6 things you need to do in the garden this weekend

After a very slow start to Spring in Perth, which saw us wearing winter clothes in October (!) Brrr…..The birds are tweeting and the froggies are calling and we finally have some glorious sunshine and warmer days.

The nights are still cool and the plants are just loving it. I love the purple haze of the jacaranda trees scattered through the older suburbs at this time of the year. It tells me that Summer is just around the corner.

Here are some things to get your family involved with, in your garden this weekend.

  1.  Deadhead your roses and flowering plants: I must confess that I pruned everything very late this year (in August) and as a result have been getting lots of healthy blooms but I will be wanting my garden to be looking a picture for Christmas and late December early January entertaining so I will be sacrificing some of those blooms and chop, chopping and trim, trimming so that my garden will be in full flower for Christmas day

    Rose ‘Veilchenblau’

    David Austin ‘Jubilee Celebration’

    Rose ‘Spiced Coffee” a new addition to our garden

  2.  Fertilise your plants: A sudden surge in growth in the past few weeks means that many of the plants will be very grateful if you apply some fertiliser right now. I give mine some mature compost and a liquid feed with a seaweed solution and a liquid fertiliser. Work your way around the garden with a watering can and the bottle of fertiliser and everything will be very happy through the summer months. I also use a granular fertiliser just for the roses for that extra boost.

    Your pelargoniums will love some liquid fertiliser

  3. Use a wetting agent: Our sandy soils need lots of help and a wetting agent will help keep the water right at the root zone of your plants rather than just passing them by on the way through! You can use a liquid or a granular wetting agent, whichever you choose, make sure that it’s a frog friendly wetting agent and that you water it in well to activate it.
  4. Plant out some annuals: Nothing quite says spring like some new plants for your garden, change out your pots, add some annual colour to a corner of the garden that’s looking a little tired. Potted colour and annuals are a very inexpensive way to give the garden that little extra pizazz.

    Cotinus…I love the colour that this brings to my Spring garden

  5. Check your reticulation system: How long is it since you’ve changed the battery on your reticulation system? It might be worth checking that. Also, turn the system on and have a look at it while it’s running, is every sprayer working? It’s a good idea to trim the lawn away from the sprinkler heads to allow them to pop up freely. Make sure that your system is only coming on during your allocated days. Hand water whenever required.
  6. Mulch your garden: It’s time to lay down some lupin mulch or some woodchips, this is really a personal choice but whatever you choose, your plants will Thank you.

    Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’ one of my all-time favourite plants flowers beautifully at this time of the year

     

No need to “over-winter” potted plants Down Under

Unlike our Northern Hemisphere garden friends we are so lucky here in Perth that we don’t need to over-winter our potted plants, we don’t need to bring all our pot plants in out of the snow and cold weather. In some places, they go to a lot of trouble for garden specimens and potted plants.

Aeonium

Aeonium

My horti friends from the USA describe this as a huge undertaking every year as they gather many of their garden treasures and bag them up or bring them undercover or wrap them in paper and straw to prevent them from freezing. Many are kept indoors to survive the cold winter. For many, It’s a part of their annual gardening programme.

Stunning foliage

Stunning foliage

 

That said, the unseasonal heavy rain we have experienced these past few weeks and the fact that the mornings are getting a little cooler and Autumn not that far away has got me thinking that every year I do change my pots around and bring my succulents under cover so that they don’t get too wet during Autumn and Winter.

Check out these beauties, they're under cover for the winter

Check out these beauties, they’re under cover for the winter

 

This morning I did just that and it was a good opportunity to check out what’s going on with my pots and tidy them up a bit.

Bring out the scissors, this ugly leaf is coming off

Bring out the scissors, this ugly leaf is coming off

 

Some of the leaves underneath were dry and needed to be removed and some were a little damp after the rain. Just a little TLC will reap big rewards.thumb_IMG_3492_1024

It’s really easy, just have a close look at your potted succulents are the leaves a little dry or maybe a little soggy? Give them a tug and they should pull away from the main stem easily.

Looks what's under there...dead leaves ready to be plucked

Looks what’s under there…dead leaves ready to be plucked

 

Stick your finger into the pot. Is it feeling wet in there?

 

Mine were way too wet and so I have brought them in under cover and rearranged my alfresco area to accommodate them. Now we can see them and enjoy the beautiful blooms as well as keep an eye on them to make sure that they are getting just the right amount of water.

This pot is a little to wet how cute is this Crassula Portulacea but it's a bit liek Shrek in the swamp and needs to dry out a bit

This pot is a little too wet. How cute is this Crassula Portulacea but it’s a bit like Shrek in the swamp and needs to dry out a bit

 

Succulents really only need water once every two weeks. I’ve also given mine a little slow-release fertiliser just to show them how much I care.

Pretty from every angle

Pretty from every angle

 

Try the finger test. If it feels cool and wet, hold off on the water.  I’ve also given mine a little slow release fertiliser. They are amazingly resilient plants which will reward you year after year…and yes you can leave them out in the winter rain but it is nice to bring them in a little closer so that you can enjoy them without getting wet!