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.

How to grow and look after Daphne for beautiful scented blooms

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 ‘Honey Pots’.

Native boronia

Also grow native boronias to add a touch of colour especially in winter. These small, shrubby plants bloom in tones of pink and white in late winter and early spring. Brown boronia has brown and lime green flowers with sensational scent.

These plants can be short lived but do well in containers with a premium potting mix such as Seasol Advanced Potting Mix as they like to be kept moist with a cool root run.

Grow them with shade from hot afternoon sun and water them when the soil feels dry. Apply an organic mulch around the base of the plant and feed them every 6 to 8 weeks with PowerFeed with Troforte All Purpose including Natives. Mix it into the topsoil and water it in thoroughly to get the microbes working to improve soil health.

Five important jobs for mid-winter

  1. Prune roses and other winter-dormant shrubs. Roses are hard pruned in winter with the aim to remove around a half to two thirds of last season’s growth. The hard winter prune is done to encourage the new growth that produces flowers in spring and summer. The hard winter prune is also an opportunity to remove diseased or crossing branch.
  2. Apply liquid fertiliser such as PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Tomatoes & Vegetables every two weeks to encourage leafy winter vegetables such as lettuces and spinach and brassicas such as broccoli, cabbages and cauliflowers.
  3. Plant a deciduous tree for spring flowers and summer shade. If it is a fruiting tree, make sure it has a compatible pollinator if crosspollination is needed to form fruit. Water new trees in with Seasol to aid plant establishment and strong root growth.
  4. Stake new plantings such as trees to avoid wind rock and allow the root systems to get well established.
  5. Recycle plastic garden products such as punnets and pots either within your own garden or by returning them to garden centres.

Planting perennial vegetables in winter

Mid-winter is the time to plant some vegies with a difference. Rather than annual crops that are harvested for just a season or two, perennial vegies grow year after year.

Artichokes (both ordinary artichoke and Jerusalem artichoke), asparagus and rhubarb are some perennial vegies planted in winter as dormant crowns. Artichokes and rhubarb can be harvested within a year of planting, but asparagus needs to be left for several years before the first spears are harvested in spring.

Harvesting asparagus spears too soon weakens the plant and may mean it doesn’t establish. Well grown, asparagus can be productive for decades. Keep these perennial vegetables growing well with additions to the soil of well-composted organic matter such as homemade compost, aged cow manure and/or Seasol Super Compost as growth appears in spring. Also keep the plants well-watered during dry times.

What to do in your garden in mid- winter in July 2023

Grow snow peas – kids love them

Tasty, fast and easy-to-grow describes snow peas. They are top beginner gardener plants, kids love them and they produce well in even a small space. They are also quick to grow and crop and can be grown through winter.

Snow peas grow best in full sun but can tolerate some shade and still produce pods. Too much shade however encourages poor growth with few pods and increases fungal disease such as powdery mildew.

Direct sow seeds at the base of a support such as a tepee or climbing frame. Make the climbing support at least 2m high. To help the tiny plants reach their support, put twigs into the ground to help them start their climb. Also encourage growth with regular applications of liquid fertiliser such as PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Tomatoes & Vegetables.

Watch for flowers to form and expect pods soon after. With strong growth, snow peas can be producing those tasty green pods within 8-10 weeks from planting.