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Enjoy the garden this month and have a wonderful Christmas!

At the beginning of the 2020 who would have predicted the surge in growing your own edibles, indoor plants and the importance of nature and gardening on our own mental health? If you have discovered the importance of gardening for the very first time this year, we hope you have had a chance to learn something new, gain success and understand the value that nature and the green environment has in our everyday lives. We hope it has set you on a path of a life-long love affair with plants.

If you have been interested in gardens and plants for ever, we hope you have had a chance to enjoy your plants and nature again and have been inspired to create a new project or two throughout the last 9 months. We have certainly been reinvigorated with the increased passion for plants and take our responsibility of delivering quality, local gardening advice very seriously.

Enjoy the garden this month and as the weather heats up remember you only need 10 minutes per day to ensure your garden looks fantastic in the lead up to Christmas.


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What to do in the garden in summer in 5 mins

If you only have 10 minutes –

  • Foliar feed the potted plants with a small 2 litre pressurised sprayer and PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Pots and Planters – Indoor & Outdoor (5mL of concentrate per 2 litres of water). Nutrients applied over the foliage will be absorbed quickly and result in gorgeous new healthy growth. By applying through a handheld pressurised sprayer, a little will go a long way and the difference to the health of the plants is noticeable in a few days.
  • Mulch potted plants in the sun with a coarse chunky mulch or stones. Mulch will keep the root system cool, reducing stress on hot days. Coarse mulch or stones will reduce the incidence of collar rot, by ensuring the water drains away from the soil surface.
How to feed your spring flowering plants

If you only have 10 minutes cont:

  • Nip the small growth tips out of shrubs or climbers to encourage busy growth. Pruning is often a daunting task, so nipping a few growth tips out when you take a walk around the garden will ensure plants stay bushy and produce new growth without any hard work.
  • Pot a few containers with instant colour to brighten up any dull areas. Plant seedlings with Seasol GOLD to get them off to a flying start. Think of great colour combinations – complimentary colours work well. The bright yellow of Coreopsis compliments the dark purple of Mexican Sage – Salvia leucantha. For orange and blue you can’t go past Salvia Gemstone Blue partnered with the bright orange of orange Dahlias. Other complimentary colour combinations include red and green, green-blue and red-orange and yellow orange paired with blue purple.
Great 10 minute gardening tips for Christmas Your Garden December 2020

If you only have 10 minutes cont:

Check the irrigation system regularly. Through heatwave conditions a missed watering day could be a disaster.

Cover stone fruit trees with bird netting or if you live in a fruit fly area, cover with fruit fly net. These nets don’t have to be on the tree for the whole year. Remove after the fruit has been harvested.

Apply wetting agent to lawn areas to ensure water soaks into the soil. Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner will do two important jobs to ensure summer success, improve and condition the soil and make best use of water being applied.

Give house plants a dust and a wipe over with white oil. Repot any that are getting too large for their pots.

Great tips for watering potted plants Your Garden December 2020

Top Tips for saving water when growing potted plants

  • Always apply a wetting agent to the soil and activate by watering in well. If pots are small submerge the whole pot is a solution of wetting agent until the air bubbles stop rising to the soil surface. Remove and drain. Reapply throughout summer months.
  • Mulch large areas of bare soil with gravel or stones to reduce evaporation and moisture loss.
  • Place in a sunny position through summer where the pot is protected from the direct sun.
  • When hand watering plants apply water slowly, so the water has a chance to soak through to the plants roots rather than running down the inside of the pot and out through the drainage hole.
How to grow dahlias in spring for brilliant flower displays Your garden

Give a living gift

When it comes to Christmas shopping head to the garden centre and do all your Christmas shopping at once. Our top 10 garden gift ideas for under $20.

  • Flowering patio roses – selected for their compact flowering habit and repeat flowering. Choose a perfumed variety
  • Poinsettias say Christmas like not other plant. Their brightly coloured bracts will hold their colour well into autumn, only to flower again in winter.
  • Potted Dahlia cultivars are an instant bunch of flowers with the added bonus of continuing to grow every year.
  • Potted herbs – be creative, select a Thai theme with lemongrass, chilli and Vietnamese mint or think Italian flavours with basil, oregano, and marjoram.
How to grow chillies successfully

Give a living gift cont:

  • Hydrangeas are a perennial favourite for the cooler areas of Australia and being timed to flower at Christmas they are looking spectacular through summer months.
  • Fuchsias make the best instant hanging planters filling up a shady corner with pendulous bells.
  • A superhot chilli will blow even the most addicted chilli lover away.
  • Succulents make great sunny balcony plants and there is a foliage form that will please even the fussiest gardener.
  • Hybrid Kangaroo Paws look spectacular and when planted will not only add colour to the garden for months but will also keep the resident Honeyeater family birds happy.
  • A favourite indoor flowering plant is the Anthurium. They have a long life and will continue to flower for years with minimal care.

Houseplant care

If you have noticed toadstools or mushroom growing in your indoor plants, don’t be alarmed as it’s the result of a humid, moist protected environment and not detrimental to plants in the short term. They are the fruiting body of the natural fungi occurring in the soil and an indicator the potting mix is too damp. Back off the watering immediately and only water when you stick your finger in the soil and it feels dry. Another indicator that soil is too wet is the presence of fungal gnats, a small flying insect that hangs around the base of plants. While the flying, Midge like insect is annoying, it’s the larvae that cause a problem feeding on plants roots. The best way to control them is to keep the soil on the dryer side, ensure there is good drainage and allow for air movement around the plants.

Waterwise Pots

Well maintained potted plants add an extra dimension to an outdoor space. They are so versatile and one of the best tools a gardener has at their disposal to change the character and style of a garden quickly and relatively cheaply.

Strategically placed pots will change the view of a garden, hide unsightly sheds, and increase production of small spaces. As gardeners we have enormous expectations from our plants and often the growing conditions of potted plants have been far from ideal. There is an increasing trend to look beyond the architectural style of foliage plants and choose plants that are unique and create a statement, at the same time being waterwise and easy to look after.

The most common mistake gardeners do when attempting to grow plants in pots is selecting pots that are too small for the plant. Always plant into large pots, root systems stay cool and plants are not as stressed during the warmer months when watering is limited. Select clay pots over plastic pots as black plastic pots heat up very quickly; resulting in the death of fine feeder roots and die back of branches and leaves.

Choose a premium potting mix specially When potting up avoid blocking off drainage holes with rocks or broken pieces of pots, as encouraging as much drainage as possible is important. If the hole is large, place a single piece of newspaper over the hole. This will stay in place until the potting mix beds down and the roots have a chance to grow into the potting mix. Lift pots up off the ground with pot feet or a couple of paving bricks, being careful to avoid covering drainage holes. This also improves drainage and reduces the chance of ants finding the soil. Ants are very destructive in pots and can quickly excavate the soil around potted plants leaving the roots exposed to air and water not soaking in.

Place pots in sunny positions if the plants are sun lovers or they will become stretched, produce pale coloured flowers and be prone to insect attack.