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.

Your Garden in May 2024 - Get spring flowering bulbs planted
Your Garden in May 2024 - Make it a Mother's Day to remember

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 bottle of PowerFeed Indoor & Potted Plants spray. Check out hardware and garden centres for other great ideas.

Roses are ready to plant now

For those gardeners who love roses, late autumn is an important time on the calendar as it is when bare-rooted roses become available in garden centres, hardware stores or from mail-order suppliers.

Every year brings new releases or look for old favourites to add to your garden. Plant roses in a sunny spot in well-prepared soil. Soak the roses’s bare-roots in a bucket of Seasol for a couple of hours before planting to reduce transplant shock. Water in with Seasol and apply it regularly every week for strong, healthy growth.

Even though the plants look like bare sticks when you buy and right through winter, they’ll turn into leafy shrubs and produce wonderful flowers when spring arrives. Keep plants growing well and flowering with regular feeding every two to four weeks using PowerFeed Pro Series for Roses and Flowers for higher yields of roses.

Your Garden in May 2024 - Roses are ready to plant now

Five important jobs for late autumn

  • Check Aussie natives by pruning back any damaged foliage and apply Seasol plus Nutrients All Purpose including Natives to keep them flowering through autumn.
  • Check brassicas for caterpillars then cover plants with netting to stop more arriving. If you do spot any, control with EarthCare Natural Pyrethrum insect spray, making sure to spray the underside of the foliage.
  • Move frost-sensitive plants including succulents into a sheltered spot for winter.
  • Oversow bare spots in the lawn with fast-growing lawn seed. During establishment apply Seasol Lawn & Turf Starter to aid with development and root growth.
  • Rake up leaves that have fallen on lawns, paths and pavers and add them to the compost heap, leaf bin or as instant mulch for garden beds.
Your Garden in May 2024 - Winter vegies to feed the family

Winter vegies to feed the family

With the high cost of living, growing your vegetables can help make the household budget go further. Late autumn is an ideal time to plant vegies that will provide a harvest right through winter.

Top performers include cabbages, brassicas (such as broccoli), English spinach, silverbeet, peas of all sorts and broad beans. If space is tight grow silverbeet in pots or train climbing peas up a tripod.

Before planting add homemade compost and organic matter and/or Seasol Super Compost. The most important ingredients for success are full sun, shelter from cold winds and regular feeding every two weeks with Powerfeed Pro Series for Tomatoes & Vegetables for continual growth, and vegetables formation.

For more ideas on growing vegies, head to our article on how to grow Autumn-Winter vegies.

How to store pumpkins

By May, pumpkins are ready to harvest. Many vines will have been killed by the first frost revealing the harvest lying on the ground. Well stored, pumpkins can last through winter providing the basic ingredient for pumpkin soup, frittata and roast vegetables.

The key to long lasting pumpkins are to store them in a cool, well-ventilated spot away from rodents (such as the laundry). Ensure that the pumpkins are undamaged and are harvested with a length of stem attached so there’s no chance for rot to enter through the stem end of the pumpkin.

Ripe pumpkins will feel heavy and sound ‘drummy’ when rapped with your knuckles. If the pumpkins are damaged they can be stored by chopping them into chunks to freeze or turn them into delicious pumpkin chutney.

Your Garden in May 2024 - How to store pumpkins