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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.