It's time to: September
Football finals time is a reminder that it’s time to get tomatoes in the ground. Photo - shebeko / shutterstock
Prune hibiscus, poinsettias and oleanders. They can be cut back hard before they burst into growth. Water well and mulch with compost or manure after pruning.
Continue deadheading spent flowers to extend the life of spring annuals. Apply liquid fertiliser regularly to keep plants growing strongly.
Plant vegetables in the kitchen garden. Sequential plantings of lettuces will ensure they don’t all mature at once.
Spend some time aerating the lawn with a garden fork, then apply complete lawn food such as Scotts Lawn Builder.
Warmer weather will encourage annual weeds to germinate. Control before they have a chance to flower: dig them up with a garden fork or pour boiling water on weeds in paving joins.
Football finals time is a reminder that it’s time to get tomatoes in the ground. Experiment with new varieties such as ‘Tomatoberry’, or explore the world of flavoursome heirloom tomatoes. ‘Green Zebra’ and ‘Tigerella’ are top choices.
Prune off psyllid affected growth on lillypillies. Damaged leaves appear lumpy and deformed. If necessary spray with a low-toxic systemic insecticide like Confidor.
If you forgot to put spring flowering bulbs like hyacinths and tulips in the ground in autumn, buy them in full bloom in pots from your local garden centre. They’ll last well in Melbourne’s cool early spring. It’s a more expensive option, but if you plunge them into the garden and hide the pot we won’t tell!
When you have an hour
Get your alfresco entertaining area looking good: apply Wet & Forget to any areas of paving or to seating that has become mildewed over winter, replace cushions that are past their prime and check that the shade umbrella and the barbecue are serviceable. Consider planting perfumed plants close by – gardenias, for example, or an exotic moon vine, Ipomoeia alba, and assess your potted plant collection with a critical eye. Is it time for an update?