Your Garden in May 2024

Embrace autumn colours this May!

With the arrival of May, gardeners can enjoy the crescendo of autumn colour before winter winds blow all the leaves from the trees. If there’s been rain, get planting to ensure colourful flowers and lots of tasty produce to harvest in the months ahead. Late autumn is also the time to plan for major plant additions, so investigate bare-rooted trees and shrubs to add to your garden for long-term shade, colour and interest.

Five colourful annual flowers to plant now

As winter means there’s often less colour around in gardens, late autumn is the time to add splashes of colour.

The easiest way to do this is to pot up seedlings in Seasol Advanced Potting Mix, gently watering in seedlings with Seasol to aid with establishment and strong root growth.

Place pots in warm, sunny locations to catch people as they walk past. Pots near the front door for example will welcome you home on a cold winter’s day.

Top choices for long-lasting colour include polyanthus, pansy and viola. For a partly shaded spot, select primula. In a warm, sheltered garden bed, grow colourful Iceland poppies to pick later in winter to bring colour indoors.

Get spring-flowering bulbs planted

Bulbs need to grow each year so they can’t be stored unplanted. Many gardeners buy bulbs for spring flowers but forget to plant them! Don’t miss out on the beauty of spring-flowering bulbs such as crocus, daffodils, tulips, anemones, ranunculus and hyacinths by leaving them unplanted.

Bulbs can be grown in the ground or in containers. Apply Seasol Plant + Soil Booster to the soil when planting bulbs to help revitalise the soil and improve bulb growth.

Follow the planting directions on the bulb packet for depth and spacing but as a rule of thumb, plant bulbs at a depth equal to twice their width, so large bulbs are deeply planted and small bulbs can be planted closer to the surface. Make sure the growing tip is pointing upwards.

Keep an eye out for the emerging shoots and protect them from snails and slugs. For more advice on planting spring bulbs, visit our article.

Make it a Mother’s Day to remember

Get ready for Mother’s Day by getting together some garden-inspired gifts. Buy pretty, potted gifts such as cyclamen, chrysanthemum or African violet, which can be enjoyed indoors in a brightly lit spot. Also consider a leafed fern (Phlebodium ‘Davana’) for a sheltered spot outside.

Alternatively, buy a pot, bag of potting mix and bulbs to create your own special pot for Mum’s long-lasting enjoyment. Top choices for pots include tulips, hyacinth and dainty daffodils such as ‘Jetfire’. These flowers need a warm sunny spot outdoors such as a sunny patio.

If the mother in your life is into indoor plants, one of the exciting and colourful indoor foliage plants available now including philodendrons, ferns and spathiphyllum would make a welcome gift, accompanied with a

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Your Garden in April 2024

Autumn foliage and produce brings smiles to any gardener!

With the arrival of April, gardeners can start to feel that autumn really has arrived. For many areas summer and early autumn was warmer and drier than usual but hopefully the arrival of mid-autumn will bring some gentle rain for parched gardens and the wider landscape. One benefit of a warmer start to autumn is the continued abundance of garden produce with ongoing supplies of tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkins, squash, apples and pears as well as nuts such as hazelnuts and walnuts.

Autumn colour

While most people think of trees as the main source of autumn colour for gardens, don’t overlook shrubs and climbers. Some of the best early autumn colour, particularly in cool climates, comes from shrubs. The Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) takes a star turn in autumn with its display of bright red and orange leaves. It’s backed up by the deep burgundy tones of oakleaf hydrangea, which has large oakleaf-shaped leaves. Also eye-catching are witch hazels and parrotia (Parrotia persica), which can also be grown as a small tree.

Another early contributor to autumn colour is ornamental grapevine also known as crimson glory vine (Vitis coignetiae). This large sprawling vine has large red to crimson autumn leaves that look spectacular in autumn.

When looking for a shrub or climber, check out your local neighbourhood for plants that grow well in your area or visit your local hardware and garden centre who can give you great advice on ideal plants for your garden.

Variegated leaves add contrast and interest

Although autumn is all about leaf colour, evergreen variegated plants add foliage colour all year round. They are particularly striking during winter when many other plants are bare. Variegations, which are usually seen as white or yellow markings on leaves, but can also be pink, red, purple or a mix of many colours. One of the most popular plants with red variegated foliage is Coprosma ‘Pacific Sunset’, which is a shrub with bright red leaves with a burgundy leaf margin. Flowers too can be variegated including camellias and tulips.

Variegations in leaves are due to a mutation within the plant that causes it to send out an odd branch that lacks chlorophyll in some cells. Chlorophyll is the pigment that makes leaves green and allows them to carry out photosynthesis.

While massed planting with variegated plants may be too much, a few variegated plants really lift gardens and injects colour. Look for variegated forms of popular shrubs in garden centres.

Early frosts

If conditions are cold and clear at night, frost may be on the cards in many areas. Those first frosts are usually a shock for plants and gardeners alike. Frosts occur on cloudless nights when the temperature falls to around 2℃ or less. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be ready to move or protect frost-sensitive plants.

There’s not much to be done to protect summer flowers and

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Your Garden in March 2024

As March begins, summer weather persists!

Even though the calendar has flipped over to March, summer weather will continue for the weeks ahead. Days are getting shorter however so enjoy these long warm days and the bountiful fruit, flowers and vegetables that the garden produces in abundance as autumn arrives.

Delightful dahlias and autumn perennials

One of the standout flowers of early autumn is the dahlia. Having grown rapidly from a potato-sized tuber in spring, these tall plants are festooned with stems of colourful flowers. Continue to feed with PowerFeed Pro Series for Roses & Flowers fortnightly to support these plants and they’ll keep producing flowers to enjoy in the house or to give away as a bunch to friends or family.

Dahlias love a warm sunny spot but can’t tolerate frost so will keep growing as long as the winter chill keeps away. Joining dahlias in bloom this month are Michaelmas daisies (also known as Easter daisy or aster), chrystanthemums, coneflowers, penstemons and sasanqua.

Sasanquas are the first camellias to bloom with many out now adding fresh colour to gardens. They are fast-growing evergreen shrubs that make dense hedging or can be grown as feature or as potted plants. The flowers can be white, pink or red and range from single to double. Most have lots of golden stamens that make them attractive to nectar-eating birds including parrots and honeyeaters, and to beneficial insects. They do best in slightly acidic soils with added compost like Seasol Super Compost.

Fix up the lawn

Lawns can look a little tired and worn out by the end of summer. To reinvigorate lawns, aerate compacted areas using a garden fork or power aerator (which can be hired). After aerating, top dress with a coarse topdressing mix such as Seasol Lawn Top Dress Mix.

Patch any bare spots with excess runners or seed. Apply Seasol Lawn & Turf Starter to newly planted runners or sown seed to help improve seed germination, promote strong root development and healthy green growth.

After rain or a deep watering, feed the lawn with a complete lawn food. An easy way to feed the lawn is to use a hose-on applicator such as Seasol Lawn Care which promotes healthy growth, enhances foliage colour and protects your lawn from heat and drought stress.

Saving money in the garden by growing from cuttings

With the ever-rising cost of living, being able to grow your own plants from cuttings can make gardening affordable. Autumn is a good time to take cuttings of most garden plants. To get started try geraniums, daisies, penstemon, salvia and succulents.

Take a pencil-thick length of healthy stem with several nodes (at 10-15cm long). Remove excess leaves from the lower stem and any flowers or buds before placing the cutting firmly into a pot filled with a propagating mix such as Seasol Seed Raising & Cutting Potting Mix. A 15cm pot can hold several cuttings. Label

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Your Garden in February 2024

Help your garden flourish through summer no matter the weather!

Late-summer continues to deliver weather extremes that have been the hallmark of this summer. While some areas have had unexpected rain and flooding, other regions are reeling from heatwaves with the threat of bushfire never far away.

To keep your patch safe and welcoming, water regularly if it is hot and dry, top up mulches and lightly prune to remove spent flowers.

Too wet or too dry

Wet soils As the weather has brought such varied conditions across Australia, some gardeners are experiencing a wet summer and waterlogged soils while others have it hot and dry.

Wet soils can lead to root rot and plant death. If your garden is very wet, consider ways to improve drainage including installing extra surface or subsurface drains and creating raised garden beds for plants that need well-drained soil such as lavender and citrus.

Apply Seasol as a foliar application every fortnight (mix 20mL of concentrate per 9 litres of water – standard watering can) to help strengthen plant growth and build up the plant’s resistance to diseases.

Too wet or too dry

Dry soils They also lead to growth problems. If soils are very dry, they can become water repellent so water fails to soak into the roots. If water is pooling on the surface, or running down the inside of a pot, apply a soil wetter such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner to improve the soil and help plants get the drink they need to survive the hot and dry conditions.

When watering apply it via an irrigation system or sprinkler for longer periods, less often, ensures regular deep watering. Water in the cool of the day, early morning is ideal as plants have time to use it, and it helps to reduce fungal diseases such as powdery mildew.

Before watering, check the temperature of the water, as hot pipes and hoses can lead to burnt foliage. For more tips to help your garden flourish over summer check out our summer guide.

One hot day knocks hanging plants around

Plants in hanging baskets suffer in the heat, especially if it is fanned by a gusty wind. To keep hanging plants looking good through summer, check them daily feeling the potting mix to see how dry it is below the surface.

On a hot dry day, hanging baskets may need watering several times throughout the day to keep them from drying out and wilting. If you aren’t around to protect plants on very hot or windy days take them down so they are less likely to dry out. A good way to keep a hanging basket from drying out is to sit it in a larger plastic pot. This protects the plant from drying out and also elevates the plant to keep the hanging bits off the ground.

If the potting mix keeps drying out, apply Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner or repot

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Your Garden in January 2024

Welcome in the new year relaxing in the beauty of your garden!

Mid-summer brings extremes as the weather swings from hot and humid with storms, to hot, dry and dusty with the threat of bushfire.

To keep your patch safe and welcoming, water regularly, deadhead spent flowers and pick edible crops regularly. When days are hot, work in your garden in the cool of the day – early morning or evening – or select a shady spot. Don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun and keep hydrated! For the rest of the time, enjoy being outdoors playing, resting, eating and enjoying fun times with family and friends.

Reviving poor growth

When plants aren’t doing well in the ground, a pot could be the answer. Pots provide good drainage and can save a plant that’s struggling in poorly drained soil. Lavender, rosemary and dwarf citrus thrive in a pot rather than risk growing them in poorly drained soil. Repotting may be the solution for any plant that’s sulking in the ground. If there’s no obvious sign of pests or diseases, an ailing plant may be revived by digging it up carefully and putting it in a pot until better growing conditions can be prepared.

Use a premium potting mix such as Seasol Advanced Potting Mix and apply Seasol to the plant before digging it out of the garden. This will aid with plant re-establishment, helping to promote a strong root system.

After potting up, water the plant in with Seasol and apply regularly every week to help promote overall plant health  Once the plant is showing signs of recovery provide regular liquid feeding with PowerFeed All Purpose including Natives to promote strong, vigorous growth.

Other potted tips

Most potted plants need repotting into a slightly larger pot every two to three years. This is known as ‘potting on’. Small, quick growing plants including seedlings and struck cuttings may need to be repotted several times before they are ready to be planted out into the garden.

If a plant is requiring extra water, the mix has slumped in the container or the plant is unstable and easy to topple over, it may be time to repot the plant into a larger pot. Usually plants only need to be transferred into a slightly larger pot to have enough space to grow.

If the plant is already in a large pot and not easily upgraded, remove the plant from the pot, lightly trim its roots and soak in a bucket of Seasol for a couple of hours to revitalise the plant. Renew the potting mix and repot the plant to restore its health and vigour.

If the plant is too large for this treatment, buy time by replenishing some of the potting mix. Do this without burying the stem or filling up all the space so it is hard to water the pot plant. Potting mix can also be revived with Seasol Potting Mix Booster.

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Your Garden in December 2023

Summer is official here, enjoy your garden or favourite green space!

The garden is a great place to while away a summer’s afternoon, or to celebrate the festive season with family and friends with a barbecue, picnic or game of backyard cricket.

 This month, we’ve got advice on caring for and enjoying your garden in summer, along with ideas on what to plant, prune and how to protect your garden so it shines throughout the heat of summer.

Celebrating the festive season in your garden

If you have family or friends visiting your place this festive season, it’s time to whip the garden into shape. Make a list and work your way through it. Jobs that can give the garden a refresh include cleaning paving, and outdoor furniture and repainting  areas such as the back fence.

In the weeks leading up to the arrival of visitors, concentrate on weeding, pruning and removing spent plants so the garden looks fresh and well cared for. As you weed, have mulch on hand to cover disturbed soil and take care not to spread weed seeds.

Make sure all parts of the weed are removed or it will just regrow. If weed infestation is too hard to control try an organic herbicide such as EarthCare Organic WeedKiller spray. It controls anything it encounters, so be careful around your favourite plants.

Prepare the garden for summer planting.

Pruning back plants after they’ve flowered encourages new growth, and brings on a new flush of flowers. After pruning, help plants recover by watering with Seasol.

Where annuals have been removed, improve the soil with homemade compost or aged manure and/or Seasol Super Compost before replanting seasonal colour that will provide flowers through until autumn.

To get a head start on growth, look for advanced potted colour at the local hardware and garden centres. Look at where there are dull areas or bare spots. These may be the ideal spot to pop in summer-flowering shrubs such as hydrangeas.

In the days before your outdoor event, mow the lawn high, trim the edges and make sure the barbecue is clean and ready to go.

Some like it hot – flowers for summer

Make your garden sparkle this summer with heat-loving flowers. Zinnias, portulaca and heat-tolerant salvias all relish summer’s warmth. Zinnias are quick growing, colourful and ideal for picking to use in a vase.

Portulaca is a low-growing succulent with small, rose-like flowers in bright colours like pink and orange. Grow it in a sunny garden as an edging or in a pot.

Salvias are large shrubs to add both colour and bulk to the summer garden. Many have fragrant foliage. Once established, salvias are drought tolerant. Lightly prune and liquid feed regularly every two weeks with PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Roses & Flowers to encourage flowers for many months.

Keep wisteria under the thumb

Wisteria is one of the most beautiful flowering climbers to grow in

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Your Garden in November 2023

Summer weather has come early, prepare your garden to flourish!

By late spring, days are getting hotter but plants respond with fast growth. On hot days use the long, cooler evening hours or crisp fresh mornings to tend the garden. With temperatures on the rise, it is also time to be prepared for heatwaves and the treat of bushfires.

 To keep gardens lush, green and full of flowers, increase watering. Warmer weather means faster growth in the vegetable garden so keep on top of weeds, watering and harvesting of tasty produce to share with family and friends.

Helping the garden with heatwave conditions

When a very hot day is forecast it is necessary to protect plants from heat damage. Thoroughly water the garden before the heat arrives (for example the night before or early in the morning). During the day, water any plants that are wilting or showing signs of heat stress. Shade plants that may be burnt using a temporary cover of shadecloth or an old blanket. Remember to remove any covering once the weather cool. This is particularly important for new plantings and seedlings that may not be able take up enough water to survive a heatwave.

As well as suffering from the direct heat of the sun, plants can also be damaged by reflected heat from hard surfaces. Reflected heat not only makes an area hotter, it singes nearby plants. Reduce reflected heat by using flattened cardboard or mats to cover areas of paving in full sun near plants. Organic mulch such as sugarcane mulch, pea straw or lucerne around plants also reduces the temperature and keeps the soil cool and moist.

Helping pots to cope with heatwave conditions

Pots dry out rapidly and need special attention. Move containerised plants including hanging baskets into a shaded spot such as under a tree or verandah.

Relocate indoor plants away from windows or draw the curtains. Plastic pots especially those dark in colour absorb heat faster than ceramic or glazed pots. Keep plants cool by standing plastic pots inside ceramic pots (known as cover pots). This also adds a decorative touch to any area.

Regular applications of Seasol every two weeks will help to produce healthy growth and strengthen plants to cope with the stress of a heatwave. If you find one of your pot plants is struggling with the stresses of heat, soak it in a bucket of Seasol (40mL per 9 litres of water) for a couple of hours (ensure the whole pot is covered) to help it to recover.

Fire aware

Climate change has meant that more areas are now at risk of bushfires, especially if there is bushland or farmland nearby. If there’s any risk of fire, develop a bushfire plan and take steps to reduce potential bushfire threats.

To make a bushfire plan, consider what you may need to do if a bushfire threatens your property. Plan a route to safety, identify nearby safe locations, consider

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Your Garden in October 2023

Enjoy the warmth and colour of a spring garden!

By mid-spring days are warm and plants are thriving. With extended daylight and the advent of daylight saving in some areas, there’s plenty of time to enjoy the garden. Wind down for the day watering or get in an early start with that morning cuppa in hand as you take a stroll in the garden.

Take a look at what gardening tasks need to be done and plan your day for some time in the garden – your plants will love you for it.

Increase watering and check watering systems

All the new spring growth and flowers that’s abundant in gardens needs regular watering. It’s time to get back into the habit of watering the garden thoroughly paying particular attention to containers, plants underneath eaves, new plantings, plants in flower and fruit and vegetables.

Lawns also benefit from regular deep watering, which is best achieved using a sprinkler (water restrictions permitting). Water your lawn less often but for a longer period to ensure roots grow down into the soil in their search for moisture and nutrients.

Where the garden is watered with an irrigation system, regularly observe that all parts are getting well-watered and there are no blockages or leaks. As surrounding plants grow they can stop the even spread of water from sprayers.

Be prepared to prune growth that’s blocking the water or add extra sprayers or drippers to the system to accommodate changed garden conditions.

Check that the soil is absorbing water

As days get warmer, increase watering. Make sure water is soaking into the soil or potting mix so the water is reaching the roots.

If the soil has become water repellent and is running off, pooling on the surface or running quickly through the pot, apply a soil wetting agent such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner to help.

For larger areas, use the Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner hose-on applicator. To check for water repellence, feel the soil below the surface layer, the finger test will help here. Put your finger down into the soil to the second knuckle.  After watering it should feel moist and dark in colour, if it’s still dry apply a soil wetter and re-apply water to ensure the soil is moist.

Planning for summer colour

If you want your garden to look its best in summer for outdoor entertaining, mid-spring is the time to get planting. Seedlings are available now to plant for months of colour. Plant them into garden beds or containers.

For bold colours that last until autumn, start planting petunia, calibrachoa, marigold, salvia or zinnia seedlings in sunny spaces or use impatiens or vinca in more shaded areas. All are available either as mixed or single colours allowing gardeners to colour coordinate floral shows.

If you are unsure of what to plant in your area, check out your local hardware or garden centre, which will give you some great plant ideas

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Your Garden in September 2023

Spring is here, get out and have some fun in the garden!

Early spring can seem like one step forward and two steps back as the weather swings between warm and sunny and back to the cold and windy conditions of late winter. However, as September unfolds, we will enjoy some of the most exciting and dynamic seasons in the garden.

There are many signs to show you spring has arrived in your neighbourhood. Look out for beautiful spring flowering bulbs, blossom in bloom and the stunning display of the golden acacia.

Blossom and fruit trees in the garden

Ornamental blossom trees are a highlight of early spring when they are decked in beautiful white or pink flowers. In September enjoy the blossoms on flowering peaches, pears, cherry blossoms and crabapples.

Most blossom trees are small to medium in size and fit well into any garden as a feature or shade tree. After flowering finishes, some ornamental fruit trees – especially flowering peaches – may form small fruit. These fruits never develop into an edible size and should be pruned off as flowering comes to an end.

If you have an orchard, apples, pears, plums and cherries may be in bloom and buzzing with bees. Provided there’s plenty of bee activity and cold, wet and frosty weather stays away, these flowers start to form small fruits as spring progresses. These trees can be left unpruned until after the crop is harvested.

To ensure your trees perform to their best liquid feed them regularly every two to four weeks with PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Fruit & Citrus.

Caring for proteas

Most people think proteas are native plants – much like the closely related waratah, banksia and grevillea. But proteas such as the popular cut flower ‘Pink Ice’ along with colourful leucadendrons and leucospermums – are native to South Africa. Proteas are related though, along with hundreds of other Australian native plants classified in the same large plant family Proteaceae.

The plants from both countries share common ancestors and date back to a time when Africa and Australia were part of an ancient landmass called Gondwana, which also included Antarctica, India and South America. As they are so closely related, all members of the protea family like similar growing conditions and grow well together.

For long flowering and healthy plants, grow proteas, leucadendrons, leucospermums as well waratahs, grevilleas and banksias in well-drained soil. Feed in spring with a native plant fertiliser such as PowerFeed with Troforte All Purpose including Natives and keep these plants regularly watered. Picking the flowers helps keep them pruned otherwise prune after flowering to encourage a compact shrub with lots of new growth.

Looking after citrus

Fruit is also forming on citrus including lemons and oranges. Spring is a critical time to care for citrus. Remove any weeds from around the base of the tree and top up organic mulches to deter more weed growth. Feed the trees with

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Your Garden in August 2023

Spring is around the corner, so enjoy the last of the winter gardening wherever you are!

Late winter gardening brings a mixed bag of weather with wind, rain, cold and the promise of warmer days ahead all on the cards. In colder areas keep an eye out for late frosts and in warmer areas be ready to water if a burst of hot or windy weather arrives.

Late frost and why it can affect plants

Frosts that occur as new growth resumes in late winter and spring can be very harmful to garden plants and can affect flowering and fruiting as well as damaging growth. Problems arise as new growth and buds are highly vulnerable to being killed or damaged by frost. Frost damage may look like burning or blackening. Frost damaged flowers are unlikely to be pollinated and form fruit.

If late frosts occur in your area, keep an eye on the sky and the weather forecast. Cold, still nights where temperatures drop towards 1 degree C can mean frosts overnight. To protect new growth and flowers cover them with fleece, shadecloth or a sheet overnight. Regular applications of Seasol every 2 weeks also helps to strength plants from the inside out to help them cope with frost and cold weather.

If frost occurs, try watering over the plants before the sun rises to reduce damage (although water pipes may be frozen).

Planting vegetables in late winter

Get a head start on late spring and summer crops with early plantings. In frost-free zones start planting tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and zucchini later this month. In areas that are still cold, especially at night, plant seedlings into containers and keep them warm and protected to plant into the garden in early spring.

There’s also time to start late crops of cool season vegetables including English spinach and snow peas. These plants will give quick and nutritious crops while other vegetables establish. To keep your vegies healthy and happy for a bumper crop apply PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Tomatoes & Vegetables every two weeks. August is also an ideal time to plant carrot, parsnip and potato. For more information on growing individual vegies check out our vegie guide.

If you don’t have a vegetable garden, now is a great time to install a raised vegetable bed in a sunny spot so you can grow some vegetables and take your first steps towards being self sufficient and reducing food miles.

Repot your plants now

Later winter, as days warm and growth begins, is the ideal time to repot containerised plants that have outgrown their pots. Repot both indoor and outdoor potted plants.

Signs that plants need repotting include a drop in the potting mix level in the pot, a potted plant that’s unstable and easily blown over, and a plant that’s not thriving and needs frequent watering. Also ensure water is going down into the potting mix. If it is running down the side

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Your Garden in July 2023

Find out what’s going on in your winter gardening space!

While days are short and nights long, daylight hours are slowly increasing, it’s a great time to check out what’s happening in the garden. In cold climates many plants are dormant but there is activity happening underground where roots are growing especially on spring-flowering bulbs which may also be starting to shoot. In warmer areas, there’s lots happening with pruning, planting and making the most of the cool growing season.

Brighten winter with an indoor flowering display

There are many flowering plants that can be grown as potted plants to bring indoors during winter to add colour to your indoor garden. Even if you don’t have indoor plants, enjoy plants in flowers indoors to brighten winter.

As well as traditional indoor potted plants such as poinsettia, cyclamen and kalanchoe (flaming Kate and others) there are plants to be enjoyed as temporary residents such as bountiful cymbidium and other orchids in bloom.

Orchids bloom indoors for up to six weeks but need to go back outside into a sheltered but bright location. They are available in flower now.

To keep your indoor plants healthy and happy over winter, regularly apply PowerFeed Indoor & Potted Plants triggers spray to the soil every 2 to 4 weeks. Check out our indoor plant guide for more information on plant varieties.

Enjoy winter-fragrant plants

Make fragrance part of your planting plan for winter and you’ll be delighted every year. Many winter-flowering plants are fragrant and these plants are well worth adding to gardens. Daphne, osmanthus, wintersweet and brown boronia are some of the fragrant shrubs to grow for winter scent.

For a short and sweet injection of scent grow violets as a groundcover or in a pot. Annuals such as sweet peas, polyanthus (some are fragrant) and wall flowers also add perfume. Sniff out these suggestions and others at your local hardware or garden centre!

To keep your plants healthy and full of beautiful blooms apply PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Roses & Flowers regularly every 2 to 4 weeks. Simply mix 50mL of concentrate per 9 litres of water (standard watering can) and apply to the soil around the plants

Bring colour with native plants

Winter is peak flowering time for many native plants that bring flower colour as well as feeding opportunities for birds and insects to gardens. Headlining the winter-flowering native plant list are banksias and boronias. Look for these and other native plants in flower in hardware and garden centres.

There are many types of banksias including coastal banksia, which grows near the sea but also thrives away from the coast. Also eye-catching are the large orange candle flowers on Banksia ericafolia. Banksias flower throughout the year but many flower well through winter providing much-needed nectar to insects and birds.

Banksias need well-drained slightly acidic soil and prefer sunny to partly shaded situations. They can be pruned if necessary (prune after flowering). For a small space look for compact varieties such as

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Your Garden in June 2023

June is the start of winter – on the calendar at least!

For this month, days are short and nights long and the garden is truly entering winter dormancy. Deciduous plants will have lost most of their leaves and even most evergreens are marking time waiting for spring. Not all plants are biding time over winter, some embrace cooler conditions with flowers.

. Winter vegies are also producing. Bare-rooted plants are available and need to be planted so there’s still lots to do in the garden.

The shortest day falls this month

June 22nd is the date of the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere this year and marks the shortest day (and longest night). After this date, day length gradually increases although cold wintery conditions may hold sway for many months.

Plants respond to lengthening days, which can trigger flowering in some species. Beneath the soil, roots will also be growing in preparation for new spring growth.

Despite the wintery conditions a surprising number of plants flower now. To appreciate the bounty of winter, spend some time on the winter solstice picking a bunch of winter flowers from your garden. Common flowers of winter include narcissus, red hot poker, camellia, hellebore and many natives including wattle, grevillea, banksia and boronia.

When picking flowers, feed them regularly every two weeks with PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Roses & Flowers to keep the flowers looking good and blooming all season.

Japonica camellias light up winter gardens

Camellias continue to be an important part of winter flower colour in many gardens as japonica camellias (Camellia japonica) burst into bloom taking over from the long-lasting sasanquas. These camellias too will flower over many months bringing colour to winter gardens, particularly in temperate zones. These tall shrubs produce beautiful flowers – usually in tones of white, pink or red – in a range of flower shapes and sizes.

They can be grown in the ground or in large containers and tolerate shade. Japonica camellias grow best in acidic soil with protection from frost, which can damage flowers. In areas with alkaline soil, grow camellias in large pots with a premium potting mix such as Seasol Advanced Potting Mix.

Winter is an ideal time to find and plant camellias to enjoy winter flowers now and for many years to come.

Planting bare-rooted shrubs, trees and vines

Dormant plants are sold through winter while their branches are bare. These plants are often a bundle of bare branches with exposed roots – they are not potted into potting mix.

To protect the roots from drying out, bare-rooted plants are usually wrapped in coir peat and cardboard. Although the plants are dormant, they should be planted as soon as possible, or put into pots with potting mix if you can’t plant immediately.

To help bare-rooted plants get established in their new position, soak them in a bucket of Seasol before planting or potting and then use the water to water in

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Your Garden in May 2023

This month, let’s get ready for winter!

As cold weather settles in, gardens start to wind down as plants enter winter dormancy or mark time awaiting the return of warm weather so they can resume the business of growing. With autumn-flowering shrubs especially sasanqua camellias in full bloom and new plants emerging in the vegie patch, there’s still lots to do in the garden.

Lawn care and autumn leaves

While it isn’t yet an option to put the mower away, reduce mowing frequency and mow the lawn lightly leaving it slightly longer. This shaggy look keeps the grass green and lush over the months ahead. Mowing the lawn also removes fallen leaves allowing sunshine to reach the grass to help it to put on a little growth.

To keep your lawn looking good throughout autumn and prepare it for winter stresses, apply Seasol Lawn + Soil Booster to the lawn and water it in thoroughly after application. It’s a great product to use just before rain is due, as it improves lawn and soil health.

While drifts of autumn leaves are part of an autumn garden, they do need to be raked up from time to time. On hard surfaces fallen leaves can become slippery after rain. Fallen leaves can also block drains and gutters so regularly clean and clear these to avoid flooding.

Don’t waste raked or mown leaves or even those removed from gutters – use them as mulch or to make leaf mould, a leaf-based compost. Once leaves break down (usually in around six to nine months) and turn into leaf mould use it as a soil or potting mix additive or as mulch on garden beds or potted plants.

Checking trees and shrubs

As the leaves fall, a network of bare branches is revealed on deciduous trees, shrubs and climbers. These branches are not dead although gardeners are sometimes concerned that plants are dead. If you’ve observed the gradual change from lush green and leafy to bare stems and trunks via autumn leaf colours, it is clear the plant is dormant and will leaf up again in spring, but if you have just come across a bare tree or shrub in the garden, it may look dead.

To check whether a plant is dead or just resting up for winter, bend a stem. It should be flexible and bend but not break. If the plant is dead, the stem will be brittle, brown and snap not bend. If you are still unsure, wait until spring to see if it springs back to life. Deciduous plants regain their leaves between late winter and mid spring depending on the species and local climate.

To give your deciduous trees and soil some TLC apply Seasol Plant + Soil Booster. It’s a pelletised complete garden health treatment with seaweed and compost to promote healthy soil and strong growth come spring.

Transplanting and planting

As many popular garden plants are winter dormant, late

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Your Garden in April 2023

Spend the month in the garden planning for the seasons ahead

April ushers in the celebration of Easter and cool days and respite from the extremes of summer. Change is in the air as leaves colour on deciduous plants and begin to drift to the ground. Autumn-flowering shrubs especially sasanqua camellias are in full bloom and the last of summer’s crops are being harvested in the vegie patch. It’s time to plant, propagate and plan for the year ahead.

Greening autumn lawns

In many areas lawn growth slows over winter as warm season grasses such as kikuyu, soft buffalo and couch, begin to enter winter dormancy. Where lawns look dull or there are bare patches, oversow with lawn seed. The lawn seed produces a cool season grass variety such as perennial rye which will grow during winter and keep the lawn looking green but will fade away as warm temperatures return.

Clover in lawns also keeps them green through winter and has the added benefit of adding nitrogen to the soil. To get good germination from seeds, rake over the soil, water and scatter seeds and water it in with  Seasol Lawn & Turf Starter hose-on. Apply weekly to help improve seed germinate rates and promote strong root development. Keep germinating seeds moist and free of foot traffic. If birds are likely to steal the seed, cover seeded areas with shadecloth or fine netting. Remove once the green shoots appear. Hold off mowing until the new grass is well established.

Vegetables to sow now

Crops to start in autumn as seed or seedling include broccoli, brussels sprouts, beetroot, cabbage, kale and turnips. Also sow snow peas, peas and leeks. When sowing seeds into seed trays or punnets, use a premium seed raising mix such as Seasol Seed Raising & Cutting Potting Mix. In areas with warmish winters, add broad beans to your homegrown feast.

Full sun is vital for good growth especially during autumn and winter so make sure these vegies are in a warm, sunny but sheltered location. If the vegie bed is shaded, try growing vegies in containers in the sunniest part of the garden.

Use a good quality premium potting mix such as Seasol Advanced Potting Mix to get the best results from container-grown vegetables and water every 10-14 days with liquid plant food such as PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Tomatoes & Vegetables.

Get planting

Autumn is a bit of a Goldilocks time in the garden as like the Baby Bear’s porridge in the story, it’s “just right” for planting. In mid-autumn the soil is still warm after summer but cooler air temperatures and extra soil moisture from autumn rains encourage root growth on new plantings.

While plants may not show much above ground growth, they’ll be ready to grow as soon as the longer and warmed days of spring arrive. Good selections for autumn planting are all native plants and evergreen shrubs. Autumn is

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Your Garden in March 2023

Garden by the weather this month as autumn slowly approaches!

While it may be warm to hot during the day, there’s a hint of autumn in the air. Days will be getting shorter and nights a little cooler which adds to the change of the season. Some deciduous plants start to colour this month, and autumn-flowering shrubs begin to bloom but there’s still plenty to harvest in the vegetable patch. Make the most of March to enjoy the garden while conditions are warm and to plan for the months and seasons ahead.

Getting that autumn feel with a colourful foliage plant

Deciduous trees, shrubs and vines bring colour to temperate climate gardens during autumn and early winter. If your garden lacks deciduous autumn colour, March is a good month to visit your local hardware or garden centre to select plants which colour up in autumn. Colourful varieties include Japanese maples, ornamental grapevine and ginkgo.

When selecting a plant, especially a tree, read the plant tag. It will have its growing requirement, including height and width. Always ensure you have the space to accommodate the plant. If unsure of your selection, talk to the horticultural staff who can advise you on your plant choice.

When preparing for planting, soil preparation is the key. Start by removing weeds and unwanted plants. Add homemade compost and organic matter and/or Seasol Super Compost to the soil. It has everything in the bag to take the guesswork out of improving the soil.

Bulb planting starts now

March is also the beginning of spring bulb planting time. Bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, anemone, ranunculus and Dutch iris are planted in autumn to bloom from August to October. Bulbs can be ordered online from specialist suppliers or bought from local garden centres and hardware stores.

To make an impact with bulbs, mass plant them either in garden beds or in containers. If soil and climate are right, bulbs are a good investment as they’ll naturalise, multiply and reflower year after year. Most bulbs like well-drained enriched soil in a position that’s sunny through winter. Start ordering or buying bulbs now ready for planting as soils cool.

When planting bulbs follow the directions on the pack and mix Seasol Plant + Soil Booster into the soil. For more great advice, check out our spring bulb guide.

Sweet peas

Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) are one of the most rewarding flowering annuals to grow through winter. They have masses of sweet-smelling ruffled, pea-shaped blooms that bring charm to any garden. They also add colour when other plants are dormant, and a trellis of sweet peas can be used as a living screen.

They come in many pretty colours including pink, tones of purple, red, white and bicolours and they are all fragrant. For a continual display of flowers liquid feed them every fortnight with PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Roses & Flowers and regularly

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Your Garden in February 2023

There is plenty to do in the garden on a beautiful summers evening!

Summer’s weather extremes persist right through February, which may be just hot, or hot and humid with storms, or hot and dry with bushfire threat.

Whatever the weather, the garden is the place to stay cool sitting on a lush lawn or relaxing under a shady tree. The long days and cool evenings encourage outdoor eating and allow extra time to enjoy working in the garden. If you’ve had a hard day, unwind with a spot of end-of-the-day watering, harvesting or deadheading. Keep on providing regular water, fertiliser and maintenance to encourage plants to keep blooming and fruiting over the months ahead.

Hot weather plant protection

For many areas, summer started off mild, but now summer heat has hit. If a late burst of hot weather is forecast, it’s important to protect vulnerable plants from heat damage.  Tick off a few of our tips to keep your plants cool.

  1. Cover new or tender plantings with shadecloth if there’s hot weather coming.
  2. Water the garden well the day before the heat arrives and again in the cool hours of the morning if time permits.
  3. Take down hanging baskets and group pot plants together in a cool, shaded spot. Indoors, move plants away from windows, or draw window coverings.
  4. Water everything well. Regular weekly applications of Seasol help boost plant resilience and can also help plants recover after heat damage.

Safe summer refuge for wildlife

On hot days, our gardens are not only refuges for people; they are also important places for wildlife to rest and rehydrate. With areas of natural bushland under threat from urban growth as well as natural disasters, green corridors offered by gardens are important not only to provide food, water and shelter to wildlife but also to help when extreme weather hits.

Shady trees and green surfaces, whether shrubs, lawn or other groundcover plants, reduce the extremes of summer temperatures, soak up excess water from deluges and give shelter from winds. Keep an accessible birdbath filled with clean water and positioned so birds can feel safe when they visit for a wash or a drink. Put a bowl of water under the protection of a tree or shrub so that lizards and insects have a place to rest, drink and recover from summer heat.

Vegetables to start this month.

As some vegetables wind down after a long, productive summer, it’s time to get the garden ready for autumn and winter crops including brassicas.

Remove spent plants and weedy growth then rejuvenate tired soils with compost and manure and/or Seasol Super Compost, which can be dug into the soil. Where digging is difficult use a liquid no-dig option such as Seasol Liquid Compost. Replenish mulches.

Allow the prepared soil to rest while you sow seeds in punnets or seed trays ready to plant out in autumn. Top choices for sowing now include broccoli,

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Your Garden in January 2023

Happy New Year, enjoy your garden this summer!

January can bring extremes of weather – hot and humid with storms, or dry and hot with the ever-present threat of bushfire and the ongoing affects of La Nina. Whatever the weather, the garden offers solace, somewhere to escape the busyness of life and, with the right care and planting, delicious food or flowers to enjoy. Keep on providing regular water, fertiliser and maintenance to encourage plants to keep blooming and fruiting over the months ahead.

Summer shade trees

When days are hot, cool shady spots under trees or a shady verandah beckon. If you have a shady space, make the most of it with comfortable chairs and a table, it’s easy to sit down with a cool drink or to enjoy an evening meal.

If you don’t have a shady tree, now is the time to plan to include one in your garden. Trees don’t have to be tall to give shade beneath their canopy. Ideally a shade tree will have spreading branches above head height so there’s room to sit so look for a tree or tall shrub that will fit the bill and grow to at least 3-5m high and wide.

To allow summer shade and winter sun, select a deciduous tree (a tree that loses its leaves over winter) but for shade all year, select an evergreen tree.

Planting a tree in summer

Summer is a hot time to plant, but it is possible to plant at any time of the year if you are around to look after the new plant and nurture it through any hot weather. Good selections of trees, particularly deciduous trees, are available during autumn and winter which may be an easier time of the year to plant your tree. Water in new plantings with Seasol to reduce transplant shock and aid plant establishment. Continue to apply Seasol regularly every week (30mL of  concentrate per 9 litres of water) to encourage root establishment and aid drought resistance.

For inspiration about what to plant, look around at nearby gardens and local parks and take a visit to your hardware or garden centre to see what’s available. Plant tags give the height and width of trees at around 10 years of growth. Some of our favourite small trees for summer shade include frangipani (deciduous), dwarf flowering gum tree (evergreen), crepe myrtle (deciduous), or forest pansy (deciduous), which suits a cool to temperate garden. Select a named variety if available.

Instant shade ideas

Where there’s no time to wait for a tree to grow and spread some shade, put up a shade sail (this is a good option to shade part of a swimming pool area), or build a pergola that can be shaded with shadecloth while you wait for climbing plants to take over.

As well as providing summer shade, pergolas are also a way of introducing height to a garden and offer space to display climbing

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Your Garden in December 2022

Have a wonderful festive season – enjoy some quality time in the garden!

The first month of summer can be a shock to the gardener and the garden as days reach their maximum length and temperatures and humidity levels rise. With the right care, it’s a time of growth in the garden. Keep up with regular watering when it’s needed, fertilising and maintenance such as deadheading to encourage plants to keep blooming over the months ahead.

Getting the festive spirit

Having the garden looking good this month means you’re well placed when friends or relatives drop in. A bit of early planning takes the stress out of entertaining outdoors. To get the garden in shape, deadhead flowering plants that have finished their show. Many perennials and shrubs (especially roses and dahlias, which are the star performers in the summer garden) come back into bloom after a light pruning and a regular liquid feed with PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Roses & Flowers. Application is easy, simply mix 50mL of the PowerFeed concentrate per 9 litres of water (standard watering can), every 2 to 4 weeks.

Continue the clean up by mowing the lawn and weeding garden beds. Make sure to cover weeded areas with mulch to deter regrowth and to give the garden a cared-for look. If the weeds take over, naturally control them with EarthCare Organic WeedKiller spray. Glyphosate free, it is a non-selective contact herbicide.

Festive garden – what to do checklist

Use a broom or water jet to clean outdoor areas including paths, pavers, walls and under cover areas. Brush down outdoor furniture and clean the barbecue. Put up some outdoor lights in trees, along the fence or verandah – look for solar powered lights which don’t need a power source and are safe to use in any location.

Create splashes of colour with plants bought in bloom at your local hardware or garden centre such as hydrangeas, marigolds, salvias, petunias or calibrachoas, which can be potted up or planted into the garden. When decorating an outdoor space with pots look for a theme, either all pots the same colour but different sizes, or the same size pot in different shades that all look good together.

When planting in the garden or pot remember to water your new plants in with Seasol GOLD to reduce transplant shock and aid plant establishment. Regular applications of Seasol GOLD every 2 weeks helps to promote healthy growth, improve root development and reduce stress from heat, drought, pests and diseases.

Hydrangea care

The ‘hydra’ part of hydrangea’s name refers to their love of water. The exceptionally high winter and spring rains in many areas means hydrangeas are looking their best this summer and should bloom prolifically. They are also beautiful cut flowers for a vase display at Christmas.

Keep hydrangeas looking good all summer with regular deep watering. They are ideally planted in a spot that gets afternoon shade in

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November 2022

Let’s get ready for summer and entertaining in the garden!

The last month of spring can become hotter and more humid, especially with La Nina and the rain that is affecting many gardeners and gardens. Growth, flowers and produce will be in abundant. Keep up with regular watering where plants need it, fertilising, improving soils and maintenance such as deadheading to encourage and help gardens especially those affected by rain.

It’s also time to plant ahead for a bountiful supply of fresh vegetables for summer especially in pots and to create homegrown gifts from the garden for Christmas and the festive season. Late spring is also an ideal time to plant summer-flowering bulbs including liliums and dahlias.

Helping with rain affected gardens

With ongoing rain being experienced across much of Australia, wet and waterlogged soils are an issue for many gardeners. Few plants thrive in very wet conditions. Drought-tolerant and Mediterranean plants such as lavender, and rosemary along with citrus trees, which need well-drained soils may be showing signs of stress. Many plants will succumb to root rot and some may die or dieback.

Plants that are affected by water logging, may wilt as if they’ve not received enough water but the wilting is a result of root loss and lack of oxygen in the soil. Parts of the plant may die and some plants may also appear to be lacking nutrients. Some plants may be saved by watering over their foliage and roots with a soil fungicide to combat rot. Regular fortnightly applications of Seasol helps plants survive adverse conditions. Generally, mix 30mL of concentrate per 9 litres of water (standard watering van). Seasol assists waterlogged plants by stimulating strong root growth and encouraging beneficial soil micro-organisms.

Coping with wet soils

Where rain is continuing and soil cannot dry out between bouts of rain, precious plants may be saved by digging them out of the soil and transferring them into a container filled with a well-drained potting mix such as Seasol Advanced Potting Mix. It has everything in the bag to aid plant establishment, healthy growth and root development. Water transplants with Seasol but hold off applying fertiliser to waterlogged or transplanted plants until they show sign of new growth.

Long term it may be necessary to create raised garden beds to improve soil drainage. Adding extra drainage – both surface and sub-surface – to gardens and lawn areas to carry water away will also reduce waterlogging. Also avoid walking or parking on waterlogged soils as this will encourage soil compaction. Wait until soils drain before undertaking new planting or cultivating the soil. Once the soil drains, the key is to improve the health of the soil is by adding homemade compost and organic matter and/or Seasol Super Compost which helps improve soil nutrient content and the soils ability to manage moisture.

Spring rose care – feeding and watering

Roses put on a breathtaking show in late spring and

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Your Garden in October 2022

Mid-spring is a busy and rewarding time in the garden!

As spring progresses, gardens seem to expand with new growth, flowers and produce. All that new and developing growth means it’s time to pay attention to regular watering, fertilising and maintenance to keep the garden flourishing. It’s also time to plant ahead for a bountiful supply of fresh vegetables for summer and gifts from the garden.

Planting tomatoes

While all fruit and vegetables taste better picked fresh from your own garden, tomatoes are in a league of their own. To have that bounty of tasty tomatoes, mid spring is the time to get planting. Tomato seedlings are widely available now at garden centres and in the garden section of your local hardware store. There are many different varieties including those with large fruit, small fruit and tomatoes that are different colours and shapes – so choose several to enliven mealtimes.

Tomatoes need a warm, sunny spot to grow and most need some sort of support such as a stake which should be placed next to the seedlings at planting. Even tomatoes that have small fruit such as cocktail and cherry tomatoes need support as they form large plants.

Space individual plants well apart to allow plenty of room for them to grow allowing at least 1m between plants. Plant seedlings deeply to encourage strong roots and firm the soil well. To reduce transplant shock at planting, water with Seasol (use 30mL of concentrate per 9 litres of water). Apply every seven to 10 days.

For more information on growing tomatoes for a bumper, tasty crop, check out our seven easy steps to growing tomatoes.

Feeding for a lush lawn

With warm conditions, regular rainfall and longer daylength, lawns are taking off. Mid spring is an ideal time to feed the lawn to establish strong root growth as well as lots of lush green leaves. Use a complete lawn food such as PowerFeed LawnFeed (or PowerFeed Buffalo LawnFeed for Buffalo varieties) for best results.

Before apply a granular fertiliser, it’s a good time to check that the lawn is taking in water. If you find that the water is pooling onto or running off it, then it could be hydrophobic (repelling water). Apply a soil wetter such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner hose-on will help to overcome this. It also contains active liquid compost to help improve the lawn’s soil health.

For even distribution of fertiliser, walk across the lawn in one direction then criss cross in a diagonal direction broadcasting the lawn food by hand. For a large lawn area, hire or buy a fertiliser spreader. Read the directions on the container to calculate the amount of fertiliser needed to feed the area of lawn you have. Water after applying fertiliser or apply just before a heavy fall of rain.

For more information on feeding and irrigating lawns check out our LAWN CARE.

Top up mulches

Weeds

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Your Garden In September 2022

Early spring brings a change to the garden, enjoy what it has to offer!

Early spring brings a change of pace in the garden as plants start to grow, flower and fruit. Bare earth is replaced with clumps of flowering bulbs while fallen leaves disappear under the canopy of new foliage. Grey turns to green as leaves return, and short, dark days make way for longer, sunnier ones. This is the time to rejoice in the garden’s renewal by spending time outdoors. Visit parks and local gardens to enjoy their spring show, and pop into your local garden centre or hardware store to invest in new plants for a burst of instant colour or fragrance that tells you it’s spring.

Weed Watch!

It’s not only the plants that are taking advantage of the warm spring sunshine and longer days – so too are weeds and garden pests. Take time to hand weed emerging weeds before they take over. In the vegie patch, use a hoe to weed between the rows of vegies. Cover any bare soil with a light layer of organic mulch to slow weed germination.

Removing young weeds cuts down on chores as the weeds don’t have time to spread or set seed! If you have weeds emerging between pavers or along the driveway, spot spray them with EarthCare Organic WeedKiller spray.

Glyphosate free, it is a non-selective natural herbicide which controls a broad range of weeds and lichen, algae and moss. Be careful when spraying near your favourite plants, as it’s a contact spray. it will kill anything it comes into contact with.

Pest Watch!

As you stroll in the garden keep an eye out for signs of pest damage such as silver trails on pathways (a sure indication that snails and slugs are about) or chewed leaves (a caterpillar has been feeding). Examine new growth shoots for clusters of aphids that can be gently squashed or hosed away. Pay particular attention to roses, citrus and annuals such as pansies.

Before reaching for harsher treatments check plants for signs of ladybird activity as adult and young ladybirds feed on aphids and will soon bring them under control!

If you find you have a large infestation, try a natural pyrethrum spray such as EarthCare Natural Pyrethrum insect spray. Broad-spectrum, and rapid action, it is a quick knockdown of insects and pests.

Indoor plant care for spring

The excitement of spring isn’t restricted to the outdoors. Indoor gardeners can succumb to spring fever too by giving their plants a bit of TLC. Move plants closer to windows so plants can enjoy extra light, remove dead foliage, dust down leaves and re-pot plants that have outgrown their container or potting mix.

Use a premium potting mix such as Seasol Indoor Potting Mix. It has everything in the bag to take the guesswork out of growing

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Your Garden In August 2022

Enjoy the specular flower displays of late winter!

Despite the date on the calendar, spring is already springing around the country as our plants make the most of the (mainly) benign conditions of late winter. Enjoy the brilliant flowers of August from spectacular magnolias, camellias and clouds of blossom from flowering and fruiting prunus to bold Iceland poppies and early flowering daffodils. Native plants too are in bloom making August an exciting month to be in the garden or exploring local parks and bushland.

Late winter lawn tips

In most areas lawns have taken a battering over winter. In normally warm winter zones, unexpectedly cold conditions have browned off warm season grasses such as kikuyu, couch and buffalo while further south, cold and wet conditions have also taken their toll on both grasses and soils.

Late winter and early spring offer a chance to reclaim the lawn with a bit of much-needed TLC. Flood-affected soils can be boosted with regular applications of Seasol to reinvigorate microorganisms lost from the soil during prolonged inundation. The Seasol hose-on application is ideal for lawn, simply attach to your hose and spray over your lawn. Each 2 litre spray container will treat up to 100 square metres of lawn.

Tips for wet and compacted lawns

Where soils are wet and compacted they can be aerated and lightly top dressed. Seasol Lawn Top Dress Mix has all the ingredients the lawn needs to grow and prosper in one bag and is ideal for late winter top dressing and to help revitalise soils

Remove weeds and, where areas are bare, rake over the surface, apply Seasol Lawn Top Dress Mix and reseed or use runners to get the grass growing again. Keep new plantings well watered and apply Sessol Lawn & Turf Starter weekly for six weeks. Hold off applying lawn fertiliser such as PowerFeed LawnFeed until warm conditions return and new growth starts to appear in spring.

Out with the secateurs – it’s rose pruning time

Late winter means it’s time to hard prune roses. Indeed in warm, frost free gardens roses may already have been pruned and surging back into life. Start by roughly cutting each rose bush all over. If a branch is hard to cut, bend it towards you. If it is too thick for secateurs or hard to reach, use loppers.

Get out a pruning saw to cut off old woody stems low to the ground. Aim to leave a framework of three to five main stems on a standard or bush rose. Use secateurs to finish pruning by cutting back the roughly pruned stems to just above an outward-facing bud.

Pruning tips

When pruning also remove stems that are badly affected by

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Your Garden In July 2022


There is beauty in a mid-winter garden!

It may be mid-winter but in many areas, spring is already stirring. Beneath the soil, roots are starting to grow, bulb shoots are thrusting through the soil and winter crops are in full production. To give yourself a much-needed lift in winter, spend time walking in your garden or through the local neighbourhood. It’s also a great time to explore local bushland to discover native plants in flower.

Winter flowers to lift your spirits

No matter where you live in Australia, there are plants in bloom during July. If you have flowering plants, stop and pick a bouquet or at least enjoy the scent of winter-flowering plants.

In cold areas, enjoy camellias, magnolias, orchids, hellebores and fragrant brown boronia, daphne and jonquils. Many of these are joined in warmer zones by flowers from poinsettia, iboza (Tetradenia riparia) and Brazilian red cloak (Megaskepasma erythrochlamys). Wattles also burst into bloom across Australia in winter.

Flowering winter_annuals

As well as these permanent plantings, flowering annuals can be relied on to bring colour to winter gardens. Top choices for winter flowers are cinerarias, sweet peas, Iceland poppies, polyanthus, primulas, pansies and violas. When planting water them in with Seasol as regular applications every 2 to 4 weeks will help to reduce transplant shock, and aid plant establishment for healthy growth and a strong, robust root system.

Get the most from annuals by regularly treating them to a  liquid feed such as Powerfeed PRO SERIES for Roses & Flowers, which helps encourage strong flowering. Regularly pick flowers or deadhead spent blooms to encourage repeat flushes of flowers. Sweet peas in particular benefit from regular picking and adds colour and fragrance to the inside of the house.

Special advice for camellias

Japonica camellias are the stars of many gardens in winter as they grow from cool zones to the subtropics. Camellias are evergreen shrubs that flower through winter and into early spring. While they are very easy-going plants that need little attention, a bit of TLC makes them even more rewarding.

Camellias grow best with shelter from extreme cold in winter and heat in summer. An east-facing site, a situation with light tree cover, north-facing locations with protection from the west, and courtyards are all ideal locations.

Solving problems with camellias

One problem encountered with camellias is buds that fail to open. Instead of bursting into bloom, the buds turn brown and fall. This problem, known as balling, is a reaction to cold or frost combined with exposure to very early winter sunshine when buds are wet. Disbudding (that is removing several flowers from a cluster as buds develop) and applying a copper-based fungicide as buds form can assist in controlling this disease.

Browning of flowers, another problem seen in winter, is usually

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Your Garden In June 2022

Winter is here and it’s time to plan for the seasons ahead!

Heading to the garden throughout winter with a wheelbarrow full of soil improver, compost and/or Seasol Liquid Compost and plants remains one of my favourite tasks in life. There is a sense of anticipation and excitement as I visualise each plant that goes in the ground and what it would look like at maturity. Regardless of how large my garden is, there is always room for an extra plant or two.

Gorgeous Verges

For those gardeners who see this area as a waste of space it’s a perfect opportunity to put it to good use, either by planting with a lawn substitute, that from a distance will look like a lawn or using it as a continuation of the front garden, selecting ground covers for the road edge. Others see this area as the idea space to establish productive fruiting trees and who are willing to share produce with passers-by.

Before any changes are made to the verge area it’s a good idea to check the verge garden policy with the local council. Many councils are pro-active and have seized the opportunity to work with residents who want to beautify and improve their street appeal. If the verge is being retrofitted from lawn to garden bed areas, a simple landscape may be all that’s required to receive the go ahead. It’s a good idea to include mature heights of plants intended to be planted. This will save the local council time as they don’t have to search varieties and demonstrates that you’ve done your research when it comes to selecting suitable varieties.

Tips for creating a verge garden

As a general guide and a starting point:

  • Plants over 50cm in height are not permitted to be planted.
  • If a tree is to be planted, it must be under pruned to ensure the pedestrian visual line of sight isn’t impeded.
  • Street trees must not interfere with overhead power lines.
  • In the case of footpaths foliage mustn’t grow over the edge.
  • Avoid planting spiny or varieties that are known to cause allergies.
  • When planting, water plants in with Seasol to reduce transplant shock and aid plant establishment.
  • If the soil is not taking up water it may be hydrophobic (repelling water). Applying a soil wetter such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner  will help get water to the plant’s root system.

It’s important to remember that this land remains the property of the local government jurisdiction and if they need to change or dig up the area for any reason, they have the right to do so. Even though these rules seem daunting local councils are very keen to see homeowners and residents caring for and beautifying their verges and are more than willing to work with

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Your Garden In May 2022


Let’s get busy in the garden and start planting!

Not only is May a special time of the year for all the mums it is a special time of the year for the gardeners as well.

It is a ‘doing’ time in the garden, for those of us lucky (or unlucky) enough to live in an area with heavy clay soil we can now dig a hole without the use of a crowbar and a mattock. Let the planting begin!

Five easy jobs to do before winter kicks in

For those who are still battling waterlogged soil, ensuring water drains away from roots is essential. Triple stake and create a collar for any top-heavy plants in sodden soil in windy positions. Effects of waterlogging may take months to show on foliage. Resist the urge to add fertiliser to plants, repot any container plants with Seasol Advanced Potting Mix and lift them off the ground to assist in drainage.

The deciduous trees are in full colour, weeds are growing at a great rate of knots, the freshly planted bulbs are poking their heads through the soil and the early planted pansy seedlings are starting to flower. Start liquid fertilising early with PowerFeed All Purpose including Natives. The trick to a long flowering season is to encourage plants to grow early in the season, so they can sustain many more flowers.

On the most important list is to pick up a plant to say – I love you, Mum. Chrysanthemums are looking gorgeous everywhere, and what mum wouldn’t be happy with a perfect living bunch of flowers to celebrate this special day. After the flowers have finished cut back and plant them in a sunny position in the garden. A great perennial that will flower year after year, and who cares if they don’t open exactly on Mother’s Day. They will add colour to the garden and are the perfect cut flower.

If you live on a large block or in a rural or semi-rural area and want to establish a dry area garden that will not be watered in summer, now is the time to get planting with Seasol. After the first rains and before the real cold weather sets in will give these plants the best head start to get established before next summer.

As the leaves are falling from the Peach and Nectarine trees spray with Sharp Shooter Lime Sulphur to prevent Peach Leaf Curl spreading. Best practice has proven that a late autumn spray is very beneficial in controlling this fungus.

Grow your own fruit salad this year

Orange and Mandarin trees are laden with fruit at the moment and the flavour is superb. It is also the time of the year when you wish you had a few more trees planted around the

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Your Garden In April 2022

Love your garden this autumn!

Loving your garden at this time of the year? It turns out you’re not alone, as the weather cools down and many homeowners start to venture outside our attention turns to revamping our outdoor space. Across the country deciduous trees are starting to show signs of the cooler weather, many leaves have dropped, and the hint of colour is giving us a taste of what’s to come. Autumn is a time to recharge, replant and re-evaluate the garden. Extreme weather in many parts of Australia from heatwaves to floods highlights the need to plant a garden that can stand up to these stresses.

A garden is a resilient space, and it doesn’t take a huge amount of work to add some life into an otherwise stressed landscape at this time of the year.

Please click here to download the pdf

Tips for waterlogged gardens!

If your garden has been subject to flooding or an extreme rain event, a few simple tips will reduce the long-term damage to plants. If plants have been submerged in water for an extended time, it is best to do nothing until there are signs of regrowth.

Symptoms of waterlogging include yellowing of leaves and wilting. Wilted leaves are pliable and often go black before dropping. Soil erosion during a flood event puts trees at most risk. Reassess the safety of large trees and if roots are exposed as water recedes it is important to cover the surface roots with soil to prevent drying out.

Tips for helping flood damaged plants. What to do in the garden April 2022

Tips for waterlogged pot plants

If plants are in pots and are showing symptoms of waterlogging it is the ideal time to repot to ensure continuing growth. If the root system is soggy and breaks away easily, remove it before replacing the plant back into the pot, this will reduce the risk of any root rot pathogens. There is enough fertiliser in a premium potting mix such as Seasol Advanced Potting Mix for at least 6 months of growth, but the addition of Seasol around the roots and over the foliage will stimulate new strong roots to ensure the plants recover from waterlogged stress quickly.

Reviving plants, particularly in pots that have been affected by heat stress is similar to waterlogging. Any dehydrated roots should be removed, and the bottom one-third of the soil inspected for ants and sour soil and removed if there is damage. If soil is extremely dry, make up a solution of Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner in a large crate and submerge the complete root system of the plant for at least 15 minutes before repotting.

The Edible Garden

April is the best time to plant a range of ‘instant gratification’ edibles. The soil is still warm and growth rates are fast

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Your Garden In March 2022


Spend some time in the garden planning and preparing!

March is the month of planning and preparing. In southern areas where it’s cooling down, preparing the soil for planting can commence. Preparation at this time of the year will ensure a bountiful spring garden.

The weather is still hot and dry in some locations, so take the time to look around the garden, to see what needs to be done to rejuvenate it after the stresses of summer. Enjoy this task with a refreshing cup of coffee, tea or something cooler. Take a pencil and paper out and divide the garden into sections. Write a list of gardening tasks to perform this month to keep your garden looking good. As the weather cools and the days get shorter, it’s a great time to achieve this.

Tips for colourful flowers inside and out What to do in the garden April 2022

Vase Delights

Creating a garden area for picking is easy. There are many spring and summer flowering plants that are fast-growing, love a sunny position and will last in a vase for up to a week. Autumn is the perfect time to establish an area dedicated to the humble cut flower.

As a general guide “picking” varieties of flowers require a sunny position, at least 6 hours of sun is ideal. A “picking” garden doesn’t have to look pretty, do what suits the area. You can mix up the varieties, plant them in straight, neat rows or even establish between existing plants.

The key is to zone the plants; this means keeping the plants with the same watering needs together and reduces the chance of overwatering some of the hardier varieties of plants. Don’t solely rely on flowering varieties; many plants are ideal for foliage displays.

Easy tips to creating a cut flower garden.

When creating any new plantings saving water is an absolute must, as is adding quality soil improvers such as homemade compost and organic manure, and/or Seasol Super Compost into the soil, and a wetting agent to ensure the water penetrates the root zone.

Start by digging organic compost and manure soil to a depth of at least 30cm, then check the soil to ensure water is penetrating down into it. If it’s repelling water, it could be hydrophobic, so adding a soil wetter such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner will help solve this.

When planting, add a natural palletised plant and soil treatment such as Seasol Plant + Soil Booster to the soil to aid plant establishment, promote strong root development and healthy growth. Great gardening tip to create a gorgeous garden. Your Garden November 2020

Feeding a cut flower garden

Cut flower varieties need to flower prolifically, so a fertiliser specially formulated for flowering such as Seasol plus Nutrients Roses & Flowers will

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Your Garden In February 2022


Take a look at your summer garden in the cool of the day!

Don’t give up on the garden throughout the hottest month of the year. Sneak a few minutes in the morning or evening to check the irrigation system, top up the mulch or add wetting agent to pots to ensure the garden is surviving. If there are a few burnt leaves due to heatwave conditions resist the urge to prune them off. Whilst they don’t look the best, burnt foliage serves as protection for any new growth from the scorching sun. Ensure the bird baths are topped up with fresh water and additional shallow containers or saucers are placed at ground level for ground dwelling critters.

Spiders

For many of us the thought of cultivating spiders in the garden sends a shiver down the spine. In reality not many of the common species are deadly, in fact they are one of the most beneficial creatures to have around the garden.

Spiders play an important role in the environment and usually work hard at night trapping the pest insects that destroy our gardens. These hard-working allies will retreat in the morning leaving only a single strand of web, resting in a sheltered position throughout the day only to appear again when darkness falls to get to work again.

It is estimated that the weight of insects eaten annually by spiders outweighs the weight of the entire human population. Many of these insects are garden pests. Avoid reaching for the spider spray and instead turn a blind eye to the cobwebs.

The common Garden Spider, known as the Garden orb weaver, are famous for their wheel shaped web. When there are many Garden orbs around it’s an indicator there are many insects breeding in the garden. Nurture these spiders and your pest control will be completed for you, in the middle of the night, without you having to even lift an eyelid.

Turf Tips

The urban heat island effect occurs when hard surfaces such as paving, roads, concrete paths and bricks absorb and retain heat. It has been well documented that many urban areas in Australia are experiencing an urban heat island effect and temperatures are considerably higher than surrounding rural areas.

Reducing hard surfaces and planting more trees helps alleviate the effect of heat, keep the canopy cover and value large trees in urban landscapes is a directive from many local government areas.

The value of quality turf areas to contribute to countering the warming effects of hard surfaces can’t be underestimated. When its warm the places we congregate to are the soft cool grass and the shade of the trees.

Top tips to keeping turf looking great throughout February

  • Apply 
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Your Garden In January 2022

Happy New Year, there are many delightful ways to garden!

Sneaking some time in the garden throughout the festive season is good for your health and can be used to recharge the batteries for the coming year. Despite high temperatures in most areas of Australia there are still plenty of inspiring projects that can be completed outside. Choose the coolest time of the day, be Sun Smart, coverup and keep cool. Gardening at night by the light of a head torch can be a good solution to beating the heat. It’s amazing what appears in the garden at night. Many insect pests chose the night to devour the latest crop of greens, only to disappear under the cover of mulch at first light.

Spending a few minutes every week to go through the irrigation system and ensure every dripper and sprinkler is working is a must do job. It doesn’t take long for a plant to shrivel when it’s hot and there is no water available. Water smart throughout summer and if any water hits the pathway or paving change the sprinkler setting, water is too precious to waste on concrete.

Firewise Gardens

With the memory of catastrophic fires in almost every state fresh in our minds, take a little time this month to ensure the bushfire plan is current in the event of a severe or extreme fire danger.

Look around the garden and reduce the chance of losing property to an ember attack.

Ember attack is one of the main sources of property damage –

  • Remove any dead leaves on potted plants in under cover areas such as the verandah or alfresco area.
  • Clean leaves and debris from gutters and ensure the lawn is mowed short, as fire can quickly move through long grass.
  • Plant succulents and fleshy plants in pots rather than leave them empty with exposed dry potting mix.
  • Remove any cushions off timber furniture and bring any plastic wicker or wicker furniture inside on severe fire danger days.
  • Create separation of foliage from canopy and mid story in areas close to the built environment. This will reduce the chance of flames reaching the canopy foliage in the event of an ember attack.
  • Ensure gravel areas are clear from dead leaves, bark, and flammable material.
  • Avoid using fine mulch on garden beds and select gravel or coarse chunky mulch.

There are always a few jobs to do in any garden, even if it was planted as a low maintenance garden.  Here are six simple tips will ensure your plants will continue to look great all year round.

  • Group plants of similar watering needs together to avoid wasting water on plants that don’t require as much (and may not like it).
  • Check the label on the
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Your Garden In December 2021

Have a safe and happy festive season – enjoy good times in the garden!

A tall glass of iced water with a squeeze of lime or lemon is a real thirst quencher on a hot summer’s day. Picking your own citrus is extremely satisfying, convenient and the rich flavour is second to none. Even beginner gardeners can have success with a citrus tree.

Citrus trees are a favourite to grow in the ground or a large pot. They look stunning with their gorgeous glossy foliage, perfumed flowers and have the bonus of juicy tasty fruit. Thriving in most areas of Australia, with a little care the whole street will be supplied with tasty fruit. There is nothing particularly technical about growing citrus trees in the ground or in a large pot; all that is required are good observation skills.

Top Tips to tasty juicy fruit when planting in the ground:

  • Plant trees in position that receives at least 6 hours of sun per day. Small spaces are perfect as long as it’s sunny.
  • Improve the soil when planting with well-rotted manure and compost and/or Seasol Super Compost. As a general guide when planting dig a hole 50cm x 50cm wide and put the bottom third of soil aside. Back fill with equal volume of soil put aside with soil improver, place in hole and mix with existing 2/3rds soil. To this mixture add a handful of Seasol Plant + Soil Booster. This will help with strong root development and healthy plant growth.
  • Once the tree is planted water in thoroughly with Seasol or Seasol GOLD.  This will help to reduce transplant shock and aid plant establishment. Also ensure there are no air spaces around the roots.

How to get bigger yields of taster fruit & citrus.

  • Mulch around the roots with 75mm layer of coarse chunky mulch.
  • Water regularly throughout spring and summer to ensure root establishment. A citrus tree develops fine feeder roots just under the soil surface and the key to keeping these plants growing well is looking after the soil under the complete root zone.
  • Hungry citrus need nutrients to help them grow, flower and fruit, Apply granular Seasol plus Nutrients Fruit & Citrus to the soil every 6 to 8 weeks and remember to water it in thoroughly after application.
  • To give them a liquid boost, feed with PowerFeed PRO SERIES Flowers, Fruit & Citrus. It’s a dynamic fertiliser and soil improver to help all citrus and fruit trees, as well as your flowers.

Top Tips to tasty juicy fruit when planting in pots:

Citrus trees will thrive in a large pot for many years. In small gardens, growing a citrus tree in a pot opens up many possibilities. These small well-behaved trees are ideal to use for decoration,

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Your Garden In November 2021

Plan ahead for summer and festive season in the garden🌸🌼

Sudden warm days in November often take gardeners (and plants) by surprise. Soft new growth wilts very quickly but be rest assured picks up just as quickly. It doesn’t take long, and the soft new growth has hardened a little and is more heat tolerant.

With only a few weeks until Christmas it’s time to grow on a few living gifts for friends and family. Plan to put a day aside in the next few weeks to create green gifts this year.

To get you started we have included an idea to create your own living Christmas gift.

Jars of Green – your living Christmas gift

Mini landscapes in jars, cups or decorative glass containers are fun to create, look fantastic and easy to care for. They’re perfect for the office desk or bathroom vanity. Whether you select a miniature succulent theme with sand and rocks or recreate a miniature tropical rainforest, the steps in creating mini landscapes are the same.

Follow our easy tips below:

  • Select jars or containers that have openings big enough to get tools or hands in to make mini-scaping and planting easy.
  • Use perlite as the first layer. Perlite is an inert material and will hold moisture without the water souring.
  • Seed raising mix such as Seasol Seed Raising & Cutting Potting mix is a fine grade and the perfect planting media to use for mini – scaping.

  • Add a few prills of controlled release fertiliser such as PowerFeed Controlled Release Plant Food for Pots & Planters to the seed raising mix if it doesn’t already contain it. Too much and salts will build up in the soil and perlite
  • If growing succulents select miniature leaf varieties to create the correct scale. Succulents will grow successfully by pieces in a mini scape. Remember to water your new plants in with Seasol or Seasol GOLD to reduce transplant shock and to aid plant establishment in their new home.
  • Cover the seed raising mix with a layer (approx. 3-5mm) of decorative or coloured sand.
  • Decorate with a few small rocks. Place in groups of three and select contrasting colours to create a miniature feature.
  • If planting a miniature tropical oasis select miniature starter plants or those that grow from a piece and maintain small foliage.
  • Moss laid on the soil will create a miniature tropical feel. Be sure to add rocks in a natural formation.
  • Water in well and if the container has a lid, replace to create humidity. Remove the lid every few weeks to allow for air movement.
  • Liquid feed every couple of weeks with Seasol Foliar spray and be careful not to get the spray onto the decorative rocks. Wipe rocks careful with a damp cloth if the solution appears on them.

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Your Garden In October 2021

Enjoy spring time in the garden, it’s revitalising.

It’s traditionally a time to sneak a peek over the garden fence and see what is trending in the gardening world. Even though many of us must settle with what is happening in our own green space or neighbourhood this month there still so much to learn.

 Take a moment notice the dappled shade cast from new growth on an ornamental tree or the splash of colour created by annual plantings and remember regardless of how much space you have available there is always room for one extra plant or pot. Creating a layered garden is tried and tested way of adding interest to a small garden. Mentally divide the vertical space into sections; low, mid, and high. When selecting features or plants for the outdoor space be conscious to put equal thought into all sections and the advice this month is to focus on the low and high sections. As gardeners these areas tend to be the least thought about because what we see at eye level (mid-section) tends to get the attention. Look for canopy plants to create a sense of safety or small, delicate ground covers to add interest to the low section.

Retro Colour

Gerberas with their bright, pure colours can be guaranteed to add colour to an outdoor area. Commonly grown as a potted bunch of flowers, they are equally at home in a retro 70’s styled garden or a minimalist courtyard and can withstand a sunny position and warm weather.

Purchase when in flower, that way you can get the perfect colour match. For a retro look place, orange, hot pink and yellow together in a bowl or pot. Use Seasol Advanced Potting Mix as a good home for your plants and apply Seasol GOLD after planting to help with transplant shock and aid plant establishment.

Four top tips to stunning Gerberas

To keep gerberas looking stunning throughout the warmer months by –

  • If purchased in a smaller pot repot into a larger pot to allow the plant to keep growing and ensure it doesn’t dry out as the weather warms up.
  • Apply liquid fertiliser such as  PowerFeed All Purpose including Natives regularly over the foliage and around the soil.
  • Place in a position that receives morning sun as a minimum. They are also suited for use as a living bunch of flowers and will continue to flower inside weeks. The ideal strategy is to keep inside for a week at a time.
  • As the plant grows divide the crown. In warmer states this can be carried out at any time of the year, in the southern states October is the ideal time for division. When replanting, place the crown at the original soil level to reduce the chance of rotting. Remember to add some Seasol Plant + Soil Booster to the soil before planting to help promote healthy growth and vibrant blooms.

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Your Garden In August 2021

Revisit the benefits of the garden!

If there is ever a positive spin to additional lockdowns across the country due to COVID infections, it is the opportunity to spend more time in the garden. The last 18 months has reinforced the positive benefits we can all gain from tending to plants, regardless of if you own a few indoor plants on a balcony or care for a large garden. It’s time to revisit the benefits of the garden as many plants wake up from winter and enjoy what the pre-spring garden is delivering.

Sunny winter days are beneficial to us and the garden. This is the time to find a warm spot in the sun, soak up some Vitamin D for a few minutes, enjoy the health benefits away from the stresses of life and plan to get stuck into a few ‘pick me up’ projects for spring.

 

Please click here to download the pdf

Recycling

For those of us who have been gardening for a while there is often an eclectic collection of mismatched pots, hanging baskets, cracked birdbaths and saucers stored for a rainy day.

For beginner gardeners hunt down a long-time gardening friend, they will be happy to share. It’s the perfect time to go through the stash and retrieve all the shallow bowls, cracked birdbaths and low pots to use as succulent planters. Even a disused fountain will look stunning when planted with contrasting foliage and form.

When planting your new succulent garden, water your plants in with Seasol GOLD to help reduce transplant shock and aid plant establishment.

Create a cascading succulent feature

  • Most clay or glazed saucers and bowls can be drilled with a masonry drill bit if they are watertight.
  • Purchase a bag of premium potting mix or a specialist cacti or succulent potting mix. Fill the container to 1/3rd with a potting mix/coarse sand mix to help improve drainage and continue filling with potting mix only.
  • Select succulents for varied foliage colour, height, and form.
  • Succulents are the perfect plant to grow by pieces. Swap a few varieties between friends and family to expand the collection.
  • Place ground covering varieties around the edge of the container so they can cascade over the edge.
  • Succulents will successfully grow in any sunny position. Group a few containers together and place at varying heights to create a feature in a dull corner.
  • Fortnightly applications of liquid fertiliser such as PowerFeed Indoor and Potted Plants trigger spray will keep plants strong and healthy.

The Blue Garden

Blue is the elusive flower colour that breeders across the world are chasing, in some species it’s a distant dream, in others, nature has delivered. If you are chasing true blues for a garden look no further than some of the native plants that call

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Your Garden In July 2021

Winter is the perfect time for a gardening project!

A winter garden can be incredibly beautiful. Citrus trees brimming with ripening fruit and large dew droplets forming on newly woven cobwebs are a few of my favourite things. Despite rainy days and cold temperatures winter gardening is a roll up the sleeves and get stuck into it sort of month. Grab the tools, gloves, and wheelbarrow and start a weekend project.

Select one of our garden design tips to get you started in the garden.

Ten simple design tips to make your garden POP 

  • Select plants that look good at different times of the year. Focus on flowers through winter to brighten up the dull days and select soft cooling colours for summer. Define areas in autumn by using deciduous colour to your advantage.
  • Our eye is drawn to the weeds rather than the flowers. Control weeds while small to avoid future seeding. Use mulch to your advantage to control weeds and create interest. Select mulch for different colours and textures to highlight areas of the garden.
  • Group plants around a theme. This could be similar flowering colour or planted into pots of similar shades. When planting, water in with Seasol to reduce transplant shock and aid transplant.
  • The addition of garden art will add interest to a garden even if there are no plants around. This design feature is used widely in gardens which endure extreme summer conditions and a lack of water.

Ten simple design tips to make your garden pop cont:

  • Select multiuse plants that are both edible and are good ornamental plants. Liquid feed with PowerFeed All Purpose including Natives during the growing season.
  • Repeat same varieties of plants at multiple locations to give the garden a sense of continuity.
  • Choose feature plants, trees, or shrubs at focal points. Focal points are the areas where your eye is drawn to when you look at the garden. To test whether an area is a focal point, place a non-descript plant or pot in the area. Is your eye immediately drawn to the area or does it skip over the placed plant to a different position? Move it around until your eye is immediately drawn to it.
  • Avoid clutter in a garden. Try to be disciplined and restrain the eclectic collection by sticking to a theme.
  • Use variegated foliage plants to your advantage.

Gorgeous Groundcovers

Ground covering plants are the underrated heroes of the plant world and provide many ornamental and environmental benefits for the garden. Plants are broadly classified as a groundcover if they spread wider than they do high.

While there is moisture in the soil and holes can be dug easily, prepare the soil by applying well-rotted manure or compost or for a no-dig option, apply Seasol Liquid Compost. Planting a few ground covering plants will save work in the garden in future years

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Your Garden In June 2021

Welcome to the start of winter gardening!

As we embrace the official winter period and settle into cold climate gardening, planting bare rooted fruit trees, pruning rose bushes, and harvesting tasty oranges we can be forgiven for yearning after warm weather. Think lush tropical foliage and brightly coloured leaf variants in the very north of Australia. Tropical gardens are a delight at this time of the year, with ripening tomatoes and sweet potatoes being harvested and replanted, it’s a time of abundance. In the south growth rates slow down and it’s preparing and planting time.

Please click here to download the pdf

Heating the house – don’t forget the indoor plants

Indoor gardening has boomed over the last 18 months and there are now more plants decorating indoors than ever before. When you reach for the heater don’t forget your plants. While reverse cycle heating systems remove moisture from the air many indoor varieties require humidity to thrive. To increase the humidity around indoor plants here are a few simple tips to keep your indoor plants thriving while the heater is no:

  • Invest in a mister or spritzer bottle and mist foliage regularly.
  • If plants are watered using self-watering pots and filled via the reservoir, water from the top through winter. Humidity will increase slightly around foliage as the soil dries out.
  • Bunch indoor plants together during the cooler months to create a microclimate and increase humidity around the foliage.
  • Place plants on shallow dishes with expanded clay or glass beads and regularly fill with water. Plants will benefit as the water evaporates.
  • When purchasing new indoor plants in winter, chose those varieties which thrive in low humidity.
  • Reduce watering as plants don’t generally need as much in winter. For a lot of plants, let them dry out completely before watering again. Always check plant labels as a guide.
  • Apply a liquid fertiliser such as PowerFeed Indoor & Potted Plants 1.25 litre trigger spray to the soil every couple of weeks to keep the foliage lush and flowers blooming.

Grow your own tea

Delving into the world of herb teas and blending your own is fun. The flavour of freshly plucked leaves opens endless possibilities of creating flavour sensations. Most plants grown for herbal teas are gorgeous garden plants, so if you don’t get to make your own tea as often as you like, plants will continue to look gorgeous in the garden.

Creating clever plant combinations will ensure fresh herbal teas aren’t far away and fresh leaves plucked and steeped in boiling water is so easy to make. Plant in large mixed containers or reserve a sunny corner to create a ‘well-being’ garden jam packed full of fresh tea making ingredients.

Flavoursome herbal tea combinations

Try these flavour combinations –

  • Lemon grass,
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Your Garden In May 2021

Celebrate Autumn and planting in the garden!

As we settle in to enjoy autumn and the weather cools down, the enthusiasm grows. The dewy mornings and often clear sunny days are incentive enough to get into the garden. Add the hope of rain and it’s a perfect fit. Gardeners across the country are celebrating the planting season. There is nothing more satisfying that digging holes in damp soil.

 

Please click here to download the pdf.

Dry area plant selection

Over the years garden centres have seen a growing trend with homeowners selecting larger plants for their garden. The instant garden is what we all want. In fact, when establishing a new garden area planting small can be beneficial, particularly when dry area planting. Dry area planting is the term given to those plants which only receive water at planting and then fend for themselves during the cooler months, in the hope they are established enough as the weather warms up.

In this situation planting smaller is certainly beneficial. To ensure a maximum success rate when dry area planting follow these simple tips:

  • Choose starter plants that have a strong root system yet are not massed with roots.
  • As a general guide and depending upon the variety, the plant should be twice the height of the container it’s in.

Transplanting bare-root plants

Dry area planting tips

  • Soak the plant (especially the complete root system in a bucket of Seasol (mix 30mL of concentrate per 9 litres of water) for at least 15 minutes before planting.
  • Dig a hole at least 30cm x 30cm (even if the plants are in starter pots of 5cm x 5cm or forestry tubes). Loosening soil around this immediate area will allow roots to establish them selves quicky. A plant with a strong root system will cope with harsh summer conditions and be more tolerant of drought.
  • Add a little soil improver such as Seasol Plant + Soil Booster  and mix thoroughly with existing soil. Seasol Plant + Soil Booster is a complete garden health treatment that is suitable for all plants including Australian natives.

Dry area planting tips cont:

  • Create a shallow dish around the base of the plant before watering in with Seasol solution. This is more important than ever when dry area planting. A shallow dish will retain a little extra water when it rains.
  • Apply a coarse chunky mulch to reduce evaporation rate and keep soil temperature down. Mulch also works by minimising soil erosion during heavy downpours.

And just in case you’re not convinced planting small is better, it only takes 12 months for small plants to catch up to the size of the larger ones. The benefits are endless, more plants for the same money spent. Enjoy autumn planting.

Falling Autumn Leave image

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Your Garden In April 2021

Fill the garden with autumn colour this month!

With gardening inspiration all round, cooler weather and the easing of restrictions across most of the country, it’s time to celebrate the garden. Whether it’s a pot or two on a balcony or an expansive backyard, autumn is the ideal time to update corners, garden beds or a few pots.

Garden centres are reporting flowering plants are walking out the door, it seems Australia’s gardeners are looking for softness, flowers and colour.

Please click here to download the pdf

Tips for colourful flowers inside and out What to do in the garden April 2022

Five tips to enjoying flowers inside and out

Create a cut flower garden and enjoy fresh flowers inside all year round. Follow these easy steps to success:

  • Spend a little time planning and selecting varieties that flower at different times of the year. Chose plants that have a long flowering time and give you the best value.
  • Foliage is important. Plant varieties that have hard leathery foliage are waterwise and are form the background of the garden. These plants should respond to a regular prune and last for an extended length of time in a vase. Plant the following varieties for fillers in a vase – dwarf olive, upright rosemary, grey cineraria, wormwood, magnolia, sage, juvenile foliage of eucalyptus varieties and leather fern. When planting new plants, remember to water them in with Seasol to aid plant establishment.

5 tips to enjoying flowers inside and out cont:

  • Choose a sunny position to create a picking garden. To get the best from annuals and perennials dig in lots of compost and fertilise with PowerFeed with Troforte Flowers, Fruit & Citrus. This formulation will deliver quick and slow-release nutrients and with additional benfeficial microbes, which improves soil fertility.
  • At the end of the season leave some flowers on the plant to develop seeds. Harvest these flowers as they start to fade and place in a paper bag. Allow to dry out and then store in an airtight container for the following season.
  • Regular picking will encourage strong bushy growth and result in more flowers.

Spring gardening care tips with PowerFeed

Plants for a colourful combination in a pot

If establishing a picking garden in pots, select a sunny position and large containers. The more soil around the plants roots the better they will perform. Look for companion combinations and plant multiple varieties in one pot.

  • Lavender, Salvia and Primula
  • Sage, Cosmos and Sweet Pea
  • Coreopsis, Rosemary and Grey cineraria
  • Pansy, Calendula and Larkspurs
  • Gladioli, Carnation and Stocks
  • Cornflower, Dwarf Dahlia and Statice

Chocolate Garden

Chocolate surrounds us through the month of April and creating a chocolate garden this Easter may be healthier for you than tucking into a few too many eggs this Easter.

Chocolate mint – smells exactly like an after-dinner

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Your Garden In March 2021

Welcome to autumn in the garden – Enjoy

As the weather cools our gardening enthusiasm grows and autumn is the season to look around and evaluate what has survived, thrived, or perished. Its also the time you can be a little ruthless if there’s a few plants not performing. Take the plunge and swap them for something that grows well and gives great flower and foliage colour.

 

Please click here to download the pdf

Tips for growing plants in the shade

You may have found that as the garden has matured there are areas that were once in full sun are now in shade and plants are not looking as good as they once did. Take this change as an opportunity to grow a selection of different plants.

Shade in a garden is an asset and there are plants that will thrive in shady positions in the garden. Many garden owners give up attempting to grow plants in shaded areas because they either become weak and stretched, stay at the same size they were when planted and refuse to flower.

How to prepare your garden for winter

Most failures are the result of improper plant selection, selecting sun loving plants for shady positions. The first indicator the area may be too shady for the plants selected is when plants develop a lean towards the light source.

Tips for picking plants for different types of shade.

There are many varieties of shade loving plants available to plant and the first step in establishing a shaded garden is to identify the type of shade.

Dry Area Shade

Are those areas that are shaded by foliage or the canopy of established trees. The soil in these areasy full of roots from the established trees and creating gardening beds can be a challenge, but not impossible. Any fertilising such as PowerFeed All Purpose including Natives needs to be as a foliar application to minimise the potential of established roots to rob the nutrients. This is where the installation of a root barrier is worthwhile and particularly when the source of the root competition and shade is from the neighbour’s property. In dry shaded areas dripper irrigation is recommended so water will be delivered directly to the young plant’s roots rather than to the large trees. A wetting agent such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner is crucial in this growing environment.

Shade under eaves

These areas dry out quickly and are often forgotten about in the winter when it’s raining. If garden beds are established under eaves, ensure watering continues through winter. Apply Seasol every fortnight to month and keep soil damp in winter, even when the irrigation system is turned off and fertilise at the beginning

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Your Garden In February 2021

Late summer is a great time to get out in the garden and plan for the seasons ahead!

Please click here to download the pdf

The official end of summer is close. Dare we dream about the planting season and the new plants we can put in the garden or areas we can change? Late summer is the best time to reassess the garden, pots, balcony, and alfresco area to make decisions on what could be changed for improved resilience for next summer.

What to look for when reassessing your garden!

  • Burnt foliage may indicate underwatering or wrong plant selection for the location.
  • Grey green patches that appear overnight on lawn areas indicate there is inadequate overlap in the irrigation system and these areas are underwatered in the heat of summer.
  • Small potted plants in full sun struggling. Repot into larger pots so there is a larger volume of soil around the roots and they stay cool on extremely hot days.
  • Wilted leaves that are still pliable will be a symptom of overwatering. Something many gardeners tend to do when it’s hot and they are caring for potted plants.
  • Stretched plants indicate it’s too shady for them. Select another variety or move into a more well-lit position.

Must do gardening jobs in February.

Sneaking a few minutes here and there in the garden is the theme for the February garden. The vegie garden is overflowing with produce, it’s a little early and hot to replant and all the work done over the last few months can be enjoyed.  It’s time to lie back in the hammock and enjoy the garden, with only a few must do jobs this month.

  • Keep Basil flowers trimmed off to encourage new soft growth. If it sets too many seed heads, it’s at the expense of leaves.
  • Give the Apricot tree a summer prune to reduce the incidence of bacterial gummosis which causes dieback of the branches. Trees are relatively short lived, so pruning is important to stimulate vigorous new growth. Apply Seasol around the tree’s canopy to promote strong healthy growth after the stresses of being pruned.

Must do gardening jobs in February cont:

  • The Black English Mulberry has just finished fruiting. This late fruiting tree has the most flavoursome fruit. It is also the slowest growing of all the Mulberry varieties, trees can survive for many years becoming a firm favourite with children and adults alike. It’s time to trim the tree if needed and even though they survive without much care they will respond to a mulch with compost or pea hay and an application of complete fertiliser Apply Seasol plus Nutrients Fruit & Citrus around the tree’s canopy to revitalise and boost soil and plant health.
  • Cymbidium Orchids are initiating their flower spikes now, even though it feels like
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Your Garden In January 2021

Happy New Year and immerse yourself in the garden in 2021!

Finding a few minutes, a day to enjoy your garden, balcony or pots is a New Year’s resolution that can be easily achieved.

Immersing yourself amongst green and nature is the new health tonic and can be accomplished at any time. Think of it as green mediation. Whether you have one pot or hundreds, live in an apartment or are surrounded by wide open spaces the benefits are still the same. Use this month to recharge end immerse yourself in an inspirational gardening project if you are staying home.

Please click here to download the pdf.

Tasty Foliage

We tend to bundle herbs together as needing the same care. The most common herbs we use in cooking require vastly different growing conditions. While coriander is an annual and thrives in the cooler months, rosemary is at home in a full sun, dry position and thrives throughout the warmer months. A few hours spent planting the heat loving herbs will produce benefits all year round, not just at this time of the year.

Top heat loving herbs

Rosemary There are at least 6 different varieties of rosemary and each one has their subtle flavour differences. Strong hardy growers are perfect for low hedges, while the rambling varieties are ideally suited to large landscape areas or cascading over low walls. Rosemary and lamb is the traditional flavour matching, but as it loves the heat and grows so well at this time of the year serve as a condiment, mixed with lemon rind and salt on fish or thick slices of juicy ripe tomatoes served at room temperature.

Sage The humble sage is underrated as a garden plant. Once prized for its medicinal values, nowadays it’s common to find it flavouring, sourdough bread, pork sausages and the hero ingredient in marinated goats cheese. It tolerates less than ideal growing conditions, growing naturally in the Mediterranean and produces a brilliant flower show in spring. Grows in most areas of Australia and benefits from a prune after flowering to encourage bush growth, exactly what is needed when growing for the plate.

Thyme Common thyme is a creeping ground cover perfect for underplanting in large pots and containers. When growing it’s a balance between quantity and quality. Grow them soft with lots of fertiliser and water and the result is a mass of harvestable foliage. Almost starve them with minimal water and fertiliser, just enough to keep them alive and flavour is intense.

When planting herbs water them in with Seasol or Seasol GOLD to assist with plant establishment and health growth. Apply PowerFeed every 2 to 4 weeks to keep your herbs happy and healthy.

We are still facing a few months of hot weather across the country and it’s time to consider the bushfire preparedness in your

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Your Garden In September 2020

Welcome to spring, enjoy your garden, inside and out!

With the renewed focus on edible plants over the last 6 months, it’s understandable the ornamental garden has taken a back step. Don’t ever discount the importance of an ornamental garden to improve our health and mental wellbeing. Research has proven that it only takes 45 seconds of staring through a window or at nature to have a positive benefit on our health. If there was ever research to back up establishing more plants in our lives, then this is it.

Available space to garden shouldn’t be the number one limiting factor to having a garden or interaction with nature. A balcony or courtyard can be decorated with green very quickly. If you’re someone who loves gardens but doesn’t love gardening contact your local garden centre (ring or call in) and request a selection of hardy plants for pots or containers.

Aussie Beauties

There are many Australian plants for pots that will tolerate hot winds, dry soil and sunny positions and are perfect for those of amongst us, who just want it to look good with minimal care. Top tips to growing native plants in pots include:

  • Select large clay pots. Clay pots tend to act as an insulation layer and will keep soil cool through summer.
  • Use a premium potting mix formulated for Australian plants and feed with a controlled release granular fertiliser such as PowerFeed Controlled Release Plant Food All Purpose including Natives at the start of each season through the growing season.
  • Most native plants require a sunny position to flower at their best.
  • Prune lightly (or to shape) after flowering to keep the plants bushy and contained.

  • Mix the planter up with a few different varieties. Select a colour theme or plant for the seasons.
  • In addition to flowers select plants for foliage colour or better still create a planter with foliage contrasts alone.

Selections for foliage:

  • Eremophila nivea, Variegated westringia and Lomandra Limelight
  • Hakea victoria, Callistemon Great Balls of Fire and Adenanthos meisneri
  • Melaleuca incana nana, Brachysema ‘Brown Butterfly’ and Leucophyta brownii

Variety & photo @austraflora – Westringia-Edna-Walling-Rosemary

Selections for colour:

  • Leschenaultia biloba, Verticordia chrysantha and Anigozanthos ‘Orange Gem’
  • Eremophila var. brevifolia, Pimelia physodes ‘Qualup Bell’ and Conostylis candicans
  • Chorizema cordatum, Chrysocephalum ‘Desert Flame’ and Anigozanthos ‘Bush Pearl’

Selection for a semi shaded position:

  • Dampiera diversifolia, Boronia megastigma brown and Lomandra ‘Tanika’
  • Dianella ‘Cherry Red, Boronia heterophylla and Viola hederacea
  • Austromyrtus dulcis, Correa Dusky Bells and Lomandra ‘Verday’

Variety & photo @austraflora – Correa-Dusky-Bells

Maidenhair Fern – Friend or Foe

At this time of the year Maidenhair ferns are looking so spectacular that its easy to buy two or three at the blink of an eye. The

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