While it’s easy to mistake winter as a time for gardens to suffer, Australia’s winter is actually quite mild compared to the rest of the world. Our days are still filled with moments of sunshine, so not all’s lost for your garden. Don’t let your flora take a hit during the winter months – keep your curb appeal all year round.
Rake up the leaves and sticks
Autumn causes your trees to shed its leaves, leaving you with a garden bed covered in dead leaves. Collect the fallen leaves around the house – make sure to check places like the rails of your garage doors if you have them as they tend to sneak under. Should they be in trickier parts of your rails, like near the torsion spring, don’t hesitate to call us for a quick maintenance check, better safe than sorry.
If you have your own compost, a good trick is to put those raked leaves on the lawn and mow them up – this cuts them up into smaller pieces and makes it easier for the compost to do its work. You’ll also have twigs and branches to deal with; break down these to smaller pieces or use them if you have a working fireplace.
Prune those roses and frangipanis
Time for some tough love. If you have rose bushes, best to trim down to three to four strong stems. Pruning about a third of the plants that have flowered during the summer months – this includes your frangipanis and hydrangeas –should be enough to keep prepare them to sprout again in spring.
Any dead wood, crowded branches or withered leaves should be removed as well, leaving the healthy stems for the plant to nurture.
Trim your fruit trees
More doesn’t mean better, especially when it comes to fruit. Growing those delicious apples and lemons takes effort, and the more branches a tree has, the harder it is to bear fruit.
Thinning out branches will let the trees produce better fruit. You might have less, but they should be sweeter and brighter. It’s best to work towards quality over quantity.
Mulch and weed
Mulch works very much like a safety blanket for your garden, insulating the plants to lessen the effects of extreme heat and cold. Like our own beds, it’s best to change the mulch of our gardens. If you have old mulch, don’t put new mulch on top as this could cause it to rot and starve the plants underneath. Getting the mulch started late in autumn or early in winter helps keep the weeds from sprouting up – though weeds still make an appearance. If you’re going to pull out those pesky weeds between the pavers, do it after it’s rained – this softens the soil and makes it easier to pull out all of the roots.
Depending on where you reside in Australia, some plants thrive better. Those in Perth will find that vegetables like carrots, cabbages and asparagus will sprout. You’ll also have luck with herbs like coriander, sage and thyme.
Inhabitants of Melbourne will have better luck with plants that can deal with a temperate climate – such as beetroot, turnips and rosemary. Some vegetables like spinach and peas can handle the colder temperatures.
Ask your local nursery what would be the best plants to give a go during the winter months.