As we head into the last month of Summer, the heat is seriously making itself felt. The slow start to the season is a bit of a distant memory!
We’re making the most of the weather, and making sure our plants do too with plenty of water!
As far off as Winter might seem, this is also the time to be looking towards the cooler months and preparing our gardens for the change in weather.
The hot and dry conditions of January have not been ideal for gardens but I am still constantly reminded of plants resilience and perseverance. If your foliage is burnt or dehydrated, the sooner you can get the plant out of shock and into growth the quicker it will recover!
Our plants have had a bit of a shock and need to hear positive messages; water and food and more water. If leaf tips are dehydrated then you may need to give them a light prune. Maximise water efficiency by applying a wetting agent to facilitate water penetration and a good mulch to limit water loss. Use gentle or organic based fertilisers rather than salt based fertilisers which will compound the problem.
A stimulant like Seasol, Plantstarter or Maxicrop can help a plant out of shock and into recovery growth as long as there is available food and water. On hot days, remember to water the roots but also wet the foliage to cool the plant down. This reduces the plant’s need to transpire and subsequently reduces water loss. Watering over foliage DOES NOT burn foliage but prevents dehydration damage.
On a positive note, many plants are luxuriating in the warmth including bush and tree type Crepe Myrtles, which are looking fabulous. Hibiscus, Gardenias, Plumbago, Bougainvillea, Vinca, Petunias and Impatiens are all flowering well at the moment.
- Last chance to prune most plants and get a full recovery flush of growth to have a good Autumn flowering. This includes Roses, Salvias, Fuchsias, Geraniums and most hedges. Follow with a good feed to encourage the new growth.
- Lightly tip prune Sasanqua Camellias now and feed with a high K fertiliser to improve their shape and flower bud formation. Heavy pruning will remove next month’s flowers so keep it light!
- Feed tomatoes, basil and other Summer/Autumn veggies to maximise their productivity over the next few months
- Start thinking about planting broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. February is THE month for planting Brussels Sprouts. Start sowing seeds for broad beans, leeks, onions, swedes and turnips and plant silverbeet and lettuce seedlings.
- We will have our first potted Cyclamen coming into the nursery this month with new season Winter flowering bulbs arriving later this month. Autumn is slowly but surely on its way.
- New season plants are arriving every week including a much-expanded range of new season Native varieties. They love to be planted out at this time of the year.
- The warm weather brings out the bugs so look out for azalea lace bug on ornamentals, caterpillars and earwigs eating holes in edibles and lawn beetle grub causing dead patches on lawns. Bring in an affected leaf or a few photos and our team will suggest the best treatment.
Plant of the Month
Crepe Myrtle’s are native to parts of northern Australia, India and South East Asia so they are absolutely flourishing in the late Summer heat here in Melbourne.
They love to be planted in a full-sun position in well-draining soil and will flower prolifically if they’re happy. Our particular favourite is Crepe Myrtle Sioux, which is cold-hardy and produces gorgeous dark pink flowers