Melbourne’s weather has been unseasonably warm for this time of year which makes it ideal for tackling some of those much needed gardening tasks that you might have been delaying. And, the good news is you may even get some incidental exercise which makes you feel good too.
Your potted plants are the most vulnerable to cold and frost during these months and if you haven’t already, consider shifting them to more protected areas in your yard or balcony. Some plants will have become overgrown and will need to be transferred to bigger containers to counteract root strain. We normally get good rain during June, you can ease off on of watering your potted plants.
Good gardening practices should apply all year and it’s especially important to apply these habits during winter as come spring, your plants will begin drawing lots of nutrients from the soil to make way for new growth.
If your soil is showing signs of poor drainage, grab a pitch fork to aerate the soil structure a little. If you have a heavy clay soil, add gypsum to improve drainage.
All soils can benefit from mulch so be generous when adding it to the top of your soil which will act as a warm blanket, helping to trap moisture and prevent dehydration when a cold snaps hits.
What to plant and sow during the winter months
Winter is the best time to start dividing plants that have grown too large, and now is the best season to plant anything bare-rooted.
It may seem counter intuitive but there’s abundant winter vegetables to choose from that can still be planted now, and if you’re willing to wait they will flourish in the months to come.
- lettuces, spring onions, radish, beetroot and peas
- broad beans, cauliflower, spinach, Brussels sprouts and turnips are all frost resistant but you will need to wait for spring to harvest broad beans, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower
- Savoy cabbage grows during the chillier months and once producing is highly nutritious and an excellent source of Vitamin C.
Adding a splash of colour
If you need a lift from the winter blues why not add some colour to your garden which will spark the imagination and add vibrancy to your landscape. Winter annuals generally begin flowering in June and July and will continue all the way through to spring.
Aussie natives will also grow best being planted at this time of year, consider growing Grevillea ‘Fire Cracker’ and Grevillea ‘Deuagold’ which will add a burst of colour to any garden.