Enjoy the sun-soaked garden this month, but spare a thought for your thirsty plants! Don’t forget to summer-proof by topping up mulch and help your garden beat the heat.

Flowering now

January flowers

Plant/sow

  • Create a garden full of colour with ageratum, alyssum, calendula, French marigold, Iceland poppy, linaria, liriope, petunia, primula, snapdragon, stock, sweet pea and verbena.
  • Plant beans, lettuce (summer and loose-leaf varieties) and sweet corn.
  • Sow seeds of next winter's vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower and lettuce, into seedling trays. Keep in a shaded spot.

Fertilise

  • Nourish your plants with a complete slow-release fertiliser.
  • Fertilise azaleas, daphne and camellias with a specially-formulated product, such as Kahoona. Camellias should be well watered this month to ensure good flowering from late autumn to spring.
  • Apply complete rose food or a mix of 3 parts blood and bone and 1 part potash around each plant. Roses are heavy feeders, so this treatment is needed to encourage more flowers. Sugar cane mulch is also beneficial.
  • Keep leafy vegies thriving with regular watering and a foliar fertiliser.
  • Feed hungry hibiscus, passionfruit, dipladenia and tomatoes with a fertiliser high in potassium.
  • Feed palms, ferns and salad greens with seaweed, worm juice or fish emulsion.

Prune

  • NSW Christmas bush can be pruned as soon as the ‘flowers’ have finished.
  • Deadhead your roses by cutting back to the nearest bud below the dead bloom. This will help produce a good autumn flush on roses that repeat their performance, including all modern roses.
  • Prune agapanthus flower heads to prevent seeding through the garden and bush.
  • Trim whippy growth from wisteria back to 30 centimetres.
  • Prune lavender into globes and dry flowers to use in potpourri.

Pests & diseases

  • Watch out for cabbage white butterfly and treat with Success Ultra or derris dust.
  • If lawn grub beetles are attacking your lawn, use a grub and insect control product like Munns Lawn Grub Killer.
  • Spray azaleas and rhododendrons for lace bug.
  • Remove any built-up scale by spraying or wiping foliage with white oil.
  • Fruit fly can be controlled using bait.
  • Use Success Ultra on citrus that’s being attacked by leaf-miner, which appears as leaf curling and silvery trails on foliage.
  • Be vigilant against rust on frangipani, canna and fuchsia. Treat rust before it becomes prevalent by spraying a mix of eco-fungicide and eco-oil, and bin any fallen infected leaves.

General garden care

  • Remove spent flower heads from summer annuals to promote more flowers.
  • Stake your dahlias and chrysanthemums.
  • Divide perennials such as agapanthus, day lilies and bearded iris.
  • Water your fruit trees regularly to ensure a good crop.
  • Check your drip irrigation system to ensure there are no blockages.
  • Top-up your mulch to conserve moisture and help stop the weeds.

Buy now

  • Dipel or derris dust
  • Azalea and camellia plant food
  • Rose food
  • Annuals
  • Mulch such as lucerne