Tips on How to Maintain Your Garden Through the Australian Winter
Having been situated in the southern hemisphere provides Australians varying winter experiences. It will all depend on one’s location. For example, winter months in the Northern Territory is not the same as what is being experienced by people living in Melbourne. So, if you’re into gardening you should be aware of the things to keep in mind during this season. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you’ll also be treating your garden coldly. Continue to give your garden all the tender loving care it deserves the whole year through. Rev up your winter gardening skills with the following tips:
Start your garden pruning routine.
Some plants that need pruning especially during winter include roses, grapes, wisteria and hydrangeas. As soon as the month of August comes, don’t forget to start pruning your gardenias. When you’re pruning your roses it is best to leave an open framework of four or three stems. To get rid of pests and disease-causing organisms, the experts behind Garden-R suggest you spray these roses and their surrounding soil with lime sulfur. Your ornamental grasses should also be trimmed to ground level to allow them to rejuvenate come wintertime.
Keep your plants hydrated.
If your garden has flowering hedges, spring bulbs and winter-flowering natives, see to it that you water and fertilize them so that they continue to grow well. Since winter gives you grey skies and duller color palette, might as well keep your garden looking so lively by planting bright colored winter flowers. Some of the most beautiful options include hellebores and cyclamens.
If your garden is situated somewhere within the Northern Territory, planting begonia, marigold, gerberas, daisy, and geranium would be perfect during winter. Note that if you’re in Western Australia you’re living in temperate zones and for gardeners, this would mean their plants would always feel the need to be hydrated. Make use of seaweed tea and opt for liquid fertilizers that have low-impact.
Plant winter trees.
Winter is the best time for deciduous trees to be replanted after shedding their leaves in Autumn. This is the time of the year when these trees become dormant so it is best to transport and reshape them using pole pruner or a chainsaw so they could be replanted. But, first, you have to prepare your soil. Put some well-rotted compost on the soil when you plant deciduous trees. But, when the end of winter is coming, apply an organic fertilizer to ensure these trees continue to grow in Spring.
However, if you’re living in Queensland you can still continue to take advantage of your sub-tropical gardens. It’s because even when most parts of Australia are enjoying icy winds at this time of the year, Queensland will still find themselves having dry days. This is why as early as May, Queenslanders should have finished planting their tropical fruit trees, especially those that can be grown in containers.
Never stop sowing.
Winter should not stop you from sowing radishes, peas, spring onions, carrots, leeks, spinach and broad beans. This is also the best time to start planting rhubarb, strawberries and asparagus. However, your seeds of capsicum, tomatoes and eggplant must be placed on a warm windowsill so you can have them ready to be planted when the soil starts to warm as well.
If you’re in Western Australia chances are your weather would remain temperamental even during winter. People living in this part of the country may still enjoy planting vegetables, bare-rooted fruits and flowers.
Don’t forget to apply organic mulch.
Garden beds must be protected from extreme cold temperatures and frost. This is why it is important to spread some thick layers of organic mulch into your garden beds. Before applying mulch, tidy up your garden beds and remove those weeds.
Another important thing to remember is that the mulch you applied shouldn’t stay in your garden beds the whole year through. Once you see new growth coming out, remove excess mulch to give the new plant enough exposure.
Grow your favorite herbs and vegetables.
Yes, planting some herbs and veggies are still possible in winter, especially if you’re in Victoria and in any other higher tableland areas. These parts of Australia enjoy cool winter climates, making it possible for them to still grow their favorite herbs and veggies such as marjoram, parsley, shallots, thyme, chives, rosemary, oregano, and garlic. The best thing about it is that you can also grow these herbs indoors.
If you’re living in areas where frost could become an issue during winter, opt for above ground vegetables such as cabbages. You can still grow cabbages in a container and make use of plastic as protection when night time comes. Don’t forget to remove these plastic covering in the morning so your plants won’t be overheated.
If you’re in North Queensland, winter would mean having wet and dry tropical weather which makes it perfect for gardeners to plant not just cabbage but as well as some pumpkins, broccoli, cucumber, eggplant, sweet corn, and capsicum. You can also grow herbs like dill, garlic, sage, and Thai coriander.
Enjoy planting citrus fruits.
When late July approaches, start feeding your citrus with an all-purpose citrus fertilizer. Winter is the season of citrus fruits. So, go ahead and plant some limes, oranges, and lemons. You may also opt for cumquat, grapefruit, and tangelo.
Never stop weeding even when it’s already winter or you’ll find yourself spending several hours trying to get your garden ready when winter is about to end. See to it that you’re always on top of your weeds so you can have good looking gardens all year round.
Remember pest control and garden maintenance.
Cooler temperatures would mean fewer pests and diseases. But, you still need to see to it that your gardens have enough air circulating around them. One way to ensure good air circulation is to observe proper spacing in between plants. This will also help reduce the possibility of plants to suffer from fungal diseases. Do not water the leaves of the plants because trapped moisture can only lead them to harbor diseases.
Wintertime can be a formidable opponent for many plants. However, once you equip yourself with knowledge about the right plants to grow during this season your garden won’t remain boring all throughout the wintertime. Keep the above-mentioned tips in mind so you can still enjoy the beauty of your garden blooms and the fresh produce coming from your very own garden.