Welcoming the cool after searing days

It has been a hot difficult summer for our gardens, and many of us will be welcoming the cooler autumn weather.

Summer may almost be over, but your soil still needs protection for the last of the hot summer days. Top up your mulch to keep the soil moist and replace any that has been washed away by summer storms. Keep up the Seasol application to your plants and lawns to help protect and revive them.

Perfect indoor plant: Devil's Ivy.

Perfect indoor plant: Devil's Ivy.

Banksias

Banksias

If you are looking for a hard to kill indoor plant, then you can't look past Devil's Ivy (Epipremnum aureum or golden pothos). It is a tough trailing plant that will grow in hanging baskets, on totems and even as cuttings in a glass vase. It is known for its leafy good looks and is low maintenance. It is also ideal for those looking for a plant with health benefits, as Devil's Ivy is known to efficiently cleanse the air of pollutants.

If you are looking for a hard to kill indoor plant, then you can't look past Devil's Ivy

Place it in a bright filtered light position indoors but it will also grow in low-light conditions. It also makes an ideal office plant because it grows well under fluorescent lights. As a guide, water once every five days in summer and once every 10 days in winter. It will not tolerate soggy soil, so allow it to dry out between watering.

It will also benefit from regular fertilising. Fertilise once every two weeks during the warmer months with a liquid fertiliser diluted by half. Other cultivars include Snow Queen and Marble Queen.

Banksias are an attractive Australian native plant with tough, often serrated leaves and large cones of stiff wiry flowers. They range from ground covers, to low growing shrubs and small trees, and are great plants to attract bees and nectar feeding birds to the garden.They prefer a sunny spot with free-draining soil. They are quite happy in sandy soils but will appreciate a little organic matter being added. If the soil is heavy clay based or poorly drained, add gypsum and fork in well to improve drainage and consider planting into a raised mound of well-drained soil.

Apply Seasol in the first few weeks after planting to help settle it in to its new home. Also, mulching around the base of the plant with organic mulch is beneficial. Water regularly, once or twice a week, until established. Feed them each spring and autumn with a specialised native plant fertiliser that is low in phosphorus. To help keep tidy, prune off the spent flower heads each year. However, limit severe pruning into older stems.

February gardening tips:

Banksias

Banksias

  • Protect your plants from 40-degree days with umbrellas, shade cloth or some old sheets thrown over the top
  • Prepare your garden beds for spring-flowering bulbs. Hyacinths, anemones and daffodils can be planted in autumn
  • NSW Christmas bush can be trimmed now to encourage growth and flowering for next year
  • Prepare your camellias for autumn flowering by feeding with potash-rich fertiliser
  • Prune your geraniums by half to encourage bushiness
  • Cut back hydrangeas that have finished blooming
  • Feed your citrus and check for scale and leaf miner. Spray with pest oil to keep this under control.

Happy gardening!

  • From Glenbrook Village Nursery