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It's time to: August

Get ready, spring will be here before we know it.

It's time to get the last of those last-minute winter jobs done.


Star of the late-winter season, Magnolia denudata



Oh, the elegant, sculptured blooms of magnolias! Surely there’s room for one in the garden!



Spread compost and cow manure mulch on all garden beds and under trees to gently feed plants and encourage worms and beneficial soil microbes.

Boost hungry fruiting plants, especially citrus trees, with a dose of specialised fertiliser to promote new growth and abundant harvests.



Get the jump on summer tomatoes by sowing seeds into small pots or trays filled with seed-raising mix. Place these on a sunny windowsill indoors and keep just moist.

Sow seeds of long-lasting summer flowers including petunias, zinnia, portulaca, nasturtium and cosmos, directly into sunny garden beds. Cover with seed-raising mix and keep moist.



Ornamental grasses, such as pennisetum, miscanthus and lomandra should be cut back hard. Bunch the tops, tie into a ponytail then shear off close to ground level using a long knife, saw blade or a chain saw.

Trim leggy gardenia, hibiscus, plumbago and murraya to shape and apply controlled release fertiliser. They’ll respond quickly as the weather warms.



As flowers fade, divide and repot cymbidium orchids into fresh orchid bark. Look forward to more lovely blooms next year.


Treat lawns for bindii using a selective bindii spray, or remove these ferny-leafed weeds by hand before they set flowers and barbed seeds.

About this article

Author: Elizabeth Swane