Get Ready, Spring is Just Around the Corner

It’s an exciting time to plant and prepare the garden for spring. Many plants are entering their spring growth cycle and budding up ready for an explosion of spring growth and blossom.

What To Plant Now

Plant Now: Advanced trees, african boxwood, alyssum, anisodontea, arthropodium (new Zealand rock Lily), azaleas, banksias, bottlebrush, buxus, camellia, cineraria, cordylines, correa, coprosma, deciduous ornamental and fruit trees, dianellas, eriostemon (wax flowers), eucalyptus, federation daisies, fox gloves, geraniums, gardenias, gazanias, geraldton wax, grevillea, hakea, hebe, kangaroo paws, lavender, lobelia, nandina, native hibiscus, native violets, ornamental plums, pandorea, pansies, plumbago, polygala, roses, scaevola, salvia, society garlic, (lilly pillies), succulents, tea trees, topiary specimens, viola, viburnum and westringia.

Plant Now In your Edible Garden: Artichoke, asparagus, beetroot, blueberries, bok choy, broccoli, beans (climbing & bush), cabbage, carrot, celeriac, celery, chicory, chives, citrus trees, coriander, climbing beans, deciduous fruit trees such as apples, pears, plums etc, endive, fennel, figs, kale, leeks, lettuce, marjoram, mint, mizuna, mustard greens, olives, onions, oregano, pak choy, parsley, potatoes, radish, rhubarb, rocket, rosemary, sage, silverbeet, snow peas, spring onions, spinach, strawberries, swedes, tarragon, thyme, and turnips.

What’s In Flower This Month: Abutilon, almonds, aloes, alyogyne (native hibiscus), alyssum, arctotis, bacopa, banksia, begonia, bidens, camellia japonica & sasanqua, correa, crown of thorns (euphorbia), cuphea, cyclamen, cymbidium orchids, dianthus, eremophila, erica, erythrina indica (coral tree), federation daisies, felicia amelloides, gazania, geraldton wax, geranium, grevillea, hakea, indian hawthorns, kangaroo paws, kalanchoe, lavender, lobelia, marigold, ozothamnus, native wisteria, pansies, perennial statice, polygala, pyrostegia (orange trumpet vine) potato jasmine, primula, rosemary, salvia, scaevola, society garlic, thyrptomene, viburnum, viola, violets, wall flower, wattles and westringia.

Garden Jobs for August

1. Prevent Peach Curly Leaf – Spraying to prevent peach leaf Curl disease is essential if you are growing fruiting Peaches, Nectarines or Ornamental Peaches. Spray trees thoroughly with Yates Liquid Copper or Fungus Fighter. If you have time spray once now and again at the early bud swell time.

2. Rose Pruning – Don’t panic! Theres’s still time to prune your roses. Don’t be afraid to have a go. Pruning is always an invigorating process for roses. Hybrid tea roses, miniatures and floribunda roses can simply be cut back to half their original height, using secateurs, loppers or hedge shears. Aim to have pruning finished by mid-late August.

3. Protect Plants From Snail And Slug Attack – After good recent rains, snails and slugs are having a field day. So it’s essential to protect new seedling plantings. The best defense is a light sprinkle of a quality snail bait like Multiguard Snail & Slug Killer.

4. Spray Grapes To Protect Against Blister Mite – Spray dormant grape vines with Lime Sulphur to protect against grape vine blister mite. It’s a good insurance policy to protect your vines. Grape blister mite becomes evident later in the season when ugly, raised pimple like blemishes start to appear on the leaves. Below each pimple is a mealy looking, colony of blister mites.

5. Plant Asparagus Crowns – Be quick for our WA sourced Asparagus Crowns. Asparagus crowns should be planted as soon as possible after purchase.  Prior to planting improve the soil by blending in plenty of Dawson’s Soil Improver to at least a spades depth. Add a sprinkle of Dawson’s All Purpose Fertiliser or Eco Prime Garden.  Dig a trench 30-40cm deep and 30cm wide, then lay a 10-15cm layer of Dawson’s soil Improver and Cover this layer with a 5-10cm layer of improved soil. Then make a mound of soil along the centre of the trench. Crowns are planted top of the mound with roots spread out either side (the crowns should be placed so that they are about 10cm below the surface soil). Cover the crowns with about 5cm of soil, then gradually fill to soil level as the plant grows. Dawson’s also supplies potted Asparagus plant year round.

August Planting Guide

1. Blue Heeler – This amazing prostrate form of WA Native Hibiscus was developed by Kings Park’s plant breeding program. Blue Heeler is a prostrate shrub with showy, single, purple flowers. Flowering is mainly over spring and summer with some spot flowering in autumn. The plant has a low, mounded, spreading habit growing to just 30cm high and with a spread of up to 1m. It is tolerant to drought, frost and coastal conditions. Use Blue Heeler in full sun positions in native gardens, flower beds, verges or embankments, it can also be grown in pots. Plants respond well to a light trim after the main flowering period.

2. Grevillea Hill’s Jubilee – A wonderful new variety with profuse pink and white flowers over late winter-autumn. This bird attracting, small shrub grows to 1-1.5m high and to 1m wide. It is frost hardy and best grown in full sun positions or pots. It can also be trimmed and used as a low hedge. It was selected by the Hills Grammar School, Sydney, to celebrate their 25th Jubilee year.

3. Federation Daisies – These modern forms of the ever popular Marguerite Daisies, are amongst the most stunning plants in the late winter and spring flower garden. Federation Daises are “flower machines” with a super long flowering period. This combined with their easy growing, compact growth habit makes them a must for any garden. They are very versatile really looking the part in feature pots, or planted in flower beds. The flowers make a great addition to mixed bunches. Federation daisies are best grown in full sun to semi shaded conditions. Maintain form and vigour by light trimming several times a year. Try colourful varieties including; Sublime Pink, Sunday Best, Sunny Days, Super Duper and Superior Purple.

4. Strawberry Chandler – Our new season potted strawberries are ready! This season our main variety is Chandler. This is a high yielding variety with large conical to wedge shaped fruits, with exceptional flavor. It is very popular in California where it was specifically bred for the mild climate of southern California, it is also well suited to Perth. Main fruiting period is spring to early summer. Plant your own strawberry bed, or grow in pots and hanging baskets.

5. Kangaroo Paws – Get the jump on spring gardening with Bush Gem Kangaroo Paws. These modern Kangaroo Paws really are performance plants ideal for bedding, mass planting and also grow to perfection in pots. Flowering for much of the year, Bush Gems also provide plenty of cut flowers for the home. Feed with native slow (controlled release) fertiliser in spring and again in autumn. Kangaroo Paws are drought tolerant once established and best grown in full sun positions. So bring the colours of Australia to your garden with easy growing varieties including; Bush Bonanza (gold), Bush Dance (traditional red and green), Bush Elegance (burgundy) and Bush Pearl (candy pink).

5. Double Grafted Cherry Minnie Royal/ Royal Lee – These multi grafted Cherry trees are grafted with a cross pollinating pair of low chill varieties, Minnie Royal and Royal Lee. These varieties were developed in America specifically for growing in warm temperate and mild winter climates. They have estimated winter chill requirements of only *200-300 hours, so they are well suited to growing in Perth. Minnie Royal has rounded, juicy, red fruit and Royal Lee with rounded to heart shaped fruit. Both varieties have red to dark red skin with red flesh and mature in early December. * Chill hours refers to the cumulative number of hours below 7 ºC recorded over a winter period.

6. Pomegranate Mollar de Elche – Grow your own superfood! Pomegranates are one of the hardiest fruit trees, performing wonderfully well in much of WA’s Mediterranean climate. Pomegranates grow into bush shrubs to around 3m high and wide. Mollar de Elche is a Spanish variety originally from Valencia. It has rounded fruit that develops a deep red blush near maturity. Filled with delicious, sweet, arils (juice sacks). Used for juicing, marinades or salads. Showy orange-red blossom over spring, fruit matures late autumn-early winter.

7. Ozothamnus Radiance – This long flowering native daisy really is a bloomin’ marvel! It virtually flowers all year, throwing up clusters of small, white, paper daises, just right for cutting and floral arrangements. Radiance is a very easy and rewarding plant to grow. It’s tolerant to light frosts, drought and coastal conditions. It’s right at home in a mixed shrubbery or flower garden, or use it has a container plant or low flowering hedge. Radiance can grow to 2m in height and to 1m wide and is best grown in full sun positions. Prune lightly to maintain vigour in late autumn.

Feature Roses

Miniature Chameleon Rose – This truly unique miniature rose was bred in Australia by Eric Welsh and released in 1995. An ever changing blend of yellows, reds, pinks and whites giving a fascinating effect. Chameleon Rose has been a firm favourite since its Dawson’s release. It grows to around 60cm in height and is well suited to growing in pots or as a low border. It flowers with great consistency through the season.

Climbing Rose Macartney (Rosa bracteata) – This spring only flowering rose was discovered in China and brought back to England by Lord Macartney in 1798. It is one of the first roses to bloom in late winter-spring each year. It is a large, vigorous spreading shrub come climber. It is often seen scrambling up trees and over fences and sheds. It puts on an incredible, early spring show when it covers itself with great masses of showy single white flowers. Each flower is highlighted by a glowing centre of golden stamens. Where space permits, it is a wonderful seasonal feature in the garden. Use it to spill over embankments, cover sheds, spill over fences or wall. This thorny shrub/climber is also great for security planting along fences and so on. It can be pruned quite heavily after the spring flowering period has passed and regular pruning will help to restrict its size.