winter vegetables, are still actively growing during winter so for them it’s important to maintain regular applications of fertiliser.

During the cold months it’s important to swap from a high nitrogen fertiliser to a low one, as too much nitrogen in winter can be a disadvantage for some plants as it can make the leaves softer and more susceptible to disease. Check the NPK ratio on the fertiliser container.
By getting out and facing some chilly days in the garden now, you’ll have a spring in your step when it comes to that busy, busy season.

Pruning

Make sure you have the right tools for your pruning jobs.
Secateurs should be used for pruning small branches. Branch cutters are good for cutting branches up to 5cm thick. Pruning saws are essential for cutting through thick branches and ones you can attach a pole to turn your pruning saw into a pole saw for branches that are out of reach.

The three basic rules of pruning are to remove dead or diseased wood, to try and promote more flowering and fruit, and to create a well-shaped plant. As a general rule don’t cut more than a third off a plant.

Plant name Season How to prune
Hydrangea Autumn Cut back current seasons growth to two fleshy buds
Italian lavender Autumn Cut back by one third but not into old wood
Grape vines Winter Prune to upright stem that branches into horizontal stems
Plum trees Winter Shorten long stems and open up centre of tree
Apple trees Winter Remove weak growth and shorten long growth
Standard roses Winter Remove dead and crossing branches to open up the centre of the plant

(By Jecca Blake)

- See more at: http://flowerpower.com.au/information/gardening/spring-garden-preparation/#sthash.dNnUfrCM.dpuf
"

Start organising your outdoor area now in preparation for the busy months of spring and summer. Plant now.

"

It’s time to spring into action and get those green thumbs going

The autumn and winter months are a great time to take advantage of cool days in the garden. Start organising your outdoor area now in preparation for the busy months of spring and summer.
Plant now

March: Plant hedges and screens to allow roots to establish in cooler months for spring growth
April: Seeds for spring display of colourful annuals eg. lobelia, calendulas, dianthus, poppies, stocks, sweet peas, snapdragons.
May: Citrus trees.
June: Bare root trees.
July: Bare root, bagged roses.
August: Spring annuals and vegie patch varieties.

Divide perennials

Perennial plants are happy little travellers and can be split up and planted around the garden each year. The best time to tackle the job of dividing should be in late autumn and winter when they aren’t putting all their energy into producing new growth.
Mondo grass, agapanthus, daylilies and daisies can become too dense and don’t flower or perform as well as they used to. Dig up clumps from the soil and separate into individual plants by cutting with secateurs, or use tough love on plants such as agapanthus by splicing them up with a shovel. Re-plant them into other areas of the garden or into pots.

Soil

  • Clay soils should be loosened to reduce compaction with the addition of gypsum and organic matter to improve the soil structure and drainage.
  • Sandy soils should have plenty of organic matter and water crystals added to them as they lose water and nutrients easily.
  • Loamy soils are a good balance of clay and sand but the addition of organic matter only helps to make a good soil better.

Transplanting

Winter is the optimum time for transplanting trees and shrubs. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Choose the new location based on what conditions the tree or shrub likes eg. sun or shade and how much space it will need.
  • Dig the new hole before you dig up the tree or shrub so it is ready to go straight in.
  • Wet the new planting hole thoroughly and allow water to drain to reduce root shock.
  • Estimate the width and depth of the rootball (roots and soil) by doing a bit of exploratory digging around the plant. The width of the new hole should be twice that of the rootball.
  • Do not break up the soil at the bottom of the new hole. You might think that this would help but it could cause the plant to sink and cause rot.
  • Add water crystals and seaweed fertiliser to the hole to both stimulate and aid root development.
  • Dig out the tree or shrub keeping as much of the rootball intact as possible.
  • Use a tarp to drag large trees or shrubs to their new hole and gently slide it into the hole, keeping it straight.
  • Shovel the excavated soil back into the hole and firm down, watering as you go, to eliminate air pockets.
  • Mulch and water thoroughly – watering is essential for successful transplanting.

Winter feed

The basic rule of thumb about feeding plants in winter is to reduce fertilising frequency by half. Plants grow more slowly in the winter months and need less nutrients to keep them fed. Some plants, like spring flowering annuals, bulbs and winter vegetables, are still actively growing during winter so for them it’s important to maintain regular applications of fertiliser.

During the cold months it’s important to swap from a high nitrogen fertiliser to a low one, as too much nitrogen in winter can be a disadvantage for some plants as it can make the leaves softer and more susceptible to disease. Check the NPK ratio on the fertiliser container.
By getting out and facing some chilly days in the garden now, you’ll have a spring in your step when it comes to that busy, busy season.

Pruning

Make sure you have the right tools for your pruning jobs.
Secateurs should be used for pruning small branches. Branch cutters are good for cutting branches up to 5cm thick. Pruning saws are essential for cutting through thick branches and ones you can attach a pole to turn your pruning saw into a pole saw for branches that are out of reach.

The three basic rules of pruning are to remove dead or diseased wood, to try and promote more flowering and fruit, and to create a well-shaped plant. As a general rule don’t cut more than a third off a plant.

Plant name Season How to prune
Hydrangea Autumn Cut back current seasons growth to two fleshy buds
Italian lavender Autumn Cut back by one third but not into old wood
Grape vines Winter Prune to upright stem that branches into horizontal stems
Plum trees Winter Shorten long stems and open up centre of tree
Apple trees Winter Remove weak growth and shorten long growth
Standard roses Winter Remove dead and crossing branches to open up the centre of the plant

(By Jecca Blake)

- See more at: http://flowerpower.com.au/information/gardening/spring-garden-preparation/#sthash.dNnUfrCM.dpuf
"

Start organising your outdoor area now in preparation for the busy months of spring and summer. Plant now.

"

It’s time to spring into action and get those green thumbs going

The autumn and winter months are a great time to take advantage of cool days in the garden. Start organising your outdoor area now in preparation for the busy months of spring and summer.
Plant now

March: Plant hedges and screens to allow roots to establish in cooler months for spring growth
April: Seeds for spring display of colourful annuals eg. lobelia, calendulas, dianthus, poppies, stocks, sweet peas, snapdragons.
May: Citrus trees.
June: Bare root trees.
July: Bare root, bagged roses.
August: Spring annuals and vegie patch varieties.

Divide perennials

Perennial plants are happy little travellers and can be split up and planted around the garden each year. The best time to tackle the job of dividing should be in late autumn and winter when they aren’t putting all their energy into producing new growth.
Mondo grass, agapanthus, daylilies and daisies can become too dense and don’t flower or perform as well as they used to. Dig up clumps from the soil and separate into individual plants by cutting with secateurs, or use tough love on plants such as agapanthus by splicing them up with a shovel. Re-plant them into other areas of the garden or into pots.

Soil

  • Clay soils should be loosened to reduce compaction with the addition of gypsum and organic matter to improve the soil structure and drainage.
  • Sandy soils should have plenty of organic matter and water crystals added to them as they lose water and nutrients easily.
  • Loamy soils are a good balance of clay and sand but the addition of organic matter only helps to make a good soil better.

Transplanting

Winter is the optimum time for transplanting trees and shrubs. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Choose the new location based on what conditions the tree or shrub likes eg. sun or shade and how much space it will need.
  • Dig the new hole before you dig up the tree or shrub so it is ready to go straight in.
  • Wet the new planting hole thoroughly and allow water to drain to reduce root shock.
  • Estimate the width and depth of the rootball (roots and soil) by doing a bit of exploratory digging around the plant. The width of the new hole should be twice that of the rootball.
  • Do not break up the soil at the bottom of the new hole. You might think that this would help but it could cause the plant to sink and cause rot.
  • Add water crystals and seaweed fertiliser to the hole to both stimulate and aid root development.
  • Dig out the tree or shrub keeping as much of the rootball intact as possible.
  • Use a tarp to drag large trees or shrubs to their new hole and gently slide it into the hole, keeping it straight.
  • Shovel the excavated soil back into the hole and firm down, watering as you go, to eliminate air pockets.
  • Mulch and water thoroughly – watering is essential for successful transplanting.

Winter feed

The basic rule of thumb about feeding plants in winter is to reduce fertilising frequency by half. Plants grow more slowly in the winter months and need less nutrients to keep them fed. Some plants, like spring flowering annuals, bulbs and winter vegetables, are still actively growing during winter so for them it’s important to maintain regular applications of fertiliser.

During the cold months it’s important to swap from a high nitrogen fertiliser to a low one, as too much nitrogen in winter can be a disadvantage for some plants as it can make the leaves softer and more susceptible to disease. Check the NPK ratio on the fertiliser container.
By getting out and facing some chilly days in the garden now, you’ll have a spring in your step when it comes to that busy, busy season.

Pruning

Make sure you have the right tools for your pruning jobs.
Secateurs should be used for pruning small branches. Branch cutters are good for cutting branches up to 5cm thick. Pruning saws are essential for cutting through thick branches and ones you can attach a pole to turn your pruning saw into a pole saw for branches that are out of reach.

The three basic rules of pruning are to remove dead or diseased wood, to try and promote more flowering and fruit, and to create a well-shaped plant. As a general rule don’t cut more than a third off a plant.

Plant name Season How to prune
Hydrangea Autumn Cut back current seasons growth to two fleshy buds
Italian lavender Autumn Cut back by one third but not into old wood
Grape vines Winter Prune to upright stem that branches into horizontal stems
Plum trees Winter Shorten long stems and open up centre of tree
Apple trees Winter Remove weak growth and shorten long growth
Standard roses Winter Remove dead and crossing branches to open up the centre of the plant

(By Jecca Blake)

- See more at: http://flowerpower.com.au/information/gardening/spring-garden-preparation/#sthash.dNnUfrCM.dpuf
"

Start organising your outdoor area now in preparation for the busy months of spring and summer. Plant now.

"

It’s time to spring into action and get those green thumbs going

The autumn and winter months are a great time to take advantage of cool days in the garden. Start organising your outdoor area now in preparation for the busy months of spring and summer.
Plant now

March: Plant hedges and screens to allow roots to establish in cooler months for spring growth
April: Seeds for spring display of colourful annuals eg. lobelia, calendulas, dianthus, poppies, stocks, sweet peas, snapdragons.
May: Citrus trees.
June: Bare root trees.
July: Bare root, bagged roses.
August: Spring annuals and vegie patch varieties.

Divide perennials

Perennial plants are happy little travellers and can be split up and planted around the garden each year. The best time to tackle the job of dividing should be in late autumn and winter when they aren’t putting all their energy into producing new growth.
Mondo grass, agapanthus, daylilies and daisies can become too dense and don’t flower or perform as well as they used to. Dig up clumps from the soil and separate into individual plants by cutting with secateurs, or use tough love on plants such as agapanthus by splicing them up with a shovel. Re-plant them into other areas of the garden or into pots.

Soil

  • Clay soils should be loosened to reduce compaction with the addition of gypsum and organic matter to improve the soil structure and drainage.
  • Sandy soils should have plenty of organic matter and water crystals added to them as they lose water and nutrients easily.
  • Loamy soils are a good balance of clay and sand but the addition of organic matter only helps to make a good soil better.

Transplanting

Winter is the optimum time for transplanting trees and shrubs. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  • Choose the new location based on what conditions the tree or shrub likes eg. sun or shade and how much space it will need.
  • Dig the new hole before you dig up the tree or shrub so it is ready to go straight in.
  • Wet the new planting hole thoroughly and allow water to drain to reduce root shock.
  • Estimate the width and depth of the rootball (roots and soil) by doing a bit of exploratory digging around the plant. The width of the new hole should be twice that of the rootball.
  • Do not break up the soil at the bottom of the new hole. You might think that this would help but it could cause the plant to sink and cause rot.
  • Add water crystals and seaweed fertiliser to the hole to both stimulate and aid root development.
  • Dig out the tree or shrub keeping as much of the rootball intact as possible.
  • Use a tarp to drag large trees or shrubs to their new hole and gently slide it into the hole, keeping it straight.
  • Shovel the excavated soil back into the hole and firm down, watering as you go, to eliminate air pockets.
  • Mulch and water thoroughly – watering is essential for successful transplanting.

Winter feed

The basic rule of thumb about feeding plants in winter is to reduce fertilising frequency by half. Plants grow more slowly in the winter months and need less nutrients to keep them fed. Some plants, like spring flowering annuals, bulbs and winter vegetables, are still actively growing during winter so for them it’s important to maintain regular applications of fertiliser.

During the cold months it’s important to swap from a high nitrogen fertiliser to a low one, as too much nitrogen in winter can be a disadvantage for some plants as it can make the leaves softer and more susceptible to disease. Check the NPK ratio on the fertiliser container.
By getting out and facing some chilly days in the garden now, you’ll have a spring in your step when it comes to that busy, busy season.

Pruning

Make sure you have the right tools for your pruning jobs.
Secateurs should be used for pruning small branches. Branch cutters are good for cutting branches up to 5cm thick. Pruning saws are essential for cutting through thick branches and ones you can attach a pole to turn your pruning saw into a pole saw for branches that are out of reach.

The three basic rules of pruning are to remove dead or diseased wood, to try and promote more flowering and fruit, and to create a well-shaped plant. As a general rule don’t cut more than a third off a plant.

Plant name Season How to prune
Hydrangea Autumn Cut back current seasons growth to two fleshy buds
Italian lavender Autumn Cut back by one third but not into old wood
Grape vines Winter Prune to upright stem that branches into horizontal stems
Plum trees Winter Shorten long stems and open up centre of tree
Apple trees Winter Remove weak growth and shorten long growth
Standard roses Winter Remove dead and crossing branches to open up the centre of the plant

(By Jecca Blake)

- See more at: http://flowerpower.com.au/information/gardening/spring-garden-preparation/#sthash.dNnUfrCM.dpuf


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