Well the weather is changing and Winter is on its way, so it’s time to prepare.
Plants and turf can be affected by the cold, wind and rain. Plants tend to go dormant and growth slows due to the drop in temperature in the air as well as the ground.
Luckily there are some simple things that we can do to help keep your garden healthy.
- Reduce water in the garden through the Autumn months as plants need less water when they are in this period, and turn off reticulation as directed by the water restrictions through the Winter months, but keep an eye out for any dry spots under trees etc or pot plants that are under cover.
- Protect plants that may be affected by the cold, wind or heavy rain by staking and tying plants or trees in the garden. Moving pots to a sheltered area and removing the water dish from under the pot to allow drainage. Watch for stress due to the change in weather and position.
- Remove any Autumn/Winter weeds by hand,cultivation or weed treatment as the seeds from previous weeds will start to germinate and some weeds such as winter grass prefer the cooler months to germinate and seed.
- Fertilize the garden and turf areas before Winter to give them the best chance to survive the cooler conditions. Also add a wetting agent at the beginning of Winter and again in the last month of Winter so as to get great results from the rain soaking it in.
- Winter can be a great time to prune back plants like citrus because they get less stressed when they go dormant or to allow for new growth in spring.
- Although we will cut the lawn less through out winter, now is a good time to mow it lower to help reduce thatching and promote new growth. But be careful not to scalp it, especially if it looks stressed. If the turf is very spongy (thatch) you will need to get it verti-mowed.
- Try adding some winter colour, like Dianella with its many varieties and colours or even Pansies for instant colour.
- Keep an eye open for disease like Black Spot or Rust Fungus and treat with lime sulphur. And pests such as aphids or scale and treat with Confidore.
- Prune roses in July to avoid the worst of the winter cold, wind and rain and give the delicate new shoots the best chance. Immediately after pruning soak the rose with Lime sulphur and remove all waste to prevent pest and disease in new growth.
- Top up mulch at the end of Winter to hold in all the moisture from the rains and be ready for the warmer months.