August COVID-19 Update

In line with the Victorian Government’s latest direction to prevent the spread of COVID-19, our Campbellfield retail store will be closed from Thursday the 6th of August to all customers except for genuine tradespeople (builders, landscapers, developers, farmers etc).

You can continue to purchase plants from us online via our website, or over the phone on (03) 9359 3331. Our retail store’s customer service staff will switch focus to answering your phone and email inquiries. We will continue to offer our contactless delivery service throughout metro Melbourne and regional zones, as well as posting smaller plants across the East Coast of Australia. In support of all those people doing the right thing and staying at home, we have decided to continue to offer free delivery on all orders over $300 within Metro Melbourne and to most regional Victorian centres, despite the cost to our business.

In the last few weeks we have received an unprecedented number of orders for delivery, but we are confident in continuing to fulfill your orders. There may be some delay as we adjust our business to face these new hurdles, re-deploying staff and managing the change. But we have met the challenges this year has thrown at us so far, and our 6-vehicle fleet will keep doing laps of Victoria from morning to night 7 days a week. We have maintained growing at our own farm in preparation for Spring despite these uncertain times, and we are working closely with dozens of suppliers and small Victorian growers to maintain availability of the broadest possible range of plants.

As the Victorian Government has announced, we can & will also continue to operate a Click & Collect service, allowing you to pick up your plants from our Campbellfield store. If you are picking up from us after Thursday the 6th of August, you will receive special instructions on how to safely do so. However, if you do select this option, please ensure that you are not violating stay at home restrictions by visiting us to collect your plants. Instead, it’s safer to select one of our contactless delivery options.

It is not unusual at the moment for all of our phone lines to be busy with customer inquiries. If you cannot get through to us over the phone on (03) 9654 8655, please email sales@hellohelloplants.com.au for general inquires, to check the availability of any products or to make an order. For an existing order, please email orders@hellohelloplants.com.au.

You can also still get a free Garden Design Consultation and we will be delivering these via video chat (Zoom, Facetime, etc). We have limited places so it’s best to book in advance.

Please be kind to our staff. They all want you to get your plants, and they are working extremely hard to make sure you do so.

Keep calm and garden on Victoria, from all of us at Hello Hello Plants.

August in the garden

Hello Hello, dear gardening friends! August is here and we start yet another exciting month in the garden. We are still getting a few frosty mornings in Melbourne, but the days are getting noticeably longer. This is the last month of cold Winter days, and soon we will be in jumping into the most exciting season: Spring! But before Spring gets here, there is a lot to do in the garden, to get it ready for this magical time of the year!

Right now native plants, Azaleas, and Camellias are reaching the end of their flowering season. Acacias and Hardenbergias are putting on dramatic displays and deciduous trees such as cherries and magnolias have swelling buds that are getting ready to burst open revealing their great unique beauty and delightful fragrance.

Despite the cold, we know how eager you are to get into the garden, but where to start? Here are some things to do in the garden:

Bare Rooted Plants

Now is the best time to get your bare-rooted plants while it is still cold, to give them the best start possible. They will have sufficient time to harden off, get their roots growing in their new spot, and be ready for a Spring explosion of growth and bloom. That includes beautiful weeping cherries, Standard Roses, Ornamental Pears, Mop Tops, and Silver Birches. (Click on the links to view the products)
If you have already purchased and planted your bare root plants, remember to keep it moist. Even though they have no leaves, they still need water to grow a nice root system. If you are still planning to get some bare-rooted plants, here is a practical guide about how to plant them properly. Click here.

• Bare Root fruit trees will be here very soon! In about a week we will have a fantastic selection of apples, pears, apricots, plums, etc. The next two months is the best time to plant them.

Flowers, Bulbs and Seeds

• There are several perennial flowering plants that are just about to flower, that you can easily pop in your garden to give you some beautiful colors.

• Now is a good time to plant spring-flowering bulbs such as Dahlias, Liliums, Lily of the Valley, etc. (We do not sell this in-store yet)

• You can now plant Spring/Summer flowering annuals such as Snapdragons, Hollyhocks, Verbena, and Lupins. You can start sowing Marigold and Petunias in the coming weeks but you will need to provide protection from late-season frosts. Marigolds are also a great companion plant for tomatoes and capsicums, as they deter many pests. (We do not sell seeds in-store yet)

• We have an incredible range of deciduous magnolias in store right now that are about to burst into bloom in the next couple of weeks! Click here to see them.

Fruits

Protect yourself and your family with some extra Vitamin C and natural anti-oxidants by growing and eating fresh fruits right in your garden. If you have limited space, ask us about our dwarf varieties, which are specially developed to stay small but still produce big crops of fruit. Here is what you can grow right now:

Citrus plants. Right now is just perfect for planting citrus. We have a great selection of dwarf and full size trees such as oranges, mandarins, limes and kumquats.

Berries are so yummy and easy to grow. We have lovely varieties of strawberry, blueberry, blackberry and dwarf mulberries.

Stone fruit are about to flower and put on a beautiful show for us before giving us some amazing summer fruit, starting with the lovely pink apricot blooms! We have some amazing varieties right now that are ready to fruit this season and they are on sale right now In-Store Only, from $̶5̶9̶.̶9̶9̶ to Only $29.99. This includes Plum (Angelina, Santarosa, Satsuma), Apricot (Moorpark, Travat), and Pears (Triumph and Beurré Bosc)!

Vegetables & Herbs

• As we still have about a month of cold weather left you can grow lettuce, leek, spinach, peas, rocket, Asian greens, silverbeet, onions, parsley, radish, beetroot, parsnip, broad beans, Jerusalem artichokes and Asparagus.

• You can also grow potatoes although make sure to grow from potato seed and not store-bought ones as they can spread disease in your garden.

• You can still grow winter crops such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower if you already have them in the ground but it is not worth starting them from seed right now or buying small seedlings. Actually, in the next couple of weeks, it would be ideal to harvest them all from your garden to prepare the soil for the Spring and Summer veggies.

Spring/ Summer veggies. If you have a glasshouse you can try your luck at getting an early start with sowing seeds of tomatoes, capsicum, zucchini and eggplants. The seeds can also be germinated on a sunny windowsill indoors and once spring is here you can pop them in the garden for some early crop. (more info about preparing soil below)

• It is always a good time to plant herbs. We have a fantastic variety in store, such as mint, oregano, marjoram, verbena, chamomile, etc

Pruning, Repotting & Weeding

• If you forgot to prune your roses at the end of the last flowering season, you can still do it now, to get them ready for the new spurt of growth in Spring. Make sure to use clean secateurs. Pruning is best done mid to late Winter or early Spring – remember to hold off until the most severe frosts have passed in frost-prone areas.

Apricots are best pruned in Autumn, but you can still do it lightly once they have started flowering, which is right about now, to keep them tidy and manageable. Avoid pruning if your area has late frosts. (Pruning in Winter allows entry of bacterial gummosis in many stone fruit. More about this lower in the article). Other Deciduous fruit trees could also use a fresh trim now!

Winter-flowering natives and non-natives can be pruned back and deadheaded to keep them nice and tidy. It is also a good time to prune back your evergreen trees to encourage new growth this Spring.

• If some of your potted plants have become overcrowded or looking sad, now is a great time to split them up and re-pot them. The sad-looking ones are usually root-bound and could use a light root trimming and potted into a bigger pot perhaps, or the same one with some fresh potting mix. Keep them partly shaded and protected for at least a week, then you can give them a liquid or foliar fertilizer feed. Also remember to remove the dead, damaged, and excessive growth to improve air circulation. Your succulents can be divided up and put into new pots. More plants!! YAY!

Scraggy plants. In their prime, they looked fantastic! But now some plants are not performing well despite being pruned, fertilized, and taken care of. They are prone to disease and put your other healthy plants at risk. They could be old and have dwindling strength. Consider pulling them out and replacing them with something that will perform for you. Remember to rework the soil and let it settle for a week or two before putting a new plant there. If you are unsure if your plant can bounce back, you can always send us a photo of the plant with some details and we will give you some advice.

• Stay on top of the weeds and pull them out as soon as possible, as with the longer days they will start to set seed! And you do not want that to happen, as you will be fighting weeds all Spring and Summer long if they start dropping in your garden.

Soil, Fertilising, and Mulching

• If you have poor soil in your vegetable beds, with a couple of small Winter crops still growing, you could start harvesting and emptying the beds to prepare them for Spring vegetables. Throw in generous amounts of rich compost, manure and blood and bone meal and turn it over to mix it thoroughly. Let it settle for a week or two and it will be perfect for your tomatoes, eggplants, and capsicums during Spring and Summer. It is also a good idea to test the PH of the soil and amend it as necessary. Remember that the PH will change with the new additions so test it at various intervals. The aim is to get a neutral Ph of 6-7, which vegetables thrive in. Sulphur (liquid or pellets) and pine mulch make your soil acidic whereas lime and mushroom compost increases alkalinity.

• Over the winter the microbial activity in your soil is very low because of the cold. In the next couple of weeks, you can prepare some nice compost tea to give it a microbial boost for spring.

• Put some rich compost or well-aged manure around your fruit trees, to give them the well-needed boost for the Summer fruiting season.

• It is best to give some liquid feed to Winter/Spring flowering annuals every two weeks with a complete liquid fertilizer.

• You can put some fresh mulch around your plants to keep weeds at bay. If you are putting mulch for the first time, make sure to choose the right ones as they change the PH of the soil when they break down.

Pests & Disease

There are always pests and diseases lurking around, but we do not see them a whole lot in Winter. Thankfully the cold gets rid of a lot of pests and gives us a nearly pest-free garden until the temperature starts to rise.

Citrus gall wasps emerge in Spring, often timing emergence with the onset of a flush of new growth. You should inspect your citrus trees and prune off of any galls you see. Some extra protection can be given with some wasp traps.

• There are a lot of fungal diseases that can attack your rose plants such as black spot, rust and mildew. If you have noticed any disease in the past, now is a good time to spray them with some organic copper based fungicides.

Leaf curl is mainly a disease of peaches and nectarines, though it may also affect almonds and apricots. It’s caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans and occurs wherever peaches and nectarines are grown. Some symptoms are leaves that are entirely or partially curled, distorted, and are initially pale green in colour before turning red or purple. This will result in fruit that has raised, irregular rough patches, usually red in colour. Such fruit often falls prematurely. You can treat this with commercially available copper or lime-based fungicide sprays just during bud swelling, but before they have opened. Once opened it is too late to spray as the leaves will get damaged.

That’s all Folks!

You probably thought that there was not much to do in the garden at this time of the year, but hopefully, this article has given you some insights and motivation to get a smashing start to Spring! See you next month and happy gardening lovely people 🙂

Gardening August Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Conifer Garden Style: Pines, Cedars and companion plants

Conifers are a versatile and attractive addition to any landscape. They can easily transform an ordinary garden into a modern looking one when planted in the right combination with other plants.

Here are some excellent uses of Conifers:

  1. Privacy – Being evergreen, they make great outdoor privacy screens year-round. You can choose tall-growing ones or dense ones.
  2. Give life to the curb – Conifers provide an easy fix to front yard curbs, where it is sometimes very tricky to give year-round appeal to your entrance or driveway.
  3. Visually excitement – With their dynamic contrast between colours and shapes, they can easily spruce up the garden.
  4. Year-Round garden – Being evergreen, conifers will keep your garden lively and colorful even in a drabby winter.
  5. Colour combinations – Conifers come in various shapes and colours that combine very well with a whole lot of other plants to give a striking contrast or to create emphasis on other plants or also to create harmony.
  6. Architectural interest – From modern homes to Japanese Zen garden styles, you can easily complement the surrounding architecture by choosing the right conifer varieties.

    Talk to Chris to get your Free garden Design over Zoom!

Stunning Garden with a mix of conifers, maples and flowers.

There are several reasons to plant a conifer garden:

  1. They are very low maintenance – Some conifers are usually slow growing and require very little care.
  2. They add structure and shape to the garden – Most conifers with a moderate growth rate are easy to trim and shape as desired.
  3. They tolerate frost – The most prolific plants in cold regions are pines and cedars, so if your area is prone to frost, Conifers are the best choice.
  4. They are drought tolerant – When established, conifers need very little water and will grow beautifully.
  5. They grow in a wide range of soil – For most conifers, slightly acid soil that is loamy and well-drained is ideal. Unless the soil is very compacted or so light and porous that it retains very little moisture, you will not need to add organic matter.
  6. They are sturdy and tolerate windy spots – Unlike trees, pines and cedars are not disturbed or damaged by strong winds.
  7. Part- Shade to Full Sun – They grow just as well in shaded areas and in full sun.

New Stock- Rare Dwarf Grafted varieties

We have just received stock of pines and cedars and they look absolutely gorgeous. These plants are perfect for pots or put right in the garden. They are rare grafted varieties that do not grow too big. They are an essential part of the Japanese/ Zen garden or even modern gardens. You can also plant them as a feature or specimen plant.

Taller Pines

Companion Plants

Here is some inspiration :

July COVID-19 Update

Victoria has gone back into lockdown for 6 weeks.

As previously during the original lock-down period, retail stores can remain open subject to social distancing, which we ask you to follow if you decide to visit us in store, to keep yourself and our staff safe. But we also encourage you to place your order online or over the phone for delivery or collection.

What we learned from the first lock-down is that Victorians love to garden, and they love cheap/free home delivery! Rather than using couriers, our strength has always been in maintaining our own in-house delivery fleet. We were able to continue to provide contact-less deliveries to everyone stuck at home, and we were a little unprepared for the demand the first time around! We thank all our customers who waited patiently to get their plants. We have been delivering 7 days a week since then, and at times our drivers delivered over 100 orders a day around Metro Melbourne, as well as servicing regional and remote Victoria!

The good news is that we learned a lot and have spent this period improving our order fulfillment process and adding more staff to cope with a higher demand. Along with our existing cheap delivery fees, we have decided to continue our offer of Free Delivery for orders over $300 to Metro Melbourne and Victorian regional centres.

We know that gardening is a great way to pass a lock-down, whether it be making your surrounds beautiful or finishing off that project, so we are committed to helping you get your plants. Winter is a great time to plant as there is plenty of rain to keep your plants moist during their first few weeks in the ground. Many plants are dormant or semi-dormant and are quite happy to be transplanted or sold and transported bare rooted. This usually equals a saving cost wise, and your plants are well settled and ready to burst into life come Spring.

Some things to know:

• We are open from 9am to 5pm every day at our store at 1477 Sydney Road Campbellfield until further notice.

• You can visit us in store, but please stay home if you have any symptoms of illness. Maintain social distancing at all times, use the hand sanitizer provided, and be courteous to our staff.

• You can call us to place an order over the phone on (03) 9359 3331, or place your order online via our website.

• You can still get a free Garden Design consultation via video chat (Zoom, Skype etc). Simply complete the preliminary questionnaire and request a Garden Design booking.

• For existing orders, we will contact you the day your order will be delivered, or as soon as it is ready to pick up. To inquire about the progress of an order, please email us at orders@hellohelloplants.com.au

Stay safe and garden on Victoria! And we’ll bring the plants!

Deciduous Magnolias

From the moment you first set eyes on the vivid colours of Magnolias in the collection of Ron Boekel, you won’t be able to rest until you’ve found a spot in your garden for one. The problem then is going to be stopping yourself at just one, because these are some of the most beautiful flowering plants you are ever likely to see.

While they are just as easy to grow at home as the common white varieties seen in nearly every suburban street, the flowers in Ron’s collection are giant, and extremely eye-catching. The best news is that Magnolias are well suited to small gardens, and are an easy to grow large shrub or small tree that can fit into most garden designs without any problems.

Click here to Read more about Magnolias and How to take care of yours!

Dramatic Stock Reduction!

Hello Hello dear gardening friends! At this time of the year, with the end of financial year coming, we have to go through the entire nursery counting our stock. Because of the tax implications of our huge stock holding, and the difficulty in counting it all, our accountants have advised us to dramatically reduce our stock! Hence we are slashing our prices, some up-to 60%!! Come in store, give us a little help and grab a fantastic bargain for your garden!

TOP Bargains!

Click here for even more Specials!

Bare Root Roses! New selection coming soon!

We will also be receiving 2ft Standard Colourful roses soon. These are available for preorder and will be in store ready for pick up in 2 Weeks! They will be on sale at $15.99!! Click here to see the full list

World Environment Day 2020!

World Environment Day is celebrated worldwide on June 5. A platform for action, World Environment Day is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.

Origins of the World Environment Day

It’s the 48th World Environment Day this year, and the first one took place in Stockholm, Sweden in 1972.  Back then, it was the first major conference of it’s kind. The aim was to focus on the development of environmental politics, environmental issues, and encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of the environment. The responsibility for the primary celebrations rotates to a different country each year.

Theme and Host Country for World Environment Day 2020

World Environment Day 2020 will focus on Biodiversity and will be hosted in Colombia in partnership with Germany. This year World Environment Day 2020 theme is “Celebrating Biodiversity”, with the slogan “Time for Nature.”

“With 1 million species facing extinction, there has never been a more important time to focus on biodiversity.”

Colombia has put together a wide-ranging series of events featuring experts on biodiversity issues from across the globe. Click Here to view the programme.

Threats to Biodiversity

Australia has such a diverse unique flora and fauna

‘Many of the Earth’s ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed by high population growth and economic development. By 2050, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption.’

Human activities have significantly disturbed three-quarters of the world’s land surface. Two-thirds of ocean areas are also impacted by human activity, through overfishing, industrial pollution and oil spills, and garbage accumulation. Wildlife species are disappearing tens to hundreds of times faster now than in the past 10 million years. By 2030, the world may have lost one out of every four known species. Scientists have declared this the sixth mass extinction event in world history. At current rates of species extinction, the sixth event is on track to be more severe than the one that wiped out the dinosaurs.

Here are the 6 main threats to Biodiversity:

  1. Climate Change
    Increase in the temperature of the atmosphere has major effects on the environment such as the seasons, rising of the sea levels, and glacial retreats, floods and as we have seen here in Australia, more bush fires and droughts.
  2. Habitat Loss and Degradation
    Habitat loss are sometimes caused by natural events like geological calamities but more commonly by human activities such as deforestation, diverting rivers, mining, fracking and many other destructive behaviors.
  3. Pollution
    Be it in water ,air, or land pollution, all forms of pollution are a threat to all life forms on Earth. Recently with the Covid 19 pandemic, we have witnessed a decrease in pollution due to a slowing down in human activities, and that was refreshing, but on the other hand we saw many plastic gloves and face masks washed up in the ocean and killing wildlife.
  4. Invasive Species
    An exotic or unnatural species can be any kind of organism that has been introduced to a foreign habitat. This introduction can cause major threats to the native species. For example Cats are a major threat to our native bird population here in Australia.
  5. Over Exploitation
    This refers to the act of over-harvesting species and natural resources at rates faster than they can actually sustain themselves in the wild.
  6. Other Threats
    There are many other threats such as the spreading of diseases from farmed animals to wild animals. The impact of roads and highways reduce the habitat area of many species. Noise and perturbations to the environment such as sonar uses in the sea that disrupts cetacean species communications and many more.
From Bushfires to Deforestation, what is the future of the Koala bear?

Australia’s Biodiversity loss

Since the arrival of Europeans in Australia, just over 200 years ago, there has been an extraordinary increase in the rate of environmental change and in the loss of biodiversity in our ecosystems. One of the main threats to Australia’s biodiversity is habitat loss, and land-clearing is happening at a staggering rate. Projections suggest that 3m hectares of untouched forest will have been bulldozed in eastern Australia by 2030, thanks to a thriving livestock industry and governments that refuse to step in.

Some of these ecosystems lost include:

  • 75% of rainforests and nearly 50% of all forests;
  • over 60% of coastal wetlands in southern and eastern Australia;
  • nearly 90% of temperate woodlands and mallee;
  • more than 99% of south-eastern Australia’s temperate lowland grasslands;
  • over 83% of Tasmania’s lowland grasslands and grassy woodlands;
  • about 95% of brigalow scrub that originally grew in Queensland;
  • over 90% of Victoria’s grasslands.
The thylacine, now extinct, is one of the largest known carnivorous marsupials, evolving about 4 million years ago. The last known live animal was captured in 1933 in Tasmania.

We concluded that exactly 100 plant and animal species are validly listed as having become extinct in the 230 years since Europeans colonized Australia. You can read more about this here.

Clearly, human activities have the most significant impact on biodiversity loss. At present, our planet continues to face these threats to biodiversity.

IN THE FUTURE, YOUR CHILDREN OR THE YOUNGER GENERATION MIGHT ASK YOU A QUESTION ALONG THE LINES OF, “WHEN THE CRISIS ON BIODIVERSITY BECAME SO RAMPANT DURING THE EARLY 2000S, WHAT DID YOU DO ABOUT IT?” WHAT WILL YOUR ANSWER BE?

Things you can do to help biodiversity and the environment:

Sydney, Australia – March 15, 2019  Climate Emergency rally
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Cut down on what you throw away. Follow the three “R’s” to conserve natural resources and landfill space. Reduce your use of water, electricity and other non renewable and recycle everything as much as possible.
  • Volunteer and Educate. Volunteer for cleanups or tree planting in your community. Teach others, especially children to help them understand the importance and value of our natural resources.
  • Conserve Water & Energy. The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater that eventually end up in the ocean. You can also save grey-water from your sink to water your garden. Energy efficient light bulbs reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also flip the light switch off when you leave the room! Does your WiFi or your phone need to be always on?
  • Shop wisely & Choose sustainable. Buy Local, buy organic.Learn how to make smart food and seafood choices. Buy less plastic and bring a reusable shopping bag.
  • Drive less. Bike or walk more, and use your car sparingly. Do some car pooling with your mates and use public transport.
  • Plant as many trees as you can. Go for Native trees and flowers that support the local wildlife the best. Trees provide food and oxygen. They help save energy, clean the air, and help combat climate change. They help the biodiversity and ecosystems to survive and thrive. If you have land, seek your local council or nurseries to see if there are any free or cheap plants. If you have limited space, consider pots. And if you do not have space, volunteer some time or money to tree planting organisations. Click here for our big selection of very cheap plants.
  • QUIT the use of pesticides and petroleum based fertilizers in your gardens. These often have knock-on effects in wildlife populations and run off into water courses with adverse effects for the plants and animals living there. Ask your Local Authority to do the same.
  • VOTE! Find out about legislation affecting biodiversity, make contact with your local political representatives, tell them how you feel and ask them what they will do to help.
  • Support people and groups who are acting on long-term ecological sustainability. Find out about activists group and share their message and donate to their cause. This is vital for our future!

20 Cents For a Native Plant!

For this long Weekend only (6,7 and 8th of June) and to promote biodiversity we will be selling native plants for the symbolic price of 20 Cents for Kids only. As children are the future, they should be taught and encouraged to plant!

That will be an Economy grade plant that is Native to Australia such a Kangaroo Paw or Callistemon. There is a limit of one plant per child and isthis offer is IN store only at 1477 Sydney Road, Campbellfield.

We hope that this article gave you some inspiration or incentive to make changes to your lifestyle. Thank you for your time and remember that: Protecting our planet starts with you!

Some plants that are great for biodiversity:

Low growing flowers and herbs such as Daisies, Lavenders and Thyme are excellent for bees and other beneficial insects in the garden.

Flowering shrubs and trees, especially natives such as Grevillea, Callistemon, Corymbia, Gum Trees, Banksia, Westringia, Tea Tree are all excellent for native bees and birds!

June In the Garden!

June means that nearly half a year is over, and that winter is here for the next couple of months. It is starting to get really cold and we are getting more rainy days.  A lot of the deciduous trees are still shedding their leaves and some plants have slowed their growth down while others are just getting started!
Throw on some warm clothes, get your garden gloves and jump in the garden as there are many things that you can do at this time of the year!

What to plant?

Bare Rooted plants: This is the time of the year where we start receiving all our bare rooted plants. Bare rooted plants are dormant plants with no leaves and soil. These are much cheaper than normal potted plants and are easier to plant for a number of reasons. Click here to read more about bare rooted plants.

We currently we have over 30 varieties of bare rooted roses in store. Click Here

We also have bare rooted weeping flowering and fruiting cherries. Click Here

Veggies: It’s truly cold now, but it is just what some veggies love!  You can plant the whole range of brassica such as cabbage, cauliflower, brocolli, brussel sprouts.
All leafy greens such as asian greens like mizuna, tatsoi or pak choi, lettuce, rocket, spinach, mustards, spring onions, leek, kale and swiss chard. 
Legumes such as Snow Peas and Sugar snap peas are very easy plants to grow right now, just make sure to provide some trellis for them.
Root crops such as radish, beetroot, turnips, swedes, parsnips, carrots, onions, potatoes and garlic. All of those would take several months before harvest, except for radish which are ready after 30 days!
Some great companion plants for all these are herbs such as sage, winter thyme, parsley, mint, chives, coriander, dill, oregano, marjoram, etc that deter pests such as caterpillars.

To see our full selection of Fruits, veggies and herbs in store. Click Here!

Winter flowers: There is a wide range of winter flowers that you can put in your garden that will flower during winter. Click here for flowering perrenials.

Other Plants: With the cool weather it is a generally good period to put any other plant in the ground! The roots have time to grow during winter and you will see some amazing growth in Spring!

Make sure you check out our Specials Page for all the best bargains! Click Here!

What to do?

Rake in all the leaves from the deciduous trees and make a nice compost pile. If you already have a compost pile, add the autumn leaves and turn it over and mix them well for a winter composting pile.

Soil Improvement – Before putting in your winter veggies and plants it is a great time to add a fresh top layer of organic materials such as compost and manure, ideally in a blend. Remember to scrape back your mulch before doing so.

Scrape back mulch – As the days are getting cold and rainy, it is good to scrape back some of your mulch that has not broken down properly and especially if it too thick. Leaving a thick mulch in winter will keep the soil soggy and give wet feet to your plants. This can also cause fungal problems and diseases to arise.

Watering – Time to dial back the automatic watering system to water the garden less as too much water will cause root rots. If you water manually, you can do it less often. Just poke your finger in the soil and see if it is moist enough. Let nature help you out 😉

Cuttings – Winter is the time for taking hardwood cuttings. Deciduous plants such as roses, wisteria and grapevines are best propagated from hardwood cuttings. Make sure to use the old growth and not new tender ones. Old branches from 1-2 years are not flexible, hence the term hardwood. These have more energy in them to grow into new plants.

Fertilisation – If your hedges are starting to look a little bit yellow, you need to add some dolomite lime to raise the ph slightly and provide the calcium that will keep them nice and green. These are important for all your box type green hedges and great for apple/pears. Feed your camellias, azaleas, daphnes, and rhododendrons now as they are hitting their peak flowering time. Use a specialised food for these plants as they are unique in that they prefer acid soils. Use some general liquid fertiliser such as Charlie Carp (Available in store) on your plants in general to give them a good boost before winter.

Pruning – You can now clean and tidy up all the autumn flowering plants such as asters, cyclamens, sedum and chrysanthemums. It is also good time to prune deciduous shurbs of their sick and unproductive branches. Avoid pruning back the spring flowering plants though.

Moving or transplanting – With the nice cool weather, it is an ideal time to move or transplant plants as the plants have time over winter to grow new roots and be ready for spring. You can re pot plants that have outgrown their pots and are getting root bound. Remove the plant and trim some of the roots at the bottom, shake off some old soil and add some fresh one at the bottom of the pot to give your plant a fresh start. They will love it!
Weeding – Does it ever stop really? Get on your knees and Stay on top of the weeds!

Pest & Disease Control!

At this time you will see a decline in cabbage moths, but there might still be a few flying around and lay their eggs. But it is not of too much concern as they will die off in the cold. You may still have other problems such as aphids and other caterpillars, so planting a range of pest deterrent aromatic herbs along with your plants and veggies is always a good idea!
There are many insects that overwinter on fruit trees and roses. When the leaves have fallen, spray them with white oil to suffocate those insects, and make sure you get a good coverage.

Avoid other fungal disease by raking the old leaves and getting rid of them if they were diseased or if they were not affected, you can safely put them in the compost pile.

It is always rewarding to see the results of your hard work, so most importantly, relax and garden with a smile! It is the best therapy!

Happy Gardening!

Bee Day 2020

We have all heard about the importance of bees for a healthy environment and for the future of our own species. There is no doubt that we need them more than they need us. They are such beautiful, gentle and fascinating little cuties. But do you know what makes them so special?

Today we celebrate World Bee Day! The main purpose of the events is to spread awareness of the significance of bees and other pollinators for our survival. We must realize that simply proclaiming World Bee Day does not do much for bees and other pollinators; the main work aiming towards their preservation still needs to be undertaken and World Bee Day is an excellent opportunity in this regard. Beekeepers and nature conservationists would like to ask everybody to help improve the conditions for bees, thus improving conditions for the survival of people. No major steps are needed; what counts is each and every action that facilitates the existence of bees.

Photo: beepollen.com: Importance of bees!

We need bees. We may take them and other pollinators like butterflies and hoverflies for granted – but they are vital for stable, healthy food supplies. They are key to the varied, colourful and nutritious diets we need and have come to expect.

Bees are perfectly adapted to pollinate, helping plants grow, breed and produce food. They do so by transferring pollen between flowering plants and so keep the cycle of life turning.

The vast majority of plants we need for food rely on pollination, especially by bees: from almonds and vanilla and apples to squashes. Bees also pollinate around 80% of wildflowers, so our countryside would be far less interesting and beautiful without them.

But bees are in trouble. There is growing public and political concern at bee decline across the world. This decline is caused by a combination of stresses – from loss of their habitat and food sources to exposure to pesticides and the effects of climate change.

More than ever before, we need to recognise the importance of bees to nature and to our lives. And we need to turn that into action to ensure they don’t just survive but thrive.

Australian Bee facts:

• Bees also sleep, and sometimes in flowers!

Images: Flicker and Joe Neely: Bees sleeping in flowers

• There are over 1,500 species of Australian native bees.
 • Not all bees are yellow. Native bees can be many different colours, including black, yellow, red metallic green or even black with blue polka dots!
• Commercial honey bees (Apis mellifera) are not native to Australia. They were introduced from Europe in about 1822.
• Not all bees are furry and fat. Some native bees are sleek and shiny.
• The smallest bee native to Australia, the Quasihesma bee found in Cape York, is less than 2mm long! (bottom left image)

Images: Flickr Erica siegel Some Native Australian Bees

• Not all bees can sting. Ten species of Australian native bees are stingless. Stingless beekeeping is becoming very popular due to the delicious honey produced, great crop pollination and no stings of course!
• There are over 30 species of native bees in Victoria alone.

You can purchase this beautiful poster from GinaCransonArtworks !
She has such a beautiful collection of posters and cards with cute bees.

• A single honey bee may collect 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.

Here is what you can do to help the bees:

  • Plant nectar-bearing flowers for decorative purposes on balconies, terraces, and gardens.
  • Buy honey and other hive products from your nearest local beekeeper.
  • Raise awareness among children and adolescents on the importance of bees and express your support for beekeepers.
  • Set up a pollinator farm on your balcony, terrace, or garden; you can either make it yourself or buy at any home furnishings store.
  • Preserve old meadows – which feature a more diverse array of flowers – and sow nectar-bearing plants.
  • Cut grass on meadows only after the nectar-bearing plants have finished blooming.
  • Offer suitable farming locations for the temporary or permanent settlement of bees so that they have suitable pasture; as a consequence, they will pollinate our plants, which will thereby bear more fruit.
  • Use pesticides that do not harm bees, and spray them in windless weathereither early in the morning or late at night, when bees withdraw from blossoms.
  • Mulch blooming plants in orchards and vineyards before spraying them with pesticides so that they do not attract bees after being sprayed.

Source worldbeeday.org/en/celebrate-bee-day.html

Here is a Selection of plants that are bee-neficial to bees.

Low growing flowers and herbs such as Daisies, Lavenders and Thyme are a good start! Borage is Excellent for bees in the vegetable garden, plus its flowers are edible!

Flowering shrubs and trees, especially natives such as Grevillea, Callistemon, Corymbia, Gum Trees, Banksia, Westringia, Tea Tree are all excellent for native bees and birds!

Flowering cherries, ornamental pears and crab apples are also great nectar producers!

Robinia Decaisneana is one of the highest nectar-producing plant for bees!

Seconds And Surplus – Great BARGAINS

We also have a big variety of really cheap trees in our Surplus and Seconds area. These trees may look a little scrappy, but with a little care, they can get back to their former glory. Some of them look really good and are an absolute steal! Click here for the full list.

Here are just some examples of Bee Friendly trees that you can find really cheap!

Eucalyptus camaldulensis  13 $30.00
Eucalyptus citriodora 12 $20.00
Eucalyptus crenulea  13 $10.00
Eucalyptus pulchella  13 $10.00
Eucalyptus scoparis $20.00
Eucalyptus tricarpa 45ltr $50.00
Callistemon Harkness 7″ $5.00
Callistemon Harkness 10 $10.00
Callistemon Harkness 12 $10.00
Escallonia Red Knight 8 $5.00
Choisya White Dazzler 7 $5.00
Escallonia Apple Blossom 7 $5.00

And many more. Click here for the full list.

Fancy African Daisy Selection!

Fancy African Daisy Selection!

Osteospermum, or African daisies, have flowers that look very familiar, yet totally foreign. You may even think they’ve been dyed or painted. African daisies look a lot like common daisies, with petals radiating around a center disk. When African daisies were first introduced to the market, they had vivid coloring many weren’t used to seeing.

The flower’s center disks looked as though they are colored with metallic paint. African daisies are definitely unique. The leaves will vary by variety. They can be lance-like or broadly ovate and smooth, toothed, or lobed. Petals can be smooth and flat, like a daisy, or radiate out in a tubular, spoon-shape.

Botanical name: Osteospermum
Height: 30 to 60 centimetres Width: One metre or more
Ideal position: African daisies rely on the sun to open completely, so they love full sun, as well as sandy, well-draining soil. They will tolerate moderate frost.
Suitable spots: Plant your African daisies in the garden or in a container.
When do they bloom? A mass of flowers appears from winter through to spring.
Pests and diseases to watch out for: Keep caterpillars, snails and slugs away.

Our Selection:

COVID-19 Update, 3rd August 2020: We are still operating 7 days and providing contact-less door-to-door delivery in Metro Melbourne and regional centres. From Thurs 6th August, our Campbellfield store will be closed to the general public and open to tradespeople only. You will still be able to shop online or over the phone. To inquire about an existing order, please email orders@hellohelloplants.com.au