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)