Plant garlic. Avoid eating or planting fumigated Chinese garlic if possible.
Check for non wetting soil where mulch has thinned & retic may have missed. Use Grosorb granules or Eco-hydrate liquid. After aerating with pitchfork, treat the lawn as well.
LAWNS: Check for army worm (a type of caterpillar) & weeds. Ask your lawn contractor to wash down their mower at their last job to avoid infesting your lawn with weed seeds. Or mow it yourself. Feed naturally with Shades of Green Lawn Fertiliser, or raked soil improver/compost. Use a wetting agent before feeding.
Trim wisteria side shoots to 20-30cm from main stem now or after autumn flowering if your vine flowers in autumn, many don’t. NB Pruning in winter results in no flowers!
Trim roses by 1/3. If black spot is present, use EcoRose and increase ventilation.
Cut shasta daisies & kangaroo paws to ground. Prune summer flowering salvias, buddleias, plectranthus, geraniums & gardenias by 1/2. Divide daylilies, kangaroo paws, aggies, iris, pennisetum & liriope by using a pitchfork or spade and separating into small clumps.
Feed shrubs and citrus with organic fertiliser like Seamungus, Growsafe Home Gardener, OR Searles KICKALONG Fruit And Flower. Apply a layer of compost, then top with a chunky mulch. Water well before & after feeding to prevent root burn.
Fruit fly programs should be continued throughout the year to decrease populations overall and protect your edibles. Use splash baits and traps fortnightly and erect nets. Visit www.petercoppin.com for hints.
Check vegies for white cabbage moth. Pick off green grubs and feed to chooks or spray Dipel or EcoNeem (note: spraying will knock out the 'good' butterflies as well).
Spray citrus with Eco Oil and EcoNeem mix if you have citrus leaf miner.
Put spring bulbs needing that elusive chill factor in egg cartons in crisper of the fridge now for 4-6 weeks ie daffodils, tulips, dutch iris, hyacinths.
Sow sweet peas mid March. To speed up germination, soak in hot water for 4 hours. Make sure the soil is not acidic. If so, add dolomite to raise pH. Don't water seeds again until they sprout. Give ¼ tsp bicarb– 4L water monthly when 20cm for better blooms. Protect from snails. They really are worth the effort!
Clear gutters leading to rainwater tanks now to capture as much rain as possible.
Prune hedge plants like lillypilly, murraya, box, westringia, rosemary and photinia.
Plant out your verge with vegies or local natives. Check council regulations first.
Plant out vegies - perfect time for beans, peas, beetroot, peas, greens asparagus (check out Garden Deva's asparagus article here)
Plant lots of coriander now as cooler weather provides ideal growing conditions and plants will bolt to seed in even mild heat. Grow in sun or semi-shade & freeze excess.
Plant those bulbs you put in the fridge plus bluebells, jonquils, hippeastrums, etc.
Plant any Mediterranean/temperate (read - non-tropical) shrubs and trees.
Keep planting and liquid feeding vegies every 2-3 weeks. Continue this as long as you grow vegies.
Prune French lavender, daisies, grevilleas, abelia & herbs which have flowered.
Plant out strawberry beds. Avoid using black plastic underneath. Strawberries actually do love straw mulch.
May is a good month to transplant shrubs. Wait until spring to move tropical plants.
Cut down old canna stems to the ground (do this regularly for great looking plants)
Reduce watering of houseplants but remember to water plants under eaves.
LAWNS: Increase microbial activity - apply Shades of Green Lawn fertiliser or Eco Prime Emerald Lawn fertiliser. Microbes are essential for lawn health & also eat thatch. Lower mower height to allow more sun in which helps reduce fungal problems.
Rake up autumn leaves -put in compost or mix with mulch.
Prune callistemons lightly to get rid of old seed head branches + encourage growth.Liquid fertilise annuals & vegies fortnightly. Gogo juice and Eco Vital are both excellent.
Have you got a tired old garden which needs a lift? Or are you overwhelmed by a blank canvas?