Your Monthly Planting Guide
There’s a chill in the air…
It might be the middle of winter according to the calendar, but that doesn’t mean the garden has to be drab and dreary. There are many plants that flower during the coldest months, including Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox) that produces its yellow, perfumed flowers on bare branches. Camellias also burst into bloom this month, with blooms from purest white through to deep crimson.
Gardening in July
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...
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...
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...
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:
Most of the winter veggies will be ready to harvest during the month, including cabbage, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, silver beet and leafy greens like lettuce.
What to plant now:
Continue planting certified virus-free strawberry plants and runners. Protect young plants from cold with a straw, lucerne or sugarcane mulch that will help keep the soil warm and weed-free. Rhubarb and asparagus crowns are still available and should be planted by months end. Look for sturdy, firm crowns.
In temperate to warm areas plant seedlings of:
- Silver beet
- Chinese cabbage
- Kohl rabi
- Potato tubers
- Rhubarb crowns
Veggie patch tips for July:
- Keep veggie crops healthy and growing well with applications of liquid fertiliser for vegetables and herbs such as Osmocote Boost+Feed Vegetables, Tomatoes & Herbs or a certified organic fertiliser once a month.
- Water deeply at least once a week 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.
- Use snail and slug traps or baits to protect plants and crops as they develop.
- When cabbages and cauliflowers have been harvested, fork out the plants and put them into the compost bin if they are disease-free.
- As beds become empty, add a handful of lime per square metre to the soil and allow the weather to dissipate it into the soil.
Fruits to harvest now:
There’s not much to harvest fruit-wise in cooler areas now. In warm areas, however, there should still be some tropical fruits to harvest – custard apples, carambola, breadfruit, avocados, guavas, paw paws (papayas) to name a few. Look for citrus fruits such as grapefruit, mandarins and tangelos.
What fruit to plant:
Evergreen fruiting plants such as passionfruit vines and citrus may still be planted in warm to tropical areas. Planting of deciduous fruit and nut trees should be completed by the end of July – while they are fully dormant and before their roots and shoots start growing. Choose from:
What flowers to plant:
Bare-root roses are still available and, like fruit trees, should be in the ground before the end of the month. Make sure they are not planted deeper than they were in the nursery bed. Don’t be tempted to add any fertiliser until there are obvious signs of bud swell. Some further pruning after planting is recommended, despite having already been cut back.
Plant annual seedlings in warmer climates only:
Winter is a great time to carry out some running repairs on your lawn mower.
- If it’s a 4-stroke engine, change the oil.
- Check the spark plug and replace if necessary.
- Empty the petrol tank and refill with fresh fuel – make sure it is the correct fuel mix for the type of engine.
- Change or sharpen the blades and check they’re done up tight.
- Clean the “under-carriage”, scraping out any build-up of grass or mud.
Even in a southern winter, the lawn is still growing quite well.
- Check how well your lawn is draining after heavy rain. Install poly-piping if necessary.
- Control moss incursions 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 didn’t lime the lawn in June, do it now. A handful of garden lime per square metre is recommended.
- Eradicate broadleaf weeds with Lawn Builder Bindii, Clover & Broadleaf hose-on, safe to use on ALL lawns.
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.
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.
- Keep plants out of draughts and 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.
Things to look out for and do during the month:
- Keep flowering annuals and bulbs growing well with regular applications of Osmocote Boost+Feed All Plant Types.
- Mid-winter is the best time to prune deciduous trees and shrubs including roses, hydrangeas and fruiting trees. DO NOT prune blossom trees (Prunus, etc) or spring flowering shrubs – wait until after they have flowered. If you prune now, you will cut off all the flowering buds!
- If you’re not sure how to prune roses and other trees, book into one of the many pruning demonstrations/workshops run by rose societies, garden clubs and garden retailers.
- After pruning, apply a horticultural oil as directed on label to roses and fruit trees to kill over-wintering insect eggs.
- Cut stems from some trees and shrubs make excellent hardwood cuttings. Cut the base just below a node (stem joint) and the top just above a node, dip the base of each into rooting hormone or honey and set into pots of Osmocote Professional Seed Raising & Cutting Mix. Roots should form in about six to eight weeks.
- It’s not too late to sow a “green manure” crop of oats, peas and field lupins in empty vegetable beds; dig it in to add nitrogen to the soil when about 300-400mm in height.
- Keep checking those potential dry spots under the eaves or in other protected spots. If the soil’s very dry, water well.
- 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 over winter – 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.