Winter Months Planting Guide
In warmer regions you can still plant your Spring flowering bulbs, such as Daffodils, Crocus, Freesias, Hyacinths, Jonquils, Dutch Irises, Ranunculi and Tulips. However, as the Spring flowering bulb season winds down, it may become more difficult to find these bulbs in stores. The bulbs that are now in peak season are Summer-flowering varieties such as Agapanthus, Alstroemerias, Bearded Iris, Canna Lilies, Gladioli, Asiatic Lilies and Lily of the Valley. Get in early to ensure you can find your Summer flowering favourites.
Produce bulbs are also in peak season now, and varieties to plant include Asparagus, Garlic, Rhubarb, Potatoes, Shallots and Strawberries. If you have a large space to fill, why not try growing Jerusalem Artichokes. They are very easy to grow and will thrive in most conditions with very little care. They produce an abundance of tasty roots that can be eaten like a potato or added to soups and stews for a creamy texture and nutty flavour. Bulbs need little care and attention, but always ensure they have adequate drainage for best performance.
Continue making sowings of Winter vegetable seeds; Broad Beans, Cabbage, Spinach, Lettuce, Onion and Peas are suitable for planting in almost all areas now. In tropical regions you can also plant Beans, Beetroot, Broccoli, Carrot, Eggplant, Parsnip, Radish, Silverbeet, Spring Onion and Tomato.
Transplant deciduous ornamental and fruiting trees, shrubs and vines while they are dormant. Retain as much of the root system as possible, and cut any roughly severed roots cleanly with secateurs. Have the new planting position ready in advance to prevent the roots drying out while being moved.
Continue to plant Summer-flowering bulbs such as Agapanthus, Alstroemerias, Bearded Iris, Canna Lilies, Gladioli, Asiatic Lilies and Lily of the Valley. Produce bulbs are also still in season, including Asparagus, Garlic, Rhubarb, Potatoes, Shallots and Strawberries. Bulbs need little care and attention, but always ensure they have adequate drainage for best performance.
Right now the crops that are giving quickest returns are radish and lettuce, but even in cool temperate regions you can still sow many herbs and vegetables such as cabbage, carrot, celery, peas, parsley and broad beans. Now is also a great time to sow members of the onion family, who love the cooler conditions. The easiest to grow are chives, spring onion and garlic chives. Plant in a sheltered spot that receives good sun.
In warmer regions now is the best time to start your tomato seeds to establish an early crop and maximize yields before Summer temperatures climb above 36 Celsius and cause a lack of fruit set. However, whatever climate you live in, you can get an early start to Spring planting season by starting your seeds in a Jiffy Peat Pellet Greenhouse. When Spring arrives, plant the pellet and all in the garden. This will avoid transplantation shock, resulting in quicker establishment of the plant and earlier harvest!
We are heading into the last month of winter and if you have an area in your gardening that is bare and eagerly awaiting your spring planting then now is the time to apply your favourite fertiliser and a good layer of mulch. If you still have some leafy crops such as winter lettuce, giving these a liquid feed will kick them along nicely as well.
In the cool areas you can get a head start on your Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Capsicums and even Eggplants by using seedling trays or our Jiffy Peat Pellets/Peat Pots and placing these in spot where they will be well protected and receive a lot of sunlight to keep them warm. Not only can you get your vegetables under way you can also start your flower seeds such as Marigold, Petunia, Californian Poppy and also Cosmos.
If you are lucky enough to live in a tropical area now would be a great time to sow watermelons, rockmelons, zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers, beetroot, watercress, rosemary and thyme. You can also sow Jerusalem artichoke, potatoes and radish directly into your soil.
There is a lovely range of bulbs that are great for planting during August such as Calla Lilies, Dahlia, Oriental Lilies, Hippeastrum and Water Lilies. Make sure to dig the soil over well and mix in fertiliser and organic material such as compost. As your spring flowering bulbs such as Jonquils and Hyacinths start to die off make sure you remove the dead heads leaving only the leaves and stem. Leaving the foliage intact ensures that your bulbs get all the nutrients they need to flower again for you next year.