WHAT TO plant now
With spring just around the corner, it’s time to prep for a busy gardening season.
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Gardening in August • Gorgeous camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas, daphne and hellebores prefer cooler conditions, so plant them now before it gets too warm. • As winter ends, it’s nice to get some bright colours in the garden! Pop seedlings such as viola, hollyhock, carnations, cornflowers, cineraria and poppies in the ground now for an instant visual hit. • After all the rain, moss can be a problem in shady areas of your lawn. Improve your drainage by raking the area and applying sulphate of iron solution (10 grams per square metre) to kill existing moss. • To prep for spring planting, weed your beds and dig in a generous amount of compost and other organic fertiliser. Sow spring seeds now, including peas, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and beans. • Love your roses? Plant them now in compost-rich, well-drained soil for a spot of beauty. • ’Tis the season for rhubarb: pop new plants in the ground and lift and divide any established clumps. Got a surfeit? It makes a glorious crumble, especially when served with lots of custard. • Rhubarb is best pals with strawberries – and those can go in the ground now too, if they haven’t already. Get a few plants in now, adding a clean layer of pea straw mulch around them to deter pests and keep them o the dirt. • Now’s the time to plant new citrus, blueberries and deciduous fruit trees so they flourish over the next year. • Speaking of fruit trees, fertilise all your existing trees generously in August to ensure you get a bumper crop over summer. • Veggie fiend? Now’s the moment to plant seedlings of cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, broccoli, silverbeet and spinach. • Asparagus season is nearly upon us – so if you’re a fan, plant crowns straight into the garden now, preferably in well-draining, compost-rich soil. • New season herbs can go in your garden now, or be planted in pots using a high-quality potting mix. Gardening in September • Spring is springing! Surround yourself with flowers and plant your favourite spring and summer flowering annuals, such as begonias, lobelia, alyssum, snapdragons and petunias. • We also love the idea of planting hanging baskets, flower boxes on sills and terracotta pots for a bright display heading into summer. • You can plant new perennials in September, such as federation daisies, geraniums and impatiens. One caveat: if you’re in a cooler part of the country, wait until the danger of frost is past. • Your houseplants could do with pep up. Repot and feed them with an organic liquid fertiliser for best results. • Thinking ahead to summer? Plant dahlia tubers and gladioli corms for a vibrant warm-weather display. Another plus: they’re stunningly easy to care for! • Dig plenty of good-quality compost into your veg garden, in prep for the coming season. • Ensure you protect delicate seedlings from pesky slugs and snails using organic pellets or a mix of eggshells and co ee grounds. • September is ideal for sowing a new lawn. Consider whether you’re in the market for a hardwearing or easy care variety, pop the seeds in and spray for weeds now. • If you live in a warmer region, you could plant some early courgettes, cucumber, capsicum or tomato from this month. Put them directly in your well-raked garden or in seedling trays to start with and use a protective cloche if cold weather is a threat. • As apple and pear trees break into blossom, make sure you stay on top of a possible coddling moth infestation by regularly spraying trees with an insect control concentrate. • Plant potato seeds once they’ve started to sprout and you’ll have roast spuds for Christmas! g