Hot Zone

What to do in the garden

July

In the depth of winter an easy splash of colour can be achieved by mass planting the pink and white everlastings Rhodanthe chlorocephala ssp directly into the garden or into pots.

If you have a deciduous fruit tree, ornamental flowering tree, a grape vine or a deciduous vine like wisteria in the wrong spot, this is the month to move them. Take as much soil as is possible to minimise root disturbance and transplant shock.

Sharpen the secateurs for pruning most deciduous plants now, although leave spring flowering prunus until flowering is complete. Chinese mulberry should be pruned immediately after they lose their leaves as they quickly reshoot. When pruning grapes, establish whether you need to spur (cut back to old wood like in vineyards) or cane prune (allow new canes to be trained out and then these will reshoot. Incorrect pruning can unknowingly be detrimental to next season's crop.

Prune roses mid-month and follow up with an oil application to clean up mite, scale, mealy bug and with any previous fungal diseases apply a copper or sulphur spray. Fertilise roses once pruning is completed to promote healthy spring growth and wonderful floral displays in October and November.

Commence preparing beds for spring plantings introducing lots of compost and organic manures into the soil. Turn and water once a week to stimulate activity. The bed should be left for 8 - 12 weeks before replanting. Planting too soon can actually result in poor growth and disappointing results.

Chip young winter weeds weekly to keep them under control, mulch bare areas to limit weed seed germination and treat bindii and clover in lawns before they set seed and the problem is compounded, remembering one year's seeds equals seven years weeds.

The winter vegetable garden should be at its peak now in terms of production. Continue planting masses of coriander, rocket and fast growing Asian greens, for an abundant harvest - they love the cooler months. 

Geoff Miers

Alice Springs, NT

Seeds to Sow Now

Seeds to sow now if you live in areas like Geraldton, Warburton, Mt Isa and Longreach or places where there are 39 weeks a year or more with temperatures over 15°C

FOR A FULL LIST OF SEEDS TO SOW NOW IN THE HOT ZONE CLICK HERE

Sow now

Asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, celery, celtuce, chervil, chilli, chives, coriander, corn, dill, kale, lettuce, mint, onion, parsley, parsnip, peas, radish, silverbeet, spinach (NZ), spring onion, thyme. 

If you would like to add this seasons seeds to your shopping cart automatically, CLICK HERE

More >>

Things to do in December

Tidy up berry canes

Cane fruits need to be well managed. If not, they will make an unruly mess in the garden and the fruit will be harder to pick. They will be growing rapidly now, so weave or tie wayward canes back into their trellis system

Protect young fruit

Fruits like nectarines, almonds, peaches and cherries will be forming now. Netting trees now will save fruits from birds, who have a knack of feeding on fruit crops before we do!

Look after your pot plants

The sun is beginning to have more of a kick to it now and plants growing in containers can be more susceptible to heat damage than those in the ground. Move any plants that dislike full sun into a semi shaded position to keep them going over summer.

Things to do in January

Summer pruning of fruit trees

Start to think about pruning fruit trees after you have harvested the fruit. Pruning at this time of year will restrict the growth of the tree, making it the ideal time to prune espaliered fruits. 

Give fruit trees a good, deep water

If it's been a dry summer, give your fruit trees a good, deep water once a week. This is better than a daily, light water than will only reach roots close to the surface. It will also prevent fruit from splitting. 

Fill up the bird baths

It is not just plants that need a drink over summer! Keep bird baths topped up to help the wildlife cool down. Birds will love having a splash around and it is delightful to watch. 

Vegetable Growing Tips

Starting a vegetable garden

- Choose an area that gets full sun and is not too far away from your house. The mid-winter dash to the vegie patch will be easier! 

- A good, healthy soil is the foundation to success so focus on improving the soil before you do any plantings. 

- Know what to sow, when to sow and how. Every vegetable seed has its own growing requirements. We offer a beautiful heirloom Seed Sowing Guide here and a 2018 Gardeners Diary with space for seed packets, garden plans and notes here.

How to sow seeds

How to improve your soil

Back To Top
Member Exclusives