It's Time To: December
Balmy weather stretches day into night so we only need come in from the garden when hunger strikes.
Flowering Gum with a little visitor. Photo - Jun Zhang / Shutterstock.com
Take in the Christmas reds of the Australian bush in the Illawarra flame tree, NSW Christmas bush and of course the show-stopping flowering gums.
Ensure mulch on garden beds is 5cm thick to insulate the soil and conserve moisture - you know the drill! Top up before summer heat peaks and, as always, keep mulch a few centimetres clear of trunks and stems. Where soil is bare add a layer of wet newspaper before mulching to keep weeds down.
Raise the mower blades to the highest cutting setting. This will help achieve the optimal ratio of lawn roots to lawn shoots to keep it green and healthy over summer.
Clear garden debris away from the house and ensure gutters are cleaned to reduce bush fire risk.
Use soil-wetting agents (not crystals) and water them in well to ensure that irrigation and summer rain penetrates deeply and doesn’t just run off the surface.
Consider using a protective film spray such as Yates DroughtShieldon new seedlings and plants, to protect them from heat, sunburn and drying winds. One spray gives protection for three months.
Take care of yourself as well as the garden – wear a hat, slop on the sunscreen and drink plenty of water while working in the garden.
Pop in cosmos, zinnia, lupin and extra petunia seeds, plus some verbena seedlings for long-lasting colour.
Roll up the hose when it’s not in use and store it in the shade to lengthen its life. We like burying a retractable hose in the garden for maximum disguise.