The current cold snap we are experiencing is just a reminder to us that if you have not put those Spring Bulbs in then there is still time to do it. You can still plant those daffodils, jonquils, snowflakes, tulips, grape hyacinth, schillia and do not forget the Dutch Iris.
It will not be long before we start planting those bare-root trees. Planting bare-root deciduous trees in Winter usually (mid-June) whilst the tree is dormant is the perfect time. If you have ordered Bare-Root Trees and this is the most economical way to purchase advanced deciduous ornamental and fruit trees then you need to have the ground prepared and the holes dug prior to the arrival of the trees. You need to dig a considerable hole depending on the size of the tree that you have purchased. I find that with a heavy clay soil it is also beneficial to build the soil up if possible. Place a good soil mix such as Organic Garden Mix in the bottom of the hole along with some water crystals which will swell with the addition of water to keep the roots moist. It is suggested that you trim and prune out any broken roots, as clean cuts heal faster than ragged edges. Don’t worry, dormant trees are not easily damaged. Avoid adding fertilizer around the roots as some fertilizers can burn the roots. Firmly pack the soil in around the roots ensuring that you have kept the bud union above the soil, which is the case for most trees except for Lilacs which require the bud union to be planted beneath the soil level. Make a small depression or well around the tree to direct water to the root zone. Spread a handful of a complete fertilizer around the tree, then add the water to get rid of air pockets and disperse the fertilizer. Finally, prune the branches according to the instructions on the label. Cut to an outward facing bud. This is the first step to creating a well shaped tree. Pruning the tree helps restore the balance between the top of the tree and root system, a proportion of which is lost when the tree is dug in the nursery. Water your tree once or twice per week until December. Using a bucket is a good way of making sure an adequate quantity of water is applied. Make sure the water penetrates to the root zone. Mulch is beneficial, but leave a depression near to trunk so the water is not diverted from the root zone. The above method of planting is how any tree should be planted.
In the vegie patch you can be planting Seeds such as Onions, Broad Beans, Carrots, Turnips, Spinach, Silverbeet and Buk Choy.
In the flower garden you can be planting Seeds such as Sweet Peas, Hollyhocks, Cottage Garden Seeds, Alyssum, Aquilegias, Carnations, Dianthus, Delphinium, Stocks, Pansies and Violas.
A new Pittosporum on the market is the No Pruning Pittosporum Hole in One (inset above). This is a great little Hedging plant growing to 80cm in height and 80cm in width. It is a vigorous grower yet stays very compact and round with little to no pruning.
Branching freely from it’s base, it develops a very dense, multi-stemmed shape. It has bright, variegated, mint-green glossy leaves with small inconspicuous chocolate-purple flowers in late spring/early summer.