Your Monthly Planting Guide
It’s ALMOST spring…
This month there’s a sense that winter is almost over. Flower and growth buds on deciduous trees and shrubs, roses and fruit trees start to swell and show tinges of colour, the early daffodils and jonquils burst into flower and camellias and magnolias are at their peak of flowering.
Gardening in August
Spring onions (also known as green shallots and green bunching or salad onions) are a delicious addition to a whole...
Runner beans, or more correctly scarlet runner beans, (Phaseolus coccineus) are among the easiest and most rewarding...
Bags of salad leaves are quite expensive to buy and have a fairly short lifespan in the fridge. Grow your own and you...
Sweet Corn, or maize, won't really grow as high as an elephant's eye, but it will be sweet, tender and delicious -...
Drizzled with olive oil and baked whole or sliced into steaks, cut into individual florets and wok-tossed in a stir fry...
You might not like the cold weather, but Brussels sprouts do! Brussels sprouts grow best in cool climates with cold...
Silverbeet is also commonly referred to as Swiss chard, chard or rainbow chard. The rainbow variety has brightly...
Watercress is a peppery, nutrient-rich leafy green that’s delicious on sandwiches and in salads. It’s easy to grow in...
Sweet potatoes rambling vines grow tubers beneath the ground. These vigorous and productive vines can be grown in a...
Globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) are thistle like plants that produce edible flowers - harvested and eaten in their bud...
Horseradish is a vigorous plant related to broccoli, cabbage and kale - but unlike its brassica cousins, horseradish is...
Patty Pan Squash
Squash or patty pan squash as they are often called - because of their UFO like shape - are an easy to grow summer...
Mustard greens (Brassica juncea) are a cool season vegetable, grown for their peppery edible leaves. You can eat young...
Eaten fresh, baked in muffins or as the star attraction in jams or desserts, blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) are...
Who doesn’t love strawberries? If you’re a strawberry fan, the many varieties of Fragaria × ananassa are easy to grow at...
What could be better than a bowl of sweet, fresh-picked raspberries in summer? These delicious fruits are easy to grow...
Blackberries sometimes get a bad wrap thanks to the wild, thorny, weedy ones! But growing blackberries in your garden is...
Dragon fruit grows on a climbing cactus that produces stunning white flowers in summer. These flowers develop into pink...
Passionfruits are a popular and productive vine that will grow in most climates around Australia. They particularly...
Pineapples are an easy care tropical fruit, that will also grow in other frost-free climates around Australia too...
Watermelons grow on sprawling vines during the warmest months of the year in Australia. These sun-loving plants can be...
Pear trees love a garden with cool winters, but if you choose the right variety (with ‘low chill’ requirements) you can...
Gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa) are native to parts of Europe, but they’ll happily grow in the cooler parts of southern...
Plum trees are productive fruit trees, ideally suited to growing in the average backyard or in a large pot. There are...
Pomegranates (Punica granatum) are heat-loving trees, native to the Middle East, that grow well here in Australia. The...
If you want to grow something spectacular, plant sunflowers. They come in a whole range of sizes from dwarf to giant and...
The sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) is an incredibly popular flowering climbing plant that produces masses of flowers from...
Snapdragons are bright and cheerful flowering plants that grow in most climates. If you live in a region with heavy...
Carnations are grown for their beautifully fringed, fragrant blooms that make a long-lasting cut flower to enjoy in a...
Poinsettia is a Christmas favourite - their red and green colours are commonly used to bring festive cheer indoors over...
African violets are typically grown as indoor plants, but they will also tolerate growing outdoors in a protected warm...
Forget Me Nots
Forget Me Nots produce dainty pale blue, pale pink or mauve flowers in spring and summer. These pretty low growing...
Rhododendrons are spring flowering shrubs or trees that are closely related to azaleas, so they like similar growing...
Everlasting Daisies (Xerochrysum bracteatum) are a colourful Australian native daisy often called Strawflowers or Paper...
Ranunculus (Ranunculus asiaticus) make the perfect spring and early summer cut flower. They grow from dormant corms...
Nasturtiums are an easy to grow, flowering companion plant that’s also edible. Nasturtium flowers have a peppery flavour...
Fiddle Leaf Figs
With their lush, upright stature and huge, glossy leaves, the Fiddle Leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) is one of the most popular...
With their dark green foliage and pure white flowers, Peace Lilies are a stunning addition indoors. Being just as...
There’s a reason why Philodendrons make such great indoor plants… well several actually! They look good, aren’t fussy...
Cheerful, bright and compact, African violets are the perfect indoor pot plant. They have eye-catching purple, red, pink...
Devil's Ivy (Pothos)
Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum), also known as Pothos, is most commonly grown as an easy going indoor plant - it’s one...
Snake Plants are the easiest houseplant of all to grow. This undemanding plant will grow in the most challenging of...
String of Pearls
String of Pearls is a cascading succulent with pearl-like foliage, hence its name! These succulents thrive best in a...
Maidenhair Ferns have a reputation for being fussy and tricky to grow, but they don’t have to be!
Air Plants (Tillandsia spp.) do not need soil to grow and they don’t really have roots like other plants - the roots...
Chain of Hearts
Chair of Hearts, despite their delicate appearance, are actually a succulent plant! Their long trailing tendrils can...
Dragon Tail (Epipremnum pinnatum) is a popular Australian native, mostly grown as an indoor plant. In the wild, it grows...
Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica) are very popular indoor plants because they’re so easy to grow. Rubber Plants are loved...
Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are possibly the easiest and most adaptable house plant to grow! They are happy in...
Zanzibar Gem (ZZ Plant)
Zanzibar Gem, also commonly called the ZZ Plant, is a low-maintenance houseplant characterised by its shiny, wide, oval...
Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema sp.) have lots of large leaves with either silver, green, pink or yellow variegation. They...
Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina) are elegant houseplants loved for their glossy leaves that hang gracefully from arching...
Mistletoe Cactus (Rhipsalis campos-portoana) are easy to grow, lush plants that suit growing in hanging baskets or wall...
Parlour Palms (Chamaedorea elegans) bring a tropical vibe to any home without the need for a tropical climate. They...
Spiderwort (Tradescantia zebrina) is an easy-to-grow, trailing plant with multi-coloured green/purple leaves for real...
A popular stalwart in Australian gardens for good reason, buffalo grass makes for an incredibly resilient lawn. It is...
Kikuya grass, or Pennisetum Clandestinum, is a vigorous plant often used in Australian lawns and common in public...
Bromeliads (Bromeliaceae) are a diverse group of plants with a very tropical vibe. With over 3000 different species in...
Kangaroo paws are among the most iconic Australian plants, instantly recognisable by their unique furry and vibrantly...
Almonds (Prunus amygdalus) are the edible nuts produced inside the hard-fleshed velvety fruit, that grows on a tree that...
Bougainvilleas put on a showy display of vibrant colour throughout summer. These vigorous vines are drought tolerant and...
Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise plants are tropical beauties with big leaves and flamboyant, colourful flowers that resemble birds...
Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia spp.), also known as Dumb Cane or Leopard Lily, are fast-growing tropical plants popular as...
Boston Ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata) are elegant plants with long, slender leaves that cascade over the sides of their...
Kentia Palms (Howea forsteriana) are tall, elegant palms with arching fronds on long stems that will happily grow as a...
Lilly Pilly plants range from small shrubs to large trees - you can grow them in the ground or pots and you’ll find a...
Bottlebrush gets their common name because their fluffy, blooms are shaped like old-fashioned bottle brushes...
Lemon trees are a classic backyard staple! These productive trees are long-lived and will grow in a large pot or in your...
Christmas Bush (Ceratopetlum gummiferum) or New South Wales Christmas Bush as it’s sometimes called is an Australian...
English Ivy (Hedera helix) is a fast growing, creeping vine that is a serious environmental weed in many parts of...
Microgreens are the young and immature seedlings of plants with edible leaves that you can harvest and use for garnish...
Dichondra (Dichondra ripens), also called Kidney Weed, is a fast growing, evergreen ground cover that’s easy to grow...
What to harvest now:
Winter veggies, including cabbage, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, silverbeet and leafy greens like lettuce, should still be going strong. The very first of the new season’s asparagus tips may pop up later in the month – keep an eye out and cut them when about 15cm tall – they will be tender and delicious!
What to plant now:
Continue planting certified virus-free strawberry plants and runners. Rhubarb and asparagus crowns may still be available and should be planted as soon as possible.
In cooler areas, later in the month, sow seeds of:
- Broad bean
- French bean
- Dwarf pea
- Climbing pea
In temperate to warm areas plant seedlings of:
Veggie patch tips for August:
- Give newly planted seedlings a good start with regular applications of a liquid fertiliser for vegetables and herbs such as Osmocote Boost+Feed Vegetables, Tomatoes & Herbs or a certified organic fertiliser once a month.
- Water every few days if the weather is dry.
- Hand pull or hoe out weeds as they appear – they compete for nutrients and moisture and may also harbour pests that could attack your crops.
- As winter crops finish, pull out the plants and put them into the compost bin if they are disease-free.
- Start preparing empty beds now for planting out seedlings next month. Dig over to break up the soil, fork in plenty of compost and a complete fertiliser.
What fruits to harvest now:
In late winter, it’s only the warmer parts of the country that will have any ripe fruit to harvest, and most of it will be citrus – mandarins, tangelos, grapefruit and lemons.
What fruit to plant:
Evergreen fruiting plants such as passionfruit vines and citrus may still be planted in warm to tropical areas. Bare-rooted deciduous fruit and nut trees and vines should be planted as soon as possible before they start to shoot and flower. Some garden centres may already have them potted up and in flower.
What flowers to plant:
Bare-root roses are still available and, like fruit trees, should be in the ground very soon! Some nurseries sell them already potted up – they can be planted now or left until they are fully in leaf before transplanting into the garden. Spring flowering annuals will in full bloom now, but it’s not too early to start thinking about summer flowers.
In cool areas, sow seeds into seed trays of:
- Bedding begonia
- Sweet William
In warmer areas, plant annual seedlings of:
Tips for Indoor Plants:
Plants inside the home assist in purifying the air as well as lending a touch of greenery to your living areas.
- Natural light is important but don’t stand pots on north or west-facing windowsills where they will be exposed to direct sun through the glass.
- Keep plants away from heaters and air conditioners that can dry the atmosphere.
- Place a saucer or bowl of water near your plants to humidify the air.
- Wipe leaves occasionally with a damp cloth to keep them clean.
- Feed every few weeks with ready to use Osmocote Pour+Feed Indoor Plants – no mixing required.
If you didn’t have time to give the mower a service last month, do it now before spring when it will be called into service quite frequently. As winter gradually recedes and the days become longer and a little warmer, the lawn will have quite a growth spurt - now is the time to fertilise. The type of fertiliser you use will depend on the health of your lawn.
- A general purpose fertiliser like Lawn Builder All Purpose Slow Release Lawn Food, Lawn Builder Buffalo Slow Release Lawn Food or Lawn Builder Extreme Green Slow Release Lawn Food (all granular fertilisers that will feed your lawn for up to three months and suitable for all types of grass) will suit most situations.
- However, if you have a broadleaf weed problem, then you may need to use Lawn Builder + Weedkill Slow Release Lawn Food but READ THE LABEL FIRST! This fertiliser cannot be applied to buffalo grasses and some other lawn substitutes.
- Buffalo grasses and lawn substitutes can be treated and fed with Lawn Builder Buffalo Weed, Feed & Green Up, a hose-on product that can be safely used on all lawn types. However, it is not a slow release, long lasting lawn food. An application of Lawn Builder All Purpose or Lawn Builder Buffalo after eight weeks will keep the lawn growing strongly through to Summer.
- Control moss in shady areas with a solution of iron sulfate (30 grams in 4.5L of water) applied as a spray or with the watering will help control it. Re-apply if necessary.
- If you’ve already fertilised the lawn when you notice broadleaf weeds including bindii spreading, use Lawn Builder Bindii, Clover & Broadleaf hose-on to eradicate them.
In the warmer north:
- Water lawns deeply once a week if there’s no rain.
- Remove weeds either by hand or with Lawn Builder Bindii, Clover & Broadleaf hose-on.
- Apply a Lawn Builder Slow Release granular fertiliser to feed the lawn for up to three months.
Things to look out for and do during the month:
- Keep flowering annuals and bulbs growing and flowering well with regular applications of Osmocote Boost+Feed All Plant Types.
- Finish pruning deciduous trees and shrubs as soon as possible. DO NOT prune blossom trees (Prunus, etc) or Spring flowering shrubs – wait until after they have flowered.
- As soon as “bud swell” is noticed on fruiting and flowering trees and shrubs, apply a copper-based spray to prevent the occurrence of fungal diseases like mildews and leaf curl. Apply to fruit trees again after flowering, when fruits are just starting to form.
- Last chance to sow a “green manure” crop of oats, peas and field lupins into empty vegetable beds; dig it in to add nitrogen to the soil when about 300-400mm in height.
- Watch for the caterpillars of the White Cabbage Butterfly on cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and other brassicas. Pyrethrum will assist or try a cabbage dust.
- Slugs and snails can be active whenever there are young plants around – Defender Snail & Slug Pellets in a bait trap will protect your plants and keep your pets safe.
Find your local store and start growing your garden.
Find your local store and start growing your garden.