Autumn is a great time of the year to work in your garden. The milder temperatures provide good working conditions and healthy plant growth. Visit your local nursery – plant the familiar or experiment with something new – you may be pleasantly surprised.
When creating hedges ensure your hedge grows horizontally before it grows vertically, use a string line for a professional finish. Make sure the base of your hedge is a little wider than the top as this allows the sun to reach the lower parts of the hedge. Some of the better hedge plants are:
- Buxus (Japanese Box)
- Camellia (Sasanqua)
- Corynocarpus (NZ Laurel)
- Cupressocyparis (Leighton Green)
- Murraya (Orange Jessamine)
- Viburnum odoratissimum (Sweet Viburnum)
In our climate the cooler months are the best months for growing vegetables. Plant a short row at any one time so you will have a continuous supply of vegetables. Cultivate a complete garden fertiliser into the soil prior to sowing or planting.
TIPS AND TASKS:
- Fertilise Azalea, Camellia and Rhododendron with a soluble fertiliser. Water well.
- Powdery mildew looks like a powdery dust on your plants. Plants affected include Hydrangea, Rose, Crepe Myrtle and Zinnia. Control with Mancozeb or Baycor. Alternatively, mix 1 part full cream milk with 19 parts water. Spray twice weekly.
- Aphids on Rose and Chrysanthemum can be controlled by spraying with a pyrethrum based chemical or soapy water.
- Should your Clivea and Crinum be eaten by Helicoverpa caterpillars (black and yellow stripped), control with Yates Mavrik.
- Visit open gardens for ideas and inspiration. Purchase the Australian Open Garden Guide from your bookshop or visit www.opengarden.org.au <http://www.opengarden.org.au> .
- Begin disbudding Camellia japonica. The blooms are bigger when you have one bud per stem.
- Feed your lawns. Fertilise on a regular basis during the growing seasons.
- Create a harmonious garden by increasing the quantity of plants and reducing the variety.
- Large flower Chrysanthemum should be debudded leaving only one flower per stem. Leave cluster flower Chrysanthemum alone. Apply fertilise now.
- In the flower bed plant Aquilegia, Calendula, Cineraria, Delphinium, Dianthus, Pansy, Polyanthus, Primula, Stock etc. Remove spent summer annuals.
- In the vegetable bed plant beans, carrots, lettuce, onion, radish etc. Remove spent summer vegetables.
- Let the lawn grow longer. Lawn will look lush and survive longer periods of no water.
- Create interest in the garden by using focal points. Focal points can be a garden ornament, a water feature or simply a plant that has different foliage to the surrounding plants.
- Take cuttings of your favourite plants such as Azalea, Camellia, Buxus, Gardenia etc. Take a 5-10cm firm tip cutting with a heel of old stem. Remove lower leaves, dip in hormone powder and pot up in a seed raising mix.
FLOWERING PLANTS FOR MARCH:
TREES & SHRUBS:
Bauhinia (Orchid tree)
Ceratostigma (Chinese Plumbago)
Clerodendrum (Butterfly bush)
Gordonia (Fried Egg Plant)
Lagerstroemia (Crepe Myrtle)
ANNUALS & PERENNIALS
Aster (Easter Daisy)
Hedychium (Kahili Ginger)
Plectranthus (Blue Spur-Flower)
Amaryllis (Belladonna Lily)
Hemerocallis (Day Lily)
Liriope (Lily Turf)
Thunbergia (Black Eyed Susan)
Stenocarpus (Fire Wheel Tree)
Owner/operator of Artview Landscapes, Brian Baker is a talented landscape designer who has been managing, designing and building structured landscapes in Sydney for twenty five years. He has personally built or managed over 800 landscape construction projects ranging in value from $5,000 to $250,000 for residential projects and between $10,000 and one million dollars for commercial projects.