The cooler winter months bring a reprieve from the hot Queensland sun and provides an opportunity for homeowners and keen gardeners to venture outside and commence those garden projects or simply just relax in a beautiful outdoor space.
Mark Sorby, CEO of Landscape Queensland, the landscaping industry peak body, says “There’s a number of important things homeowners can do to get their gardens into top shape in readiness for the cooler months.” And, even for the most novice of gardeners and green thumbs, unlocking your garden’s potential is easier and cheaper than you think. “It’s amazing to see the results after basic fertilising,” says Mark. “The garden is transformed and plants that have stagnated for years start to thrive. Leaves become lush and green and plants start to flower with bigger yields and more often.”
It also pays to use the cooler months to consider all the ways in which you can begin to tidy up and transform your outdoor zones in preparation for the summer season ahead.
10 top tips for making the most of the winter garden from Landscape Queensland:
1. Give a little love
Autumn is the perfect time to be fertilising your lawn to build up a healthy root system before winter sets in. Use a low nitrogen fertiliser to strengthen grass, rather than promote excess growth. When mowing, leave lawns a little longer than usual. Raise mower height to 30 – 40mm.
2. Save water
As the weather cools it’s best to reduce the amount of watering of plants and turf.
3. New life
Plant your new bulbs when the weather cools. Lift and divide clumps of bulbs and pre-annuals – Agapanthus, Ginger, Hippeastrums, Spider lilies, and Cannas are brilliant for the cooler seasons.
4. Tidy up
Prune plants that have become overgrown in the summer including roses and fruit trees – prune to shape and remove deadwood in deciduous trees and shrubs and remove citrus gall wasp lumps.
5. Mucho mulching
Mulch all garden areas and apply compost and fertiliser to the entire garden. Use a complete fertiliser including trace elements. This will protect roots from cold and frost, reduce evaporation, increase soil moisture and suppress weeds.
6. Inside out
Repot any indoor plants or hanging baskets and fertilise.
7. Pest control
Keep your eyes peeled for any sign of pests and treat as soon as possible.
8. Start afresh
Don’t forget that winter is a great time to establish new lawns and gardens in South East Queensland due to the milder temperatures.
9. Pool party plans
Plan pool repairs or begin construction of new pools ready for summer.
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10. Clean up
Clean out leaves and organic matter from drains, grates, sediment traps and gutters.
For larger jobs consider contacting a Landscape Queensland Member through landscapequeensland.com.au who can give you the right advice and help you transform your backyard into an easily maintained, liveable space which adds value to your home and improves your family’s lifestyle.