Wishing you a season of peace and joy this Christmas and throughout the
With summer upon us, it’s worth reiterating the importance of protecting yourself against UV radiation. The Cancer Council recommends that you use all of the following measures:
- Avoid the sun in the middle of the day.
- Wear a wide brim hat and adequate clothing.
- Use sunscreen to protect exposed skin.
- Wear close-fitting sunglasses to protect against eye damage.
- Stay in the shade whenever possible.
Going on holidays? Make it easy for family or friends to care for your garden by watering thoroughly and applying mulch prior to leaving. If you do not have a watering system, purchase a few sprinklers and place at strategic locations (subject to water restrictions). Place all your pots out of direct sunlight, preferably in one location.
Trees and shrubs that had a heavy winter-spring prune may have produced long, whippy growth both from pruned branches and from base suckers. Remove suckers as close to the trunk as possible and ‘head back’ long growth (usually growing vertically) to the first or second bud. You may need to repeat this several times during the warmer months to re-establish a good shape to the tree’s framework.
TIPS AND TASKS:
- Start tidying up the garden for Christmas. Consider purchasing a potted Christmas tree. Picea (Spruce) makes a great Christmas tree. Small exterior-use bud lights in trees look very festive but take extra care on those ladders! Try an extension pruner instead to loop the lights over branches.
- Water early morning or later afternoon. Avoid watering during the heat of the day (unless a plant is wilting). Most of the water will disappear through evaporation. Make sure you comply with all current water restrictions.
- Plants respond better to long watering periods rather than short periods. Don’t forget your street tree.
- Consider less thirsty plants such as Agave, Aloe, Dracaena, Echeveria, Kalanchoe, Sedum, Senecio, Strelizia, Yucca etc for your pots. Select a few large pots instead of many smaller pots.
- Weeding is easier if you control weeds on a regular basis.
- This is the month to control White Wax Scale on citrus, Choisya, Gardenia and other shrubs. Use white oil/Malathion or Pest Oil.
- If you want Hydrangea as a cut flower, prune early in the morning before the heat sets in.
- Let the lawn grow longer. Lawn will look lush and survive longer periods of no water.
- Give your Chinese Star Jasmine a light trim now that they have finished flowering. Cut back Wisteria side shoots.
- Start spraying to control Lace Bug on Azalea. These insects will make Azalea leaves turn a silver colour. Spray with Confidor, Rogor, Folimat or Mavrik.
- Spray roses to control Black Spot and Aphids. Use a rose fungicide to control Black Spot and a pyrethrum based spray for Aphids.
- Non-chemical control of Black Spot mix one part full cream milk and nine parts water. Spray twice weekly. Use soapy water for the control of Aphids.
- Plant in the flower garden Alyssum, Aster, Marigold, Petunia, Phlox,Sweet William, Zinnia etc.
- Plant in the vegetable garden beans, beetroot, carrots, lettuce,radish, silverbeet, tomato etc.
- Purchase a pool cover to reduce evaporation and time spent cleaning the pool.
FLOWERING PLANTS FOR DECEMBER:
TREES AND SHRUBS
Abutilon (Flowering Maple)
Buddleia (Butterfly Bush)
Calodendrum (Cape Chestnut)
Cistus (Rock Rose)
Lantana (Trailing Lantana)
Magnolia (evergreen species)
ANNUALS AND PERENNIALS
Acanthus (Oyster plant)
Ageratum (Floss flower)
Chrysanthemum (Shasta Daisy)
Felicia (Blue Daisy)
Erigeron (Seaside Daisy)
Heliotrope (Cherry Pie)
Rudbeckia (Yellow Cone Flower)
Hemerocallis (Day Lily)
Hippeastrum (Barbados Lily)
Thunbergia (Black-eyed Susan)
Actinotis (Flannel flower)
Angophora (Sydney Red Gum)
Ceratopetalum (NSW Christmas Bush)