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 In the Winter Garden 2017.... 

 

Once again, Winter has crept up on us and you may not have prepared for the coming colder months.  If you have been busy in the garden, well done! 


For the rest, you had better get out there and get going.  Make a list and cross them off when achieved, this will help, believe me.

 

Commence with feeding your shrubs, vegetables and flowers then mulch around the areas, including any fruit trees or berry bushes.

 

Ornamental grape vines can be cut down to their main branches, also the Crepe Myrtle could benefit from a light prune.  Any fruit trees,make sure the centres of the trees have good open spaces for the winter sun.  While dormant the Ornamental trees will require removal of dead and diseased or misplaced branches.

 

Nectarine and Peach trees will fruit on the previous season’s young shoots, so they should be pruned accordingly if you want fruit next growing season.  Spray Peach and Nectarine trees before bud burst with a reliable leaf curl spray.  Also spray other fruit trees and vines to prevent insect and fungus diseases that will cause a problem for you later.  Check the correct spray from your local Nursery.  Make sure your pruning tools are not blunt as this will cause damage.

 

Don’t forget the Rose pruning in July Also your indoor plants will appreciate some half strength fertiliser.

 

BULBS

Your spring flowering bulbs should be popping their heads up by now  but be careful when weeding  between them and keep an eye out for slugs and snails.  Some early flowering bulbs in June are Jonquil (Narcissus), Lachenalia and Cyclamen.

 

Summer flowering bulbs of Agapanthus, Arum Lilies, Crinums and Day Lilies can be planted now.

 

Fertilise bulbs with blood and bone and some potash.  Remember be careful using the snail bait if you have any pets.

 

FLOWERS & PERENNIALS

Once again,  now is the time to divide your perennials, so if the clumps are very large they will produce less flowers. So get started.  Your friends will appreciate a small clump from your garden. During the next few months new perennials can be planted out.

 

Plant some instant winter colour, begin by weeding an area, visit your local Nursery where they will have a lovely selection ready for planting.

 

July is the time to remove old flowers from your Camellias, Azaleas and Cyclamens

 

Next month drop into your local Nursery where their range of  annuals will tempt you.  

 

HERBS

Most people have a few herbs in the garden, I hope you do as well.  If not, planting some herbs will give you a sense of satisfaction when you can go into your garden and pick some Basil, Mint, Parsley, Thyme or Coriander to add to a meal. Perhaps share with your neighbours? Hint: Plant Mint in a large pot.

 

PESTS

JUNE , you can find white scale in the rose bushes and if left untreated will multiply to cover stems and branches.  The dormant season in winter is the time to prune and burn badly infested stems then spray the rest of the bush with white oil.

 

JULY, mealy bugs may appear and can infect a large number of plants.  Pyrethrum spray is required, if not successful, give them another spray.  You could also treat outbreaks by dabbing the bugs with methylated spirits.

 

Others to look out for in winter, black spot, mildew, red spider mites and harlequin bugs.  Reminder, the ever present snails are always lurking for some lovely new leaves.

 

WINTER VEGETABLES

Your vegie patch may look a little barren, full of weeds needs a good feed.  So it is the best time for a clean up to be ready for your winter plantings of vegetables.  

 

Remove the weeds, dig or fork over very deeply   The addition of compost and manure is so important, feed this area fortnightly for a healthy growing season.  Your local Nursery has their stock in the store waiting for your visit.  Get your hands dirty (I use gloves) and have a go, you will be surprised at the results.

 

HAPPY GARDENING 

PATRICIA