December in the Garden 2022!
Hello Hello, dear gardening friends! December officially marks the start of summer here in Victoria and is the most exciting month of the year! Long summer evenings, garden parties, friends over for dinner, school holidays, vacation home getaways, and especially Christmas and New Year celebrations! Woohoo…how exciting! There are beautiful flowers blooming everywhere right now such as Jacarandas, Hydrangeas, Flame Trees, Daisies, and so many others, keeping the bees buzzing around all day long! The veggie patches have not had a great start this spring, with the constant rain, but the weather is turning around and the zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers, are finally starting to take off! Fruit trees such as raspberries, blueberries, cherries, and mulberries are loaded with delicious fruit to tempt our taste buds!
For the month of December, we have some fantastic deals such as:
⭐Spend over $300 and get Free Delivery to Metro Melbourne and major regional centers!
⭐Get Free Plants with our Rewards Program!
⭐Get a Free Garden Design with Chris!
Christmas Trees & Gift Vouchers!
🎄Potted Christmas Trees are in store Now!🎁🎅 If you prefer the look, feel, and smell of a real tree and if you can’t bear the thought of cutting down a tree just to use it as a decoration, why not use a live potted Christmas tree or plant!? We have a lovely selection of Pines and Spruces that you can use as your live Christmas tree for the next 10 years! They are slow-growing, easy to maintain, and can be kept in pots for a long time!
Here are some super Doorbusting Specials! Get them now as these are for a very limited time only and we have limited stock too!
Top Specials for the month!
Here are our best specials for the month!
Star of the month!
The Chinese Star Jasmine! Easily the most popular groundcover and climber, Star Jasmine is picked for its heavily fragrant flowers and robust green foliage. An incredibly hardy and easy to grow plant, Trachelospermum suits most garden styles and makes a really wonderful cover for unsightly places!Rewards Program! Click here to see the Jasmine factsheet!
Need a large lot of plants for a garden or landscaping project and want wholesale prices? We provide bulk discounts of up to 75% off on certain varieties and sizes when you buy in bulk!Click here to see all our bulk deals!
We have a fantastic selection of perennial flowering plants in store right now that are already flowering or just about to flower. You can easily plant these in your garden to make it pop with interesting textures and colors all Summer long.
This is a great time to choose your maple as they are looking their best at this time of the year, with their spectacular array of foliage types and colours. Maple trees can provide a striking focal point in your garden, be the perfect plant to put in a large container on your patio or grow into an impressive bonsai specimen. We have dozens of Japanese maple varieties in various sizes, with a large assortment of leaf shapes and colours ranging from shades of green to orange, red, purple, pink and variegated.
Most roses are blooming beautifully at this time of the year. Now is a great time to choose which one is your favorite in terms of color and scent, so make sure you check out our range of roses in blooming right now. It is also a good time to feed your roses with some balanced, bloom, or rose fertilizer. Keep an eye out for aphids that love to feed on the fresh new growth. A good tip for more blooms on your roses is to dead-head the spent flowers regularly as this encourages more flowers. Avoid overhead watering as this can cause fungal problems. Watering early in the morning is better than in the evening. Once established, roses are quite drought hardy so water deeply only every so often. They are available in several forms such as bush form, climbing form, carpet roses, weeping roses and as standard (ball on a stick).
We have a great selection of compact Azaleas on Special right now! These grow to 2mx2m or less! Create a beautiful display like this one for less than $60!
Perfect for adding some life into your living spaces! They are great Christmas gifts too!
We have a fabulous range of Hydrangea varieties for your garden! These beauties radiate abundance because of the lavish number of flowers, their striking colors and the generous round shape! They are a must-have for any garden!
Going into your garden, picking your own fruit, and enjoying them as fresh as they can be, is really a special feeling. If you choose a dwarf variety, you do not always need much space for them, as they are happy to grow in big pots and you can trim them to your preferred size. Now if you have space, by all means, plant a full-size variety and put them in the ground, and let them grow into bountiful monsters! You could then perhaps exchange or sell your surplus produce!
• Apples. It is apple season already! Imagine biting into a crisp and fresh apple right off the tree from your backyard! It is possible with our fantastic varieties, bred for commercial success! They are guaranteed to give you a bounty of apples in just a few years. Apple juice, apple pies, apple cider vinegar, dried apple crisps, there are so many great things to do with them!
• Citrus plants. We have a great variety of 4L pots that are on sale right now! Citrus trees have been hard to get and in high demand this year, but this batch is new. These are fantastic varieties that were originally destined for Victorian fruit farms, so you know they are born to produce fruit, plus they are very affordable.
• Berries. Here is a great selection of the most popular and rare varieties, ideal for small spaces. These are in limited quantities, so better hurry up.
• Other fruits. Here are some less common fruits that you will rarely find in supermarkets!
Veggies, herbs, and Greens!
• Summer/Spring veggies such as tomato, peppers, squash, eggplants, zucchini, chilies, and basil can now be safely planted out in the ground! It is warm enough for them to grow beautifully. Remember to water them in properly with some seaweed fertilizers, which will help them settle in their new spot. See the full list here.
• Chilies to keep you warm, just in case Summer does not!
• Before planting your summer crops, dig in a generous amount of compost and manure in your veggie patch as these plants are quite heavy feeders. If you have experienced blossom end rot on your tomatoes in the past, it could be that your soil is deficient in calcium, and adding some garden lime will fix this issue. Just be aware that garden lime also raises the pH level of soils high in acidity, to make them more alkaline.
• Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach and rocket will all grow well in the garden right now until the hot days of Summer are here. If you have limited space, you may want to favor Summer veggies instead and leave the leafy greens for the cooler months. You can also get creative and plant lettuce/rocket u around your tomatoes/capsicums. Planting them every couple of weeks will ensure a steady supply. See full list here.
• Culinary herbs are really easy to grow and can be grown in pots on your balcony or your patio. They will grow well in shaded, partly shaded, and sunny spots. You can harvest them and they will simply grow back. You can also chop them up, dry them and create your own mixed herbs for later use. Once you start planting your own herbs, you will never buy them at the supermarket again.
Soil, Fertilising, and Mulching
• For your veggie patch, if you have very poor soil, mix in generous amounts of rich compost, manure, and also some blood and bone meal. If your soil is already quite good, instead of turning it over, try top dressing. Turning the soil over when you already have healthy soil will disturb the delicate worm and microbial systems, which take time to build and are important for good plant development.
• Improve the growth, health, and yield of your plants by nurturing the soil as an alternative to using fertilizers. You can do that by restoring the beneficial microbial activity in your soil with some compost tea.
• 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 Summer flowering annuals every couple of weeks with a complete liquid fertilizer, to encourage healthy and vigorous new growth. You can also add some slow-release granular fertilizer that will feed your plants over a period of 3 to 6 months.
• When the summer heat comes round, it is important to have a nice thick layer of mulch on your soil to keep some moisture in the ground and also keep the roots of your plants cool. This will reduce the frequency of watering and prevent your plants to go through heat and drought stress. 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. Pine bark mulch creates acidity when breaking down, so it is perfect for Azaleas or Camellias, whereas straw or sugarcane are recommended for veggie beds. Do not put mulch too close to the stems but rather around it, as this will encourage the roots to grow outwards to find water and make them stronger. Also, make sure to give the soil a good soak before mulching. When watering over mulch, it needs some extra water to make sure it penetrates into the soil.
Dead-heading and Pruning
After the beautiful first spring blooms, many of the flowering perennials are now covered with spent flowers, which are busy producing seeds inside. Some plants have a big flush of flowers at once, such as catmint, while others flower more consistently over the flowering period, such as daisies. The longer you leave spent blooms on the plant, the more resources or nutrients they utilize to produce seeds, and the plant will feel that it has completed its life cycle, i.e producing seeds to ensure the next generation. The best thing to do is to remove spent blooms as soon as the flower petals shrivel up. This will encourage more flowers to pop out.
Pests & Disease
Now that there are lots of new shoots and seedlings, coupled with some warm weather and a few showers here and there, there will be more insects in the garden. The humid weather is perfect for them to proliferate, feed, and cause damage to plants.
• Aphids, thrips, and mites. With the warm weather, these sap-sucking insects find their way into our garden to feast on all the new growth. If there are not too many, you can leave them to help build the beneficial insect population that will then take care of the bad bugs for you later on. Adult aphids eat thrips and mites and ladybugs also eat aphids, thrips, mites, and whitefly If you have an infestation, on the other hand, you can make some homemade aphid spray to apply under the leaves of affected plants. Mix 2 tsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp dishwashing liquid, and some garlic cloves crushed, mixed in 1lt of water, and left to infuse overnight. This is completely safe for other beneficial insects. Also, think of planting some beneficial insect plants that will attract ladybirds and they will take care of aphids for you. A favorite plant for ladybirds is the Angelica herb. • For ants you could sprinkle some diatomaceous earth on the ground where there is a lot of ant activity but only when it is dry. You will have to reapply it after it has rained. It is a natural organic control method that will not harm other insects.
• Azalea Lace Bug damage to azaleas normally occurs on the leaves and will look like silvery, white, or yellow spots. This is caused by these azalea insects, literally sucking small sections of the leaf dry and killing that section of the leaf. As these azalea leaf pests move on across the leaf, more and more spots will appear. These azalea insect problems are best avoided in the first place. The azalea lace bug tends to attack plants that are already weakened due to poor fertilizing or watering, so make sure to take proper care of your plants. If your azalea shrub is already infested with these azalea leaf pests, you can try one of two methods for getting rid of them. The first is chemical controls and the other is organic control. Chemical control involves using insecticidal soaps (some of which are organic). Most off-the-shelf insecticides will effectively kill azalea lace bugs. For organic control of these azalea insects, you can try several methods. The first method to try is to spray the plant down with a sprayer on the hose. This can knock the pests of the plant and disorient them enough to prevent re-infestation. • Codling Moth attacks Apples and Pears. The moth lays its eggs on leaves and immature fruit as flowering finishes. The hatching caterpillars then burrow into the fruit and eat it from the inside. Yates Success Ultra is a good product to control these. You can also use organic control methods such as neem oil or even physical barriers such as fruit bags. Welcoming beneficial insects in your garden will also help with the control of codling moths. • Keep an eye out on your Rose plants for common diseases such as black spot, rust, and mildew. If you have noticed any fungal disease in the past on your plants, now is a good time to spray them with some organic copper-based fungicides.
That’s it for this month!
All the best in your garden and wishing you a merry Christmas and happy holidays!