1. Repot the living Christmas tree before it dries out. Trip it up and apply Seasol and PowerFeed (30mL of Seasol and 50mL of PowerFeed concentrate to 9 litres of water). Place in a well lit position out of direct sun and allow the tree to acclimatise to the bright conditions once again. Move to a more open position over the next few months as it starts to cool down. If you didn’t have a living tree, now is the time to purchase a young one for next year. This way you get to enjoy a living potted plant for at least 11 months before it’s adorned with decorations for the festive season again.

2. Repot all small potted plants into larger containers. Make a promise to yourself to only use larger containers for potted plants. The more soil around the roots results in a happier, less stressed plant and ultimately faster, stronger growth. It will also save water because they don’t dry out as quickly as a collection of small pots. A great idea to get around the problem of lots of little pots is multi planting containers with multiple varieties together of plants that require similar watering needs. Remember to apply Seasol (30mL per 9 litres of water) to help reduce transplant shock and promote strong healthy growth.

3. Be ruthless and remove the plants or pots that give you the most grief or stress. Make a resolution to pass the on to a friend or neighbour or sell them at a garage sale. It will make you feel better that someone else is loving and caring for your ex plants and treasuring them. Remind yourself not to feel jealous when you see something that wasn’t going well in your garden thriving in your friends. Choose a more suitable alternative for the position that was causing you grief, remembering to improve the soil before planting, add a wetting agent and mulch after planting to save water.

4. Watering is a priority and the efficient use of water is very important. Make the resolution to change the irrigation system to water saving emitters. Just as digital technology has changed so much in the last 15 years, so has the water efficiencies of an irrigation system. If it’s too expensive to change the sprinklers, sprayers or drippers all at once, work on one station at a time. By next summer it will be saving you thousands of litres of water.

Also remember to ensure that the water is getting to where it’s need most – the roots of plants. If you find that water is running off soil or straight through pots, then apply Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner (50mL concentrate per 9 litres of water) to overcome this.

5. At the beginning of the year decide on feeding frequencies for the garden and mark the times on the calendar. Some plants require monthly applications, while others will benefit from fortnightly.

Seasol can be applied every two to four weeks all year round on all plants including natives and weekly to sick and stressed plants or if you have been out planting or transplanting a plant.

PowerFeed liqiud can be applied every two to four weeks during the growing season, on all plants including natives. Remember not to apply on a hot day as this may burn the foliage of the plant, apply in the cool of  early morning or late at night.

PowerFeed granular range, can be applied at the start of each season on all plants including natives. Check out the product page on each product for more information.

6. Make a conscious decision to plant perfumed flowers or foliage in the garden or in containers. Smells are one of the best ways to trigger memories, catching the heady scents of a flower we haven’t smelt since our child hood can instantly transform us to that time. Build a collection of plants that are at their best at different times of the year. This way good memories will follow you around all year.

7. Plant or pot up a variety of plant every month that will gives you great pleasure. By the end of the year you have 12 plants that you feel happy with. Imagine, by the end of next year you will have 24 treasures. This is a simple, manageable way of updating the garden or patio area to make it reflect your personality.

8. One of the greatest threats to biodiversity in cities are the urban infill projects being completed across our cities. More housing has resulted in loss of large backyards. To counteract this trend create a habitat area in your own backyard. This area doesn’t have to be large, just protection from predators and don’t forget to include watering points.

9. Take time to notice what is happening in the garden. Use this time as relaxation – a sort of nature mediation. Dedicate about 15-20 minutes every week to wandering through the yard. If you only have a balcony garden take time to look at the leaves, flowers and fruits. You will learn a lot by just observing what is happening to plants and their surrounds.

10. Dedicate a corner or section of the garden to a specialist interest such as cacti or succulents, roses or daylillies. By developing a specialist interest in a different genus or group, suddenly gardening can become fun. If you have children dedicate an area for the children, allow them to garden it as they want to. Nurturing their interest in gardens, plants and nature is giving a child a life skill gift.

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