The lingering warmth has everything growing like mad, and gardens are looking lush and green as ever. This is a busy month in the garden, with lots of gorgeous, colourful plants to add to your planting list, and a bunch of odd jobs to attend to before the crisp Autumn air starts to move in.

Flowering now

  • Trees & Shrubs: Azaleas (spot flowering), banksia ericifolia, berberis, camellia sasanqua, crowea, gordonia, hibiscus, plectranthus
  • Annuals & Perennials: Chrysanthemum, Easter daisy, Japanese windflower, Michaelmas daisy, pansy, polyanthus, poppy, viola
  • Bulbs: Dahlia, daylily, nerine

Plant

  • Take your pick from alyssum, candytuft, Canterbury bells, cineraria, cornflower, lobelia, lupin, penstemon, polyanthus, poppy, snapdragon, sweet pea, verbena and wallflower.
  • Edibles that love cooler weather include broad beans, broccoli, brussels sprout, cabbage, capsicum, cauliflower, celery, lettuce (winter varieties), onion, parsley, peas, rocket, silverbeet, spinach and strawberries.
  • For months of colour right up until Christmas, plant your favourite pansies and violas.
  • Now’s the time to plant container-grown azaleas, citrus, conifers, daphne and natives.
  • Fill your garden with spring-flowering bulbs like anemone, babiana, bluebell, Dutch iris, freesia, ixia, jonquil and ranunculus. Daffodil, grape hyacinth, hyacinth and tulip bulbs should be kept in the fridge for six weeks first.

Feed

  • Get your vegie garden in tiptop shape for a winter crop by adding lime or dolomite to the soil.
  • Fertilise annuals with weak fortnightly solutions of Nutrafeed or PowerFeed.
  • Avoid fertilising camellias and azaleas in April, as this will stimulate leaf growth at the expense of flower buds.

Prune

  • If you live in an area prone to cold and frost, stay away from secateurs this month. Plants will need leaf cover to protect them from frost.
  • Remove spent heads of pansies, violas and other annuals to encourage further flowering.

Protect

  • Protect newly-planted bulbs and seedlings with snail pellets. Use animal-friendly pellets like Multiguard Snail & Slug Killer and use as per packet instructions.
  • If mildew appears on your roses or hydrangeas, spray with fungicide.
  • Aphids on pansy and viola seedlings can be kept under control with pyrethrum.
  • Caterpillars munching on edibles can be controlled with Success ULTRA.

General garden care

  • Mulch autumn leaves and add them to the compost heap. If you leave them to compost in a heap by themselves, add Dinofert and dolomite to the pile to quicken the decomposition process.
  • Divide clumps of perennials such as iris, perennial phlox and Shasta daisies.
  • Repot plants into larger containers with fresh potting mix.
  • Prepare a bed for your roses. Dig the soil over in a sunny position, and then add compost or a rose planting mix.
  • Remove stone fruit from trees and dispose of them to eliminate sources of brown-rot fungus.
  • Start applying Seasol solution to help protect against frost in the colder months.

Buy now

  • Fungicide to protect indoor and outdoor plants from mould and mildew.
  • Autumn roses are at their best, making it a good time to choose and buy your favourites.
  • Choose your colourful autumn tress and camellias now while you can see their true colours.