Planting for the season

Orange flower

Plants in a hot summer

The best time to do a deep watering is in the morning.  This will allow for the maximum uptake of water during the day when photosynthesis occurs.

It is not necessary to water again in the evening as the uptake of water will not be used as readily by the plant. Another reason to avoid late watering is that fungal diseases are likely to develop when the plant or soil is damp after a hot day followed by a cooler evening.

Mulch is also an important factor in the protection of plants in the summer. A 10cm layer of mulch will stop the soil from drying out and act as an insulation layer for roots.

The type of mulch is very important. Source your mulch from a reputable supplier to ensure there are no weed species in the mix. When mulching native plants it is best to use mulch from the local area which has been made from local native plants to ensure plants are experiencing similar conditions as they would in remnant areas. 

Make sure the mulch is kept a few centimetres away from the base of a shrub or the trunk of a tree to avoid collar rot.

Enjoy your garden this summer by following these simple steps. Remember if plants are looking stressed and you know a hot day is coming up give them a deep water. Remember to water native pot plants as required.

Summer is a good time to plan your Autumn planting. Look in the Live Local Plant Local publication for ideas or visit us at Edendale nursery.

Happy gardening and enjoy.

Autumn is the time for planting

Autumn is a beautiful time to be in the garden with temperatures suitable for outdoor work. There may be the opportunity to have a complete garden makeover where you are creating new garden beds.

You may want to do infill plantings or plant more ground covers to fill in empty spaces in the foreground of garden beds. Indigenous plants work well in our local environment because they are adapted to the local conditions.

When you are planting a new garden or planting out a large space, to attract a large range of wildlife to the garden for habitat it is important to plant a complete strata.

  • An upper strata with large trees for birds and possums to nest. Any of the Eucalyptus and Acacia species are suitable for this purpose; both species grow quickly.
  • A middle strata of shrubs will make good habitat for small birds, particularly prickly flowering species which keep them protected from predators and are a good source of nectar for birds and butterflies. Grevillea rosmarinifolia, Kunzea ericoides, Dillwynias and Correa species are suitable for this purpose.  
  • The lower strata, consisting of ground covers and grasses provide habitat to skinks and many insects. Suitable ground covers are Kennedia prostrata, Brachyscome multifida, Viola hederacea and many grasses such as Poa species, Wallaby and Kangaroo grass. When planting a garden bed be sure to choose plants with similar requirements, such as aspect, water, sun and shade. Other suggestions for ground covers are Hardenbergia violacea, which is also a good climbing plant, Dichondra repens, Einadia nutansArthropodiums (Chocolate Lilies) and Pultenaea pedunculata.

Good plants for filling spaces are Goodenia ovata and any of the Poa species (grasses), as the foliage compliment other species very well.

Before you commence planting be sure you remove all weeds, water plants very well upon planting and ensure they do not dry out if there has not been sufficient rain. Be sure to mulch to a depth of 10cm with native plant mulch. Happy planting.

Winter in the garden

Winter is still a good time to plant. Do not expect too much growth above the ground, most of it is happening down below. At this time of the year plants are developing root systems for spring growth and resilience to the summer dry (our harshest season plant wise).

Mulch thinly in Winter to allow water to get down to the roots and allow soil to warm up on sunny days.

Winter is a great time for planning. Observe your garden/property.   Look where soils stay wet and heavy during winter, observe which areas drain well and which are dry. The sun is lower in the sky and some parts of the garden/property can get quite shaded. Think about areas you might be able to do a group or mass planting and where you might like bird, lizard or frog habitat areas. As always it is about choosing the right plant for the right spot. We can help you with this.

Some plants that flower through winter include: Grevilleas, Brachyscomes, Correas and Hardenbergia.

It is a good time to plant lilies like Arthropodium (Chocolate Lilies) or Bulbines to have them flowering for early Spring.

Spring Gardening in Nillumbik

 Enjoy the flowering of autumn/winter planted annuals/perennials like Chocolate Lilies (Arthropodium strictum), Bulbines (Bulbine bulbosa) and daisies like Hoary Sunray (Leucochrysum albicans) and Cut-leaf Daisy (Brachyscome multifida). Many Victorian plants are yellow, white or purple making for an eye catching display amongst spring greenery.

This time of the year many insects are pollinating flowers including hoverflies, native bees and introduced bees. Growing a wide range of plants will help encourage a wide range of insects and other animals to your garden.

  • Now is a great time of the year to weed your garden, especially just after rain when weeds will be easier to remove.
  •  Many plants will also benefit from a prune once they have finished flowering (or seeding if you want to collect or encourage seed drop).

  •  It is a good time to top up mulch on your garden to help reduce evaporation of water over summer.

  •  Setup/refine your spring and summer watering ideas/irrigation. Are there areas you will handwater? Would a drip irrigation system be beneficial in some areas?

Spring is the second best time to plant (the best being Autumn) as the soils warms up after winter, but before we get full summer heat (Link to Preparation for Planting). Once you have weeded and mulched an area, plant your plants and water in well. Deep water plants at least weekly. Check plants well, especially over their first summer.

This season is also a good time to consider putting in a frog bog, small water areas in your garden, or large pots for water plants. This will encourage native frogs, insects and lizards to visit/make a home in your garden. There is a great range of indigenous plants that do well in damper areas/water features including: Kidney Weed (Dichondra repens), Native Violet (Viola hederacea), Trailing Pratia (Pratia pedunculata), Swamp Isotome (Isotoma fluviatalis), Native Mint (Mentha australis), Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and a range of sedges and rushes.