My own garden is often neglected during the colder months, not because I don’t care, but because it’s usually dark by the time I get home.
The weekend is when I get a good look at the garden and see what needs to be done.
Even though the nights are cold the days are often sunny and rather pleasant, so this is when you need to be in the garden getting your jobs done.
Plant your fruit trees and deciduous trees now. If you like roses, now is a great time to choose, buy and plant them.
Your vegetable garden needn’t be neglected just because it’s cold – it’s the perfect time for peas, snow peas, beetroot and lettuce.
For a bit of winter colour don’t forget to pop in a few bedding plants. Now is an ideal time to plant cornflower, pansies, dianthus and alyssum. Make sure you give any freshly planted seedlings a drink of a seaweed fertiliser.
Winter is also a great time to prune. Frost-hardy plants that have finished their flowering can be pruned; the Camellia sasanqua will be ready for shaping as soon as it finishes blooming.
It’s also imperative to keep up with the weeding. Go into the garden whenever the sun is shining and pull weeds for a few minutes.
Winter gardens should have components to tempt or entice you outside. Winter-perfumed specimens are perfect for doing this; Winter Sweet (Chimonanthus praecox) and Daphne odora have the most delightful perfumes. These plants grow well in pots so you can position them in the garden to get the maximum benefit from their aroma.
Never underestimate how nice winter flowering plants can be, a wonderful present for gardeners born in July or August.
Many gardeners are experiencing a fair amount of frost damage and plant deaths because of the cold weather, so maybe our plant choice is not as good as we thought.
Watching programs like Gardening Australia is where many gardeners get their inspiration, but the show’s plant choices aren’t always ideal for Albury/Wodonga; it’s usually for much milder climates.
Many of the plants featured will end up dead from the frost in our region.
Always remember our region is cold, extremely cold, and the frosts we experience night after night will kill many plants; it is imperative that you choose frost-hardy species.
Thinking about studying at Wodonga TAFE? The 2019 Course Guides are available at any Wodonga TAFE office. The Agriculture/Horticulture Department will be running courses in Agribusiness, Conservation and Land Management as well as Certificates in Agriculture and Horticulture.