It's time to: August
Cut back citrus after the harvest. Trees are revitalized by a heavy prune. Fertilise as the days warm up.
Shape gardenias before they form buds.
Prune your citrus now, but start by pruning off all the fruit! Photo - Luisa Brimble
Clean out the garden shed – anything broken, past its use-by date, or unrecognisable needs to go.
Add fallen camellia blooms to the compost heap, or use as a mulch straight onto the garden bed.
Control snails and slugs now so they don’t ravage upcoming spring growth.
Remove the first buds from spring-flowering seedlings to strengthen them.
Tidy straggly herbs such as oregano by trimming back to ground level.
Control bindii in lawn before it can set seed.
Prune hibiscus, then fertilise and water generously.
Spread the contents of the compost bin, and start over.
Divide moses-in-the Cradle (Rhoeo) now.
Remove tired old canes from ginger and heliconia clumps. Cut to ground level.
Cut back bougainvillea after flowering and give it a boost with some dolomite lime.
Cut back mussaendas by about a half.
When you have 10 minutes
Spray azaleas against petal blight. Yates’ new safe replacement for Bayleton is now available. Zaleton is a combination of two fungicides that together are effecting in preventing petal blight, as well as powdery mildew on some other plants. To avoid petal blight turning blooms to a sorry, soggy mess, spray while the buds are still tightly furled but showing just a glimpse of colour.
Mass plantings of summer-flowering bulbs such as gloriosa, jacobean lilly, hippeastrums and pineapple lilies are a wonderful welcome to warmer weather. Order and plant now to thrill to their brilliance when the heat is on. As with all bulbs, ensure they are planted the right way up, at a depth that corresponds with the size of the bulb species. Hippeastrums need their necks exposed above the soil. They are all suitable for planting in garden beds or pots if space is limited.
Pineapple lily. Photo - Linda Ross
Search these catalogues for beautiful bulbs: www.gardenexpress.com.au; www.broersenbulbs.com.au; www.vogelvry.com.au.