Winter Gardening

As the weather cools you can reduce the amount of water you give your potted and garden plants as they aren’t using as much as they would be during summer.  If possible you should water in the morning and avoid watering the foliage.  An easy way to check the moisture levels is by putting your index finger into the soil or potting mix; if it’s wet don’t water, if it’s dry water. 

  Plants will flourish with the right winter fertilising; choose a fertiliser that’s high in Potassium to promote strong plant growth and vigour through winter and into spring. 

Prepare planting holes for deciduous bare root ornamental and fruit trees by digging in a soil conditioning compost mix such as Active Grow.  Talk to our horticultural team for help on deciding which deciduous ornamental or fruit tree will suit your conditions.

Winter can be colourful too.  You can choose from plenty of suitable flowering annuals for planting now, to give you winter colour all the way to spring.  Polyanthus are some of the prettiest winter flowering plants.  They’ll grow in light shade to full sun and can give an encore performance next year.

Winter is a great time to buy and plant Camellias as they are in flower and it is easier to establish them before the harsh dry weather of summer.

Grevilleas are also flowering during winter and early spring, plant one (or many) to attract birds to your garden.  Don’t forget to provide a water source, like a bird bath for them.

What to do in the garden now

Snails and slugs love the cooler weather.  They love soft foliage especially winter vegies and flowering annuals, emerging bulb shoots and orchids.  Sprinkle snail bait around the base or use a snail trap.

Cut off and dispose of this season’s citrus gall wasp swelling before the end of August.

Spray your deciduous fruit and ornamental trees with Lime Sulfur as soon as their leaves have dropped.  This is especially important for peaches and nectarines that suffered from leaf curl last spring.   Roses can also be given a spray after pruning in winter.  Citrus can be sprayed with Lime Sulfur in mid-winter to remove the persistent white scale and some of the mite problems that spoil the fruit.


Vegetables:  Cabbage, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Shallots, Spinach and Silverbeet

Flowers: Cineraria, Polyanthus, Pansies, Petunias, Primula, Stocks and Violas

Don’t stay inside, get outside and enjoy all that winter gardening has to offer.

Janita Adams