Winter in the Garden
There is still work to be done in the garden to ensure that by the time spring comes around, all the ‘jobs to do’ are completed! I know that we can keep cosy indoors on chilly winter days, but the garden does still need some attention. Here are a few things to work on over the next few weeks when winter in the garden.
- Winter weeds in lawns can become a problem. One of the worst is small leaf clover. This has a very fine root system and spreads in among the grass. Tiny yellow flowers identify this plant pest. The best way to eradicate it is by hand. Hard work, but effective. Use an old dinner knife to dig down and ease the roots out.
- Another weed to eradicate from the lawn is the Bindii which can be effectively controlled with sprays. Ask your garden centre to identify this plant and what control sprays to use on your grass type.
- Liquid fertilise all the spring flowering bulbs and annuals every fortnight. Yates Flower & Fruit fertiliser is excellent for this purpose.
- Onion weed will be sending up new growth in flower beds. A wipe with a brush or cloth dipped in glyphosate can work, but needs to be repeated several times. Digging deeply when the soil is damp and carefully removing all the bulblets is another way. Either way, patience is essential!
- Perennials such as Day Lilies and perennial Asters can be lifted and divided. Remember to treat newly transplanted shrubs, perennials and annuals with diluted Seasol.
- You can still plant vegetables such as Spinach, Silverbeet and Tuscan Kale. A few lettuce seedlings planted out every couple of weeks will keep the family in salads through late winter and early spring.
- Camellia Sasanquas that have finished flowering can have a tidy up if necessary, if you are in a frost-free area, otherwise wait until danger of frost is past.
- Camellia Japonicas are a mainstay of colour in winter gardens. Local garden centres will have a good supply of these easy-to-grow shrubs.
- Similarly, there should be good stocks of new season’s ornamental deciduous trees in garden centres over the next few weeks. Now is the time to buy and plant these – don’t wait until spring when the choice of selection will be more limited.
New season of Summer Roses Care are available. When selecting, check that there is no sign of die-back on the stems – yellow to brown ends of the pruned branches. These often indicate that the limb will die back which is not a good sign. Check for any mealy bug on indoor plants (white cotton wool-like little creatures) and spray accordingly