Early August is rose pruning time. Roses need to be pruned into an open vase shape – this allows for good air circulation and sunlight. Start by removing damaged limbs, dead wood, leaders and limbs that are growing inside the imaginary vase. Once completed, prune the remaining branches by about 60%.
Prune at a 45 degree angle, 5mm above an outward facing bud. Make sure the angle is sloping away from the bud. Gather and dispose of rose leaves and cuttings from the ground as they harbour disease. To control Black Spot, spray roses and the surrounding bed with lime sulphur. Fertilise roses for Spring.
Don’t prune Banksia, Rugosa or Weeping Tree Rose until after their spectacular Spring display.
Shrubs with cane-like growth and summer flowers on new wood (such as Abelia and Oleander) will benefit from a prune before new spring growth begins. Don’t just trim the shrub all over – you need to cut away old canes at the base so the bush does not become too crowded.
Visit your local bush and wildflower gardens to enjoy the spicy scents of the early Australian wildflower spring and for inspiration about how you can incorporate many of these lovely indigenous plants into your garden.
TIPS AND TASKS:
- Now is a good time to prune deciduous trees. Branches that are spindly or too low should be cut out. Study the tree’s natural shape and keep to that.
- Avoid pruning Spring flowering deciduous trees, as you will lose this season’s flowers. Wait for flowering to finish.
- After Camellias have finished blooming, prune to maintain compact growth. Fertilise with Camellia food.
- Remove and dispose of gall wasp swellings from citrus trees.
- At bud swell apply Leaf Curl Copper Fungicide to peaches and nectarines.
- Hydrangeas – prune dead, spindly and crossing branches, then prune to the biggest growth buds. Apply blueing tonic if you want blue Hydrangeas or lime for pink. Apply monthly till November.
- If any of your plants have black foliage because of frost, leave it. Wait till September to cut it off as it actually protects the plant.
- If you have native trees in your garden, now is a good time to control cup moth. They are about 25mm long and have spines that cause a painful sting. Spray with Malathion or if the tree is large, consult a tree surgeon for injection.
- Create interest in the garden by contrasting plant shape, texture, leaf and colour.
- Magnolias are either in flower or ready to flower. This is a good time to purchase the variety you prefer.
- Spray citrus with Rogor to control bronze orange bug (early stage of nymphs found under leaves).
- New growth on citrus trees can become quite badly affected by citrus leaf miner (leaves curl and distort). Treat with Pest Oil.
- In the flower bed, plant Alyssum, Candytuft, Delphinium, Statice, Zinnia etc.
- In the vegetable bed, plant carrot, corn, lettuce, onion, radish, silverbeet etc.