I visited Melbourne, Australia recently and as a gardener, what do you think I was noticing?
Gardens and landscaping in the area. So I reached out to an Australian native and asked them if they would like to write a guest post. This post will give you a little insight into gardening in that area during the winter time.
How to Make the Most of Your Melbourne Garden
Melbourne and winter – two things that fit together like a hand in glove.
If you live in Melbourne you’ll either love or hate winter; very rarely if ever will you find someone who is indifferent towards it. No matter what your opinion of winter though, one thing is for sure; your garden loves this time of the year and will love you just as much if you give it the TLC it craves.
Here are six handy tips for a great Melbourne winter garden.
1. Winter is the time to prune!
Got a deciduous tree or two in your backyard? Maybe you’ve got a rose bush in the garden that has grown a little too big. If this sounds all too familiar, then perhaps it’s time to pull out the pruning shears.
Winter is the ideal time for pruning; the lack of foliage on deciduous trees and bushes makes the job easier and allows you to better identify and repair structural problems.
As a general rule it’s best to prune roses during the months of June and July – any earlier and you could potentially impede the possibility of new growth. When pruning your trees, we highly recommend maintaining the natural shape and growth habits.
2. Now’s the time for annuals
Get some color into your garden with a range of beautiful annuals. Whether you opt for pansies, snapdragons, sweet peas or sweet violas, or perhaps a combination of some or all of these flowers, these flowers will introduce a vibrancy and vitality to your garden that you’ll truly appreciate – especially during a grey and gloomy winter.
Winter annuals will typically begin flowering in June / July and last up until September. They’ll make a worthy addition to your garden that friends and family will love.
3. Don’t like the garden arrangement? Re-arrange it!
Here’s a mind blowing idea – if you’re not happy with the way your garden is arranged, or you simply think it’s time to change things up a bit, re-arrange it!
Want to move an evergreen shrub from one end of the garden to the other? Winter is probably the best time to do it. It’s important to get as much of the root as possible when extracting the plant from the soil, and we’d strongly suggest cutting down the leaf canopy for the relocation process.
4. Start preparing for spring
Certain plants and trees typically flower or produce fruit during spring, so the best time to maintain your garden to ensure maximum growth in the warmer months is to get things ready in winter. If you have hydrangeas in your garden, cutting them just above the buds in winter will help them grow beautifully in the spring.
If there are apple or pear trees in your yard, winter is the optimal time to thin out the branches in order to grow better quality fruit in the spring (even if there might be less growth, it’ll certainly be quality over quantity).
5. Update your soil profile
Like humans, plants and trees require quality soil for nourishment and survival. Throughout the warmer months of the year, say from September to April, most plants and trees draw heavily on the nutrients in the soil in order to remain healthy.
This means that over time the soil becomes depleted of those essential nutrients. Therefore we recommend replacing those nutrients during the winter months; infusing the soil with such organic products as mushroom compost, cow manure (for mineral supplement) and Blood & Bone for strong root growth.
6. It’s all about the bare-rooted plants
Throughout winter you’ll find that bare rooted plants and shrubs – plants that have had their soil removed – are quite cheap, simple to grow and easy to come by. They are typically sold during winter because evaporation levels in the air are low and so they have a greater chance of survival. This makes them the ideal winter garden option.
Of course you may want to undertake larger scale tasks to improve your garden – you might need a tree removal service in Melbourne or clear up some storm damage. Whatever the case may be, don’t let the grey and gloom of the Melbourne winter deter you from enjoying your garden. Now is one of the best times to exercise your green thumbs!
About the author:
Stuart Briggs never used to be a keen gardener, but has developed an experienced green thumb in a short space of time. When he’s not getting his hands dirty in the soil, Stuart loves surfing, going for a lengthy run on a cold, brisk morning and taking photographs from some of Melbourne’s most picturesque locations.