It's time to: November
TOP up garden with 5-10cm of mulch. Acid-loving plants such as azaleas, gardenia, blueberries, strawberries, rhododendrons and natives will appreciate mulch made from cypress, pine or conifer trimmings.
DIVIDE cymbidium orchids, leaving three green healthy bulbs and white roots. Cut off all brown roots and leaves. Repot into fresh cymbidium orchid bark, then place pots in the shade for summer.
PREVENT azalea diseases by spraying with Confidor, Conquer or Maxguard.
PREVENT rose pests and diseases with the all-in-one Yates Rose Gun. This product can also be used on other ornamental flowers.
TAKE hardwood cutting of hibiscus, oleander, rosemary, camellia and azalea.
CHECK stone fruit for fruitfly. Either bag fruit or hang traps.
DEADHEAD roses and annuals to lengthen the display.
PLANT dahlias and protect the new shoots from snails.
PLANT summer seedlings as the weather warms. Melbourne Cup Day is a good reminder.
ENJOY the peonies. These lovely blooms are easy to grow in climates with a winter cold enough for tulips. Plant in April in rich soil. Plants die back in winter and are best left looking a bit untidy until early spring when dead bits can be trimmed from above the new shoots.
COLOUR up with amaranthus, gomphrena, salvia, zinnia and petunia.
CUT back foliage of freesia, ixia and babiana.
PRUNE dead stems from passionfruit vines.
BRING indoor plants into the light (not sun) and flush with water to remove mineral salt build up that burns the leaf tips. Take them back inside after a good rain.
SOW a green-manure crop in fallow vegetable beds.
When you have 10 minutes
Sprinkle basil seeds over top quality potting mix in a pot and place in a sunny spot outside the back door. Keep well-watered for a delicious supply of leaves well into next autumn. Basil leaves go with tomato, boccocini, prosciutto and pasta.