After a slow start and some scorching days, summer has come to an end. Autumn is here! We often think that autumn is when Melbourne is at its most beautiful. The days are long, the weather is mild and many plants are putting on a show before winter. Perfect for spending time in the garden!
It’s always nice to see the start of autumn, which brings with it milder weather and a change in available stock. New season azaleas, daphnes, cyclamen, pansies and violas are available to plant now for cool season colour and perfume. With summer over but the cold weather a little while off, this is the best time to do any major planting. This allows for plenty of time for establishment before next summer.
New season bulbs will be in this month. Unfortunately, some bulbs will be unavailable due to abnormally high rainfall but daffodils, tulips, and freesias will be in stock.
March is the start of the season for camellia sasanqua, one of my favourite plants. Sasanquas are fantastic as flowering hedges and screening plants and come in a variety of flower colours and shapes. They will start flowering in the next few weeks and will continue through to July.
Things to Do:
- Feed almost everything in the garden to take advantage of the autumnal flush of growth. Camellias, citrus and roses in particular need the right nutrition now to maximise flower and fruit formation.
- Control Azalea Lace Bug in azaleas and viburnums with Conguard or Bug Killa. The warm, dry weather in January and February has encouraged infestations.
- Rejuvenate lawns with a good lawn food and reseed bare patches.
- Plant seed garlic in well-drained soil. Also plant sweet peas, parsley, and brassica veggies including kale and Broccoli. The milder weather means it is a great time to plant heat-sensitive coriander and spinach.
- Spray new growth on citrus with Pest Oil or Eco Oil to prevent distortion from Citrus Leafminer. Calypso beetle is also wreaking havoc on Lilly Pillies. Use Conguard, Bug Killa or Mavrik to control it.
Plant of the Month
Plectranthus Mona Lavender
Plectranthus Mona Lavender is fantastic for bringing colour to shaded areas as it flowers profusely all through the autumn. It has masses of lavender-coloured flower spikes. Remember to always improve your soil at planting, don't tease the roots and don’t plant deeper than it was in the pot.