Winter is usually a time that we all take a bit of break from the garden and relax over a nice coffee or two and watch the footy, read a book or just take it easy. Whilst the work in the garden is reduced there are a few things that we need to do just to keep the garden, lawn and pot plants ticking over until spring comes along.

Roses

The end of July is the perfect time to prune your Roses.

Make sure your secateurs are nice and sharp! Prune about half the height of the bush then take out any dead canes, making sure you cut these off at the base.

Leave any newer canes ensuring you leave room for sunlight to get through and to ensure good circulation of air; this will reduce risk of fungal infection.

Clean up old leaves and petals around the base of the plants, and then you’re done.

Fruit Trees

Now is a good time to prune your deciduous fruit trees to reduce size if you wish to. Most fruit trees start to store nutrient for spring now so feed them up with a complete fertiliser such as Richgro Organic Mega Booster or Richgro Fruit & Citrus Plus fertiliser. Keep an eye out for scale and if it is present apply Richgro Lime Sulfur at the recommended rate.

Lawns

If you applied lawn fertiliser at the end of summer as I suggested in my last blog then there is pretty much no other work to be done on your lawn. If you did not apply fertiliser at the end of summer, don’t do it now as it will not be taken up by the lawn as it is pretty much dormant this time of year, just make sure you give it a good feed early in spring. Keep an eye out for Bindii and broad leaf weeds in your lawn and if you see them treat with Richgro Bindi and Weedkiller for Lawns (including Buffalo Lawns) this will ensure you don’t have any nasty Bindii or weeds come spring time!

Garden

Winter is a good time to mulch your garden, as a good application of mulch will reduce weed growth and keep the soil warm over the cold winter months.

Clean up any general waste and old plant material that may be lying around, this will reduce infestations of slaters, earwigs, snails, slugs and fungal diseases

An application Sulphate of Potash to your plants is a good idea in winter as this will help build up plant strength which helps the plant resist diseases and will also ensure vibrant flowers and juicy fruit and vegetables in spring.

If you are looking for a  project this winter why not plant a herb garden. Winter is an ideal time to plant garlic, parsley , dill and many other herbs. Try planting in a vertical garden but make sure it is positioned for morning sun and use a good planting mix.

Oh and don’t forget to water your pot plants and hanging baskets, it is easy to forget about them in the depth of winter as you tend to go outside less!

Ever wondered how your neighbour gets such a green healthy lawn all year round, especially in summer when high temperatures and limited water really stress a lawn? Well the answer is pretty simple; a healthy well watered lawn will remain green and strong all year round. It may sound hard to do, but it is not, it’s about routine, and ensuring that what you do, you do effectively.

 

 

There are three key steps to a healthy lawn:

  1. Watering
  2. Feeding
  3. Mowing

Watering

Many people think they are saving water by watering for short periods of time (shallow watering) when in fact they are actually wasting water and killing their lawn!

For example there is no point watering your lawn for 5 – 10 minutes every second day, as all this does is discourage the lawns roots from growing deep into the soil, after all why go looking for water deep in the soil if it is sitting in the top layer of soil?

What happens when you water “shallow” is, as the soil heats up during a hot day the top layer of soil dries out first. As this is where the lawns roots are, there is no water for the lawn, so the lawn becomes stressed or dies and looks horrible and brown.

So the best way to ensure you have a well watered lawn is to water it well, an application of 12mm (1/2inch) of water twice a week should be more than adequate for a lawn in a normal soil type. The amount of time it takes to apply 12mm of water to your lawn depends on your sprinkler system. A good way to measure how much water you put on your lawn is to use a rain gauge or a few straight sided containers placed around your lawn ( not directly under the sprinklers) and measure how long it takes to apply 12mm of water.

When to water

The best time of the day to water is early morning before the heat of the day. Watering at night is not a good idea as this encourages fungal diseases to grow in your lawn!

An application of soil wetter every 6 – 8 weeks will ensure that the water you apply gets down to the roots of the lawn and ensures the soil does not become water repellent. The added benefit of using a soil wetter is that it makes any fertiliser or chemical you apply more readily available to the lawn which in turn saves you time and money!

Feed the lawn regularly

Lawns are very fast growing in summer and need food to remain strong and healthy. Regular feeding, not sporadic infrequent feeding is the key to success. As for watering, regular applications of the correct amount of fertiliser will encourage steady growth and will build up the overall strength of the lawn; this will help the lawn resist disease and cope with the stresses of those very hot summer days.

Apply a good quality lawn food at the end of winter / early spring then every 6 – 8 weeks during the growing season. Then just before winter sets in make sure you apply once more, this will ensure the lawn has sufficient food for the for the winter months.

Mowing

Regular mowing with the catcher on the mower is particularly important; if the lawn is left to grow too long prior to cutting it will suffer stress and look brown and unsightly. How often you mow depends on your lawn and how fast it grows, but typically in summer a lawn should be mown once a week then as required during winter.

Regular mowing encourages strong vigorous growth and discourages the lawn from becoming “thatchy”.

Do not be tempted to take the catcher off your mower, it is important to remove the grass cuttings as if they are left on the lawn they encourage thatch and fungal diseases.

So for a great lawn remember,

  1. Regular “effective” watering
  2. Regular feeding
  3. Regular mowing

are the keys to success!

Colin Barlow – passionate qualified horticulturalist, landscape designer and garden writer – shows us how to grow beautiful, healthy azaleas and how to use Richgro Bug Killa to keep your flowers bug-free for up to six weeks!

Click here to watch episode.

As a professional landscaper Jason Hodges has created many beautiful gardens and lawns using Charlie Carp.

Not only is Charlie Carp good for everything your garden grows, it’s cleaning up the waterways of Australia… now that’s a bonus!

Click here to view the product video with Jason Hodges.

Click here for Charlie Carp Liquid Fertiliser.

Richgro’s Managing Director, Geoff Richards, spoke to Channel 7’s Today Tonight about the amazing new technology which can turn tonnes of food waste into clean energy.

The multi-million dollar facility is set to operate from the Richgro Head Office in Jandakot and it is leading the world in finding a green solution to our global waste problems.

Click here to view the episode.

What do you do when you need a product that won’t harm your loved plants but get rid of weeds? See how you can protect your plants in a chemical-free way with Trevor Cochrane on the uniquely Western Australian gardening program, Greenfingers. Click here to view.

Nothing is more beautiful than colourful, healthy roses. Learn how to grow some marvellous roses with Colin Barlow on the Home in WA program. Click to view.

What do you do when bugs take over your plants? See how you can protect your plants in a chemical-free way with Trevor Cochrane on the uniquely Western Australian gardening program, Greenfingers. Click here to view.

Mega Boost your organic garden and grow some wonderful tomatoes with Richgro’s new Mega Booster Organic Tomato, Vegetable and Herb Fertiliser. The product was featured on The West Real Estate Program. Click here to view episode.