Ringing in the New Year in the Garden

And just like that, it’s 2019! It feels like Summer well and truly arrived over Christmas and today is set to be another scorcher. Make sure to give all your plants a good drink!

While the focus might be on the outdoors, indoor plants also love the Summer sunshine. This is a great time for encouraging new growth with a good feed or establishing new additions to your collection. For something a bit different, try training indoor vines up one of our climbing poles.

This is the most productive time for both food and ornamental plants so be sure to get out there and smell the roses, basil, mint, and jasmine!

Tony’s Tips

January 2019

Happy New Year! Some amazing rainfall in December has started Summer off nice and green, my favourite colour! Growth has been incredible and it’s lovely to have lush green lawns, parks and nature strips. The Summer warmth has been slow to come but our Summer-loving plants such as Crepe Myrtles, Bougainvillea, Plumbago and Stephanotis will be in their element this coming month.

In many ways, January is right in the middle of the warmer months and growing season. For a lot of plants, this is the ideal time to mid-season prune, which promotes new, bushier growth that will flower all through Autumn.

  • Prune long-flowering warm season perennials including Gaura, Salvia, Fuchsia, Heliotrope, leggy Petunias, and Roses by a third to a half.
  • Prune normal Hydrangeas back by half to two thirds now. This will ensure that they cope better through the heat of Summer but more importantly will set more flowers to bloom better and earlier in the season!
  • Prune English Lavenders that they have finished flowering and French Lavenders as they are at the low point in their growing season. They need to be pruned to rejuvenate the plant so prune them back hard whilst still leaving some foliage to draw sap up. NEVER prune to bare wood!
  • Low humus soils become water repellant so, if you haven’t already, apply a wetting agent like SaturAid and mulch with a high-quality mulch such as sugarcane or pea straw.
  • Give your already-fruited stonefruit like peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines and apricots a light Summer prune.
  • Feed Summer-loving plants including Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, Vinca, Impatiens, Tomatoes and Chillies, plus all the things you’ve just pruned, with a high potassium complete fertiliser to maximise their performance.
  • Caterpillars and earwigs are very busy at the moment. Spray food plants with Pyrethrum and ornamentals with Mavrik at dusk to keep the critters at bay.
  • Lots of people are coming to ask about dead patches in their lawn. This usually means that Lawn Beetle Grub is eating the lawn roots. Come in to chat with one of our horticulturalists to find the best solution for you.
  • Dried up foliage on rose bushes probably means an infestation of tiny mites. Bring in a leaf and we can recommend the most effective organic solution for your case.

Plant of the Month

French Beans

January is probably the last month for successfully planting dwarf and climbing French beans this Summer. They can be grown from either seeds or seedlings.

This is the time to start planting cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, silver and red beet. There is also still time for basil!

Remember – you can plant all through Summer quite successfully as long as you prepare the soil well, don’t tease the roots and water your plants regularly.