Garden Diary

Here are all your helpful tips and advice for the calendar year...

The festive season is upon us and temperatures are rising. So December is the perfect time to tie a bow on your garden display, push along your edible plants and stay smart with water.

TO DO 

Summer colour for the festive season will also last through to autumn - put in some instant colour with already-flowering bloomers and Easy-Colour packs. We have a positive rainbow of colour with Petunia, Gazania, Vinca, Marigold, Verbena, Impatiens and many others.

Garden decor and gifts!  It’s outdoor living and gift-giving time. Add finishing touches to your living areas, outside and inside, and get blown away by our incredible selection of giftware, homeware, food products and books.

Scented plants - make sure you have some gorgeous scented plants to perfume your entertaining areas and drift into your home. Check out our fabulous range of Gardenias, Star Jasmine, Roses, Osmanthus, Buddleias, Daphne Éternal Fragrance’ and many more.

Live Christmas trees growing in pots are a great way to start a family tradition.  Come in and check out our range, which varies from year to year depending on availability.

Flowering plants like Hydrangeas, Kangaroo Paws, daisies, Salvias, Agastache, Scaevolas, Agapanthus, Escallonia, Oleander and Grevilleas (to name just a few!) can all go in now with time to establish before the really hot weather kicks in.

Flowering trees are not just for spring: check out our huge range of Crepe Myrtles, really tough small trees that colour the summer months and provide shade as well. Other trees flowering now include evergreen Magnolias, Snow-In-Summer, Albizzia (Silk Tree), Eucalypts and Leptospermum.

Shade trees - the time is right to plant trees for cooling shade.  We have the biggest range of shade trees in Canberra, come in and we’ll help you choose in time for planting over the holiday break.

Roses - keep removing spent blooms (best is down to a bud at a 5-part leaf) and keep up the deep watering (not on the leaves), fertilising and mulching. Remove any aphids from new growth.

Water - stay smart with your watering to make sure your plants and lawn are able to withstand the increasing heat. Try to water less frequently but more deeply and make sure there is lots of mulch to help keep the water in. Products like Saturaid and Wettasoil are indispensable for helping the water to soak in.

Veggies - keep them growing strongly and fruiting with regular consistent watering, mulching and a well-balanced fertiliser like Healthy Earth. Harvest tender new pods to keep up production. Tip prune rambling vines like pumpkins to get more male flowers and improve fruiting. Finish harvesting garlic by early this month and December sees the last harvest of asparagus; let further shoots grow out to fuel next year’s crop.

Spring flowering shrubs and perennials (Natives too!) should be trimmed and fertilised with Healthy Earth straight after flowering to keep them bushy and healthy. Trim Callistemons just behind where the flowers were.

Prune off long whippy Wisteria growth and stake Dahlias and other tall perennials before they collapse.

PESTS AND DISEASES

Azalea Lace bug - loves to attack the new leaves of Azaleas and Rhododendrons, sucking the sap and turning leaves silvery. Watering the backs of leaves will help, but more effective control is with Baythroid or Confidor sprays.

Stink bug - Check your citrus trees for Bronze Orange Bugs (“Stink Bugs”): by now some will be orange coloured and some will be larger and dark brown. It really pays to get rid of these pests at an early stage to stop the breeding of further generations. Come in and talk to us about control methods.

Monitor for caterpillars, especially Cabbage White Moth caterpillars, and control by using insect barrier nets or squashing or spraying with Dipel Caterpillar Killer, a biological control, or Eco-Neem (ornamentals only).

Codling moth - Monitor pheromone traps for activity and either keep up the banding or spray emerging caterpillars with Caterpillar Killer Dipel or Success Ultra.