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!

Please click here to download the pdf

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 garden. They can be planted at any time of the year, and the supply of young trees is plentiful at the garden centres. It is also a great time to try the variety before you buy as most fruit and vegetable shops will have the varieties named.

Citrus are one of my favourite fruit trees, they fruit prolifically, flowers are highly perfumed, foliage is attractive, and they are easy to maintain. They are perfect to use in the garden as large shrubs or small trees. If space restricts you look for varieties grafted onto a dwarfing variety of rootstock. This makes them ideal for growing in containers. To keep your container citrus producing tasty, juicy fruit liquid feed with PowerFeed PRO SERIES Fruit & Citrus

Clay Soil

Many gardeners are familiar with sandy soils. When first confronted with soil that is impossible to dig (except with a crowbar) in the middle of summer get awfully confused and don’t know what to do. To add to the confusion this same soil is so sticky in the winter, it feels like it’s impossible to do anything with it.

Sticky clay soil lacks structure and will benefit from the addition of gypsum, dug into the soil. Add to the bottom of the hole when planting and mix with an organic soil improver such as Seasol Super Compost. Put simply, gypsum works by attracting clay particles and forming a crumbly texture allowing the water nutrients and roots to move through the soil.

Water moves through clay soils more slowly than sandy soils and can run off the soil surface easily. Many gardens with clay soil are on a slope, and this makes the problem even worse. Applying water by dripper irrigation is the best way of getting it to the plant’s roots. The wetting pattern in heavy soils tends to spread out and then down rather than straight down with sandy soil. This is ideal for watering plants such as citrus or roses.

The importance of improving soils with organic matter, can’t be underestimated. This will help break up the clay, improve the fertility, and the available nutrients and water to the plant. Because the water can’t drain away very quickly in heavy soil many of our own Australian plants that love sandy soil can become waterlogged in the subsoil. Soil improving and the addition of gypsum will counteract the effects of this.

Mulch

Mulching is enormously beneficial for all plants and will assist in helping break up the heavy clay soils. Before applying, add Seasol Plant + Soil Booster into the soil to improve its structure and health.

Organic mulches are preferred because they:

  • Break down over time and feed the plants.
  • Improve the soil organic matter content as they break down.
  • Reduce evaporation loss from the surface.
  • Encourage earthworms and soil microbial activity.
  • Restrict weed growth – any weeds that germinate are easy to remove.
  • Prevent wind and water erosion.