It seems that most people now have at least 1 or 2 Chilli plants at home – it’s become incredibly trendy. Find out how...
Autumn’s final hurrah…
There can be no doubting this month that Winter is almost here! Days are shortening, nights are colder and brisk winds encourage us to rug up before heading outside. Even tropics dwellers are feeling the chill in the air, although it’s nothing like that experienced down south!
Gardening in May
Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are tubers that grow and form at the plant’s roots. Plants also produce flowering shoots...
Delicious in salads and sandwiches, the crisp, sweet crunch of a cucumber is one of the joys of summer. Growing...
Spring onions (also known as green shallots and green bunching or salad onions) are a delicious addition to a whole...
Nothing beats the taste of your own home-grown tomatoes, freshly picked and warm from the Summer sun. Slice them into a...
Nothing beats home-grown peas for their tenderness and taste. That's because when they are picked, their sugars start to...
The basis of so many delicious dishes, onions (Allium cepa) are an essential ingredient in every cook’s store cupboard...
Growing Garlic (Allium sativum) at home is now very popular. It's an easy vegetable to grow - just plant a Garlic clove...
Zucchini are now a common, summer staple in the vegetable garden. They are relatively easy to grow and they can be eaten...
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...
Delicious in pies, soups and stews and full of vitamins and minerals, pumpkins are a tasty autumn and winter treat...
Sweet Corn, or maize, won't really grow as high as an elephant's eye, but it will be sweet, tender and delicious -...
Asparagus is a classic spring vegetable worth establishing in your garden. You’ll need to wait 2 years from planting...
Drizzled with olive oil and baked whole or sliced into steaks, cut into individual florets and wok-tossed in a stir fry...
Broccoli is a must have in every home veggie patch - it’s productive, nutritious and very easy to grow. Although it’s...
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...
Orchids are a great addition to any home, with their exotic, delicate and diverse flowers and their beautiful shapes and...
If you want to grow something spectacular, plant sunflowers. They come in a whole range of sizes from dwarf to giant and...
Alliums belong to the same family as onions, garlic and leeks, as you can tell from the aroma when you crush the foliage...
Roses are among our favourite garden plants – and deservedly so. They are versatile, produce vibrant colour through...
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...
Monstera are one of the most recognisable and beloved indoor plants to grow and care for. Several species of Monstera...
What Vegetables to harvest now:
There’s not a lot to harvest from the veggie patch now, apart from the leaves of the “pick and come again” lettuces and other greens line spinach and silver beet
What to Vegetables plant now:
Certified virus-free strawberry plants and runners can be planted this month in all areas. Protect young plants from cold with a straw, lucerne or sugarcane mulch that will help keep the soil warm and weed-free.
In temperate areas, a late planting of seedlings of:
- Silver beet
- Brussels sprouts
- Chinese cabbage
- Kale (including Tuscan kale or cavallo nero)
- Spring onion
In warm regions, sow seeds or plant seedlings of:
- Silver beet
- Soft herbs – parsley, coriander, basil
Veggie patch tips for May:
- 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 every two to three weeks.
- 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 young seedlings.
What fruits to harvest now:
There may still be some crops of late season fruits maturing. These include:
- Selected oranges
What fruit to plant:
Evergreen fruiting plants such as passionfruit vines and citrus may still be planted in warm to tropical areas. It’s still too early for and new bare-root fruit trees. They are best planted in mid to late winter.
What to plant in May
Spring flowering bulbs:
- Muscari (grape hyacinth)
Winter and spring flowering annual seedlings in warm climates only:
- Aquilegia (granny’s bonnet)
- Iceland poppy
Things to look out for and do during the month:
- Keep seedlings growing well with regular applications of Osmocote Boost+Feed All Plant Types.
- Check camellia flower buds – if they are too crowded then remove some (“disbud”) to allow blooms to develop fully.
- Clean and sharpen your garden tools, especially secateurs, loppers and pruning saws so they are ready for action in winter.
- After dahlias and chrysanthemums have finished flowering, cut plants down to encourage new shoots, which can be taken as struck as “green cuttings” in spring.
- Rake up fallen leaves and either add them in layers to your compost bin or spread them over garden beds, where they will breakdown to produce humus-rich leaf mould.
- Keep an eye out for aphids and other insect pests, especially on herbs and vegetable and flower seedlings. Use a general garden insecticide like Defender Pyrethrum Insect Spray to control them. Don’t forget to spray the undersides of leaves too.
- 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.
Maintenance tips for your Lawn:
- Southern Australia receives most of its rainfall over winter, so check how well your lawn drains and take remedial action now. Most lawn grasses will not tolerate their roots being saturated for extended periods, particularly when it’s cold.
- To improve drainage, aerate your lawn now even if you did it in March or April. This time, use a coring machine to remove larger plugs of soil. This not only helps oxygenate your lawn but also assists it to drain and dry out after rain.
- If your grassed area is small, a stout-pronged garden fork worked back and forth, in rows about 300mm apart, will achieve a similar result.
- If your lawn remains very wet after moderate to heavy rain, then you may need to install a drainage system. This can be done with minimum disturbance using a narrow trenching spade or machine and slotted polypiping that then connects to a sump or stormwater drain.
- Watch for moss in shady, moist areas of lawn. 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.
- Broadleaf weeds can be problematic even in Winter. Lawn Builder Bindii, Clover & Broadleaf hose-on, safe to use on ALL lawns, will keep them in check.
In the warmer north:
- De-thatch the lawn with a garden rake to remove build-up of dead grass, especially in buffalo, kikuyu and couch lawns.
- Remove weeds either by hand or with Lawn Builder Bindii, Clover & Broadleaf hose-on.
- Top dress with Scotts Lawn Builder Organic Lawn Soil – Topdress Mix & Underlay.
- Water entire lawn area, if permitted, to settle topdress mix.
- Fertilise with Lawn Builder All Purpose Slow Release Lawn Fertiliser, Lawn Builder Buffalo, Lawn Builder Extreme Green Granular or one of the Lawn Builder hose-on equivalents.
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.
- Over the cooler months, make sure plants are kept out of draughts and away from heaters and air conditioners that can dry the atmosphere.
- Your plants will thrive in temperatures and humidity levels that are most comfortable for you. If your home is heated, place a saucer or bowl of water near your plants but DO NOT stand pots in water!
- Occasionally wipe leaves with a damp cloth (no detergents or oils, please!) to remove dust and dirt that can affect photosynthesis.
- Keep them growing well with ready to use Osmocote Pour+Feed Indoor Plants – no mixing required.
Find your local store and start growing your garden.